On a very early morning which still silently withheld everything unfolding through the day, I found the answer. In cooling hours, where first autumn leaves and the smell of peat moss make me feel like I have to run through the woods on my bare feet, just to embed my soul as deeply as possible into the rich soil, I found it.
I didn’t sleep much the night before, maybe about two hours, which isn’t abnormal on certain days. Thankfully my tired brain had run out of steam during the long night, leaving my drifting thoughts heavenly uncensored, and without the typical sarcastic notes which accompany my days.
Something was off. In a good way! All night I had spent meditating in circles around a specific request for an article or segment on Salvation. Within the first hour of tiptoeing philosophically around the subject, a raging bull came already running through my burning skeleton closet. So there they were, now all over the place, all my sins and shenanigans. A huge mess in the stillness and dark hours of the night, where I could have been perfectly content just staying up worrying about world-peace, the cruel dairy industry, climate-change and if I had or had not given the flea medicine to our cat earlier.
Every little thing my catholic ‘altar-girl-consciousness’ from back in the days had uploaded on long walks home from Sunday mass, now hovered over me like a cloud formation right before the perfect shit storm. So I thought about Salvation, and the meaning that word has for me personally, which I had tried conveniently to put to use over what already had seemed like a lifetime.
Was I still eligible for Salvation, after the little altar girl had discovered centuries of cleric sin-piles, while burying her head in the books?! But I knew God had nothing to do with those cruel, greedy people which made me sick to my stomach, and still do!
So on that early morning my humming brain had temporarily raised the white flag on the overall issue again, followed by a big, fat ” I got nothing! ”
While I inhaled the morning air
I saw my life channeled through time, like a river running through the valleys of the alaskan mountains. Maybe I could identify myself and my shortcomings with the sharp rocks on the bottom of those streams! Rattled and pulled while making their way down to the lakes and ocean, reappearing small and smooth after thousands of sharp twists and turns in the hands of a lonely hiker.
And there I was, shaken to the core, because I had learned to forget my hunger for Forgiveness!
I felt the answer in my bones. It was racing through my body straight into my heart from deep within myself and my battered soul; my senses almost liquified while touching every tree, every branch, and every leaf on the wet, mossy ground under my feet, as I realized that I was the river, and the rock, and the hiker. That God never needed a man made church, because his church was this world, and wherever we will seek him.
Everything I would have done differently, every act I wanted undone, every word I had longed to take back, all that I had named a SIN, had been painfully ripped out of me already by the years of remorse, guilt and the raging river which was my life and consciousness.
On a rare early morning hike, I picked up a perfectly round, silky rock from the creek, held it in my hands in awe and found my Salvation.
Love and Strength