Last night, as I was removing the lid from a scorching-hot oven dish, I was stunned into slow time as the escaping steam engulfed the fingers on my right hand. By the time I got the glass lid down onto the counter and my hand under the coldwater tap, four fingers were badly burned.
I was frightened. I felt the panic in my heartbeat and heard the little-girl whimpers escaping my lips. I wanted to cry; but it was as if the responses were coming from someone else. As soon as I noticed that, after about 10 seconds, I let go. I decided to look for Life and its creative force instead.
It is a technique I first heard from a meditation teacher I met only once 15 years ago. She was out for a walk with her husband on the huge red boulders of Southern California, when he slipped off the edge and tumbled down the canyon wall. Spontaneously, she yelled to him, “Go to God!” I guess he must have, because he walked away.
Last night, I went to Life. It wasn’t a prayer exactly, but a choice to open and allow and receive. Slow time continued through the evening, as I sat with my hand in cold water and waited to see just how bad this burn was. The night was moistened with waves of excruciating pain, as my fingers grew swollen and redder. I slathered them in aloe and slept with a sock on my hand, conscious of its placement through the night. This morning, there is redness, stiffness, tenderness, but no blisters and no deep burn. I am truly grateful to be typing.
Last night’s opportunity is the counterpoint to one that came at the start of the week. Sunday afternoon, while doing dishes, I found a ladybug in the kitchen sink. I must have picked her up in the back garden and brought her in on my clothes, but here I was about to drown her. I stopped everything and took her on my right hand to the sun. I wasn’t sure she was even still alive, but then she started to stretch her wings. It was a sweet moment. For about 10 minutes I sprawled out on the floor and enjoyed her company; I think she enjoyed mine because she would not let go until I put her back in her place in the garden.
Having earned my keep as a professional writer for more than 25 years, my hands and fingers are particularly important to me. Twice this week, they have been my teachers. They have reminded me in my very body what I know to be true… that the Creative Force of Life is flowing to me and through me all the time. It is flowing to you. Every breath you take, every moment’s experience is an opportunity for personal transformation.
Just Say Yes!