Realizing We Are All Connected
As a healer, I see many people who feel estranged from the life they wish for. They are deeply lonely and discontented. They suffer from the disempowering belief that there is some mysterious and unknown thing they must do to feel like they belong.
Sometimes however, we have rather astonishing personal experiences that we actually are already connected to life and everyone around us. Here is one of my recent stories.
In New Mexico for a photography conference, I visited Ghost Ranch, home of the celebrated artist Georgia O’Keeffe. On a photographers’ tour, we had access to a private road that led into the fragile High Desert terrain, bordered by astonishing red rock cliffs that were transformed by shifting light. I quickly fell in love with the place. We were accompanied by staff members who insured we would not set so much as a foot off of the road in this invaluable ecosystem. Captivated by the towering rocks, the magnificent clouds, and the flowering cactus, I asked how I might visit again. I quickly understood that this area was off limits to individuals unless they were part of an official Ghost Ranch event, or an approved tour.
Nonetheless, feeling such a strong connection to that beautiful place, a few days later I decided to go back on my own to photograph the surrounding public area. It was calling my name.
In the midst of my two and a half hour drive, it was time for a pit stop. Uncharacteristically, I stopped in a McDonalds, a place I had not been in for years.
Over a cup of coffee, I realized I was unsure how to get back to the highway and I looked around for someone to ask. Then it got interesting. Asked if he could tell me how to get on the highway, the gentleman responded, “Sure. Where are you heading?” “Ghost Ranch,” I replied. With a great beaming smile, he said, “I know exactly how to get there. I live there!” I couldn’t imagine anyone lived there, in that seemingly isolated spot. “Sure, my wife is the Executive Director of the conference center! ” It got better.
Identifying himself as Jim, he asked where I was from, and when I said Columbia, Maryland, he grinned and said he had been there last week. Turns out his daughter lives nearby. By now, we were both laughing and enjoying the wild coincidences so much I took a seat at his table to see what else might pop up.
By the time we parted, he had volunteered to contact his wife, Debra Hepler, to tell her of my interest in photographing the area around Ghost Ranch. Soon, back on the road, I received a wonderful text message from her, inviting me to go back to the private road at the Ranch and photograph it as long as I liked! And so I did, marveling at beauty in the tiny blossoming cacti, the magnificent drifting clouds, the solitary raven crisscrossing the sky, and above all the lively towers of red rocks. Unlike the mysterious stones at Callanish, this felt as though all that was created sacred was immediately visible, with the magic displayed right on the surface.
After several happy hours with camera in hand, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the bright light, the wind and the strong sun. My inner voice was emphatic that I should get into some shade right away. Debra’s text had invited me to see the view from their patio, so I headed for their place. Instantly a farm truck fell in line behind me. And, yes, when I pulled into their drive, the truck swung around facing me and there were Jim and Debra! We had to laugh at the exquisite timing, the odds against any of this happening, and our wonder that it did.
So it is that when special moments of undeniable connection occur, it is a shared event, delighting all who are part of it.
I invite you to notice these moments in your own life, to celebrate and share them with others, nourishing our growing awareness that we are all part of each other.
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