September 22, 2009

A Heart Unto My Path

It had been at the end of a particularly emotional week for me when I came upon this heart, which is part of the natural coloration of the old cedar tree. I was surprised to have never noticed it before, because I pass it very often. Just as the saying goes: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear," the heart appeared in my field of vision when it was the right time to hear its message. It illuminated my path when I was feeling concerned about some life situations. It sent the clear message that "All is as it should be" and that God is always mindful of me. I felt that even though my day had started out with a general sense of loneliness and lack of clarity, I am never alone . . . ever. Reflecting on the world of spirit, I began to remind myself of the invisible world that is always working and weaving in my life: the Holy Spirit and angels, all working to remind me Whose I am. And I'm constantly thankful for the natural-world illuminations, such as hearts in nature, to direct my thoughts to a higher place.

I also noticed the significance of the fact that my "found" heart was on a tree, a cedar tree in particular. In Native American traditions, the cedar tree was thought to have strong protection and cleansing properties for people. Also, the cedar is a tough survivor, withstanding less-than-perfect environmental conditions; therefore it can teach us to anchor ourselves onto a secure foundation and reach not only toward the foundation (which for the tree would be the ground), but to move up, stretching to new heights. A wonderful contrast of darkness and light. This darkness is not the sort to be wary of. The tree does amazing things under the surface of the earth. In the darkness of the soil, it creates, receives nourishment, and prepares to enter it's journey upward. Through these silent roots, so much is taking place in the darkness of creation. Through this dark silence, the roots navigate instinctively, running as long and deep as the tree will need for support. Growth is slow, but steady. To much growth above the surface, and the tree will not be properly supported. Too many roots and not enough action above ground never allows the tree to reach its potential, denying the animals and humans it's canopy, fruit, nuts, beauty, and wood. The ecosystem benefits when a tree has a harmonious balance of darkness and light, silence and growth. They are essential for the success and growth of the tree.

Light and darkness. A wonderful contrast because they actually work together to create life. So when I'm experiencing my "dark" days, I can now understand that they will be perfectly balanced with light-filled ones in which I will come away from the dark circumstance closer to God and, just as important, closer to my true self.

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