I stood on the edge of the world and magic happened

“Breathe next to me. And I will capture a piece of your soul along with mine.”
Marikit dR. Camba, 

Once, many years ago, I stood on the shore; quiet, desperately sad, with eyes closed, and magic happened. I became one with the ocean. I felt I was the ocean and it was within me. I felt the magnitude of the universe in those seconds. For an instant the whole universe was inside me, I saw it, I felt it, I travelled through it as it travelled simultaneously through me. I was connected to it in a way I had no comprehension of, no prior experience or examples. I did not experience it again. Until recently.

Sitting on the hill of a natural amphitheatre, alone but surrounded by approximately 150 000 people I felt a connection to the hearts of each of them, like I felt with the ocean all those years before. It was New Year’s Eve. I was at Woodford for the annual music festival, six days of music and noise, action, laughter and lots and lots of people. Candles had been distributed throughout the day and at 11:30 they were to be lit, followed by three minutes silence.  The idea of three minutes silence in that place was incomprehensible to me, but I was assured it was a ritual that was adhered to every year.  At 11:30 I passed a spare candle to a man sitting nearby.  He asked how we were meant to light them.  I told him that I believed that was part of the magic.  Within 30 seconds the amphitheatre was alight with the glow of thousands and thousands of candles. And a hush fell over the whole of Woodfordia and I wept.

In the silence, in our quietness we all came together and connected.  It wasn’t like we were holding hands, that’s not the connection, it wasn’t even like an embrace. The sensation began as a ripple then became a gentle, undulating wave that rolled up the front of my body, opened my heart and passed into the depths of me and surrounded me. It was like all those souls were gathered into gentle arms and sent lovingly into the night, into each other. In those three minutes I again touched the inky darkness of the night sky that opened to the universe beyond, and I soared, filled with the souls of those around me.

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Our ageless spirit

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You are not merely the physical body that you identify with out of habit. Your essential state is a field of infinite possibilities. Deepak Chopra

Do you ever look in the mirror and have that split second where you don’t recognise the face you see because it’s an older version of the self you feel you are?

I have, on a few occasions,  been momentarily surprised by the mature face reflected back at me.  You see, in essence, I don’t feel any different to how I did when I was younger. Oh, I’ve experienced a lot, learnt many lessons and grown as a result but the core of me, my true essence, my spirit if you will feels ageless.

I recently had a birthday and was reflecting with a friend that I felt no older but the image in the mirror tells a different story. My friend shared a conversation he had with his grandmother before she passed away at the wonderful age of 97. He asked her if she felt her life had gone quickly and she said it had “been a flash”.  She went on to say that she felt no different then, in the last stages of her life, to how she had felt as a young woman. She did, however, lament that her body could not keep up with her spirit.

I too remember visiting with my beloved grandmother, also in her late nineties when she left this world, and having the distinct sense of her spirit; her young and vibrant spirit. My Nana, despite her beautiful, soft, lived in skin and frail frame reminded me of a young girl. It was obvious over the years her body was deteriorating and she was losing mobility but she was always in essence a young woman in my mind. Her eyes twinkled with a youthfulness that belied her earth years.

Grandmothers are simply antique little girls.

Grandmothers are simply antique little girls.

My friend reminded me that while our bodies age our spirits do not. I find that at once sad and yet incredibly miraculous. Sad, because the husk that is our body changes so very rapildly and often before we are ready. Miraculous, because I believe we have a soul, a part of us that lives long after our body.  I’ve seen the soul of another shine through the eyes of a 95 year old woman, my friend has also. I’ve seen a body without the life force within it and it truly was just a shell. I’ve felt my soul, within this body of mine.

As my body ages and skews out of shape; as my hair turns silver and my face looks more like a hiking trail than a smooth untrampled plain; I am buoyed knowing my spirit, my soul, doesn’t  age. Each day I become more aware of my spirit. Each day I sense my own essence more deeply. Each day I understand better that there is a part of me that will continue long after my body retires. Each day I learn to trust and to embrace this knowledge and each day it brings me a greater sense of peace.

Within each of us lives a fascinating, vibrant essence that shines brightly.