I traversed one of my favorite trails as I did my walkabout in the mountains today. Piedra Lisa literally means, “Beautiful place”. For me, it has become a meeting place with the Holy. I go there for my soul to lift off like angel wings when I feel too earth bound. It is a thin place—betwixt and between heaven and earth. It’s hard to describe the majestic peaks and sheer rock faces conspiring with the the myriad forest communities nestled among their supple and sharp lines. The exquisite colors of sand, green, clay, white, and pink shining faces of granite take my breath away every time. Pictures do not do justice to these eternal mountains. I long to visit them.
Today I pondered the longing that often afflicts me. Where does this longing come from? Always longing and reaching for something beyond the veil. It seems hardwired into my nature—longing for dreams and visions beyond what often feels like the restriction of gravity. I’ve been accused of being nonpractical, having defaulted to my longing at times, over what seems sensible.
John O’Donahue, the late Irish poet and priest writes in Eternal Echoes:
Longing is the voice of your soul, it constantly calls you to be fully present in your life, to live to the full the one life given to you. Rilke said to the young poet, “Live everything.” You are here on earth now, yet you forget so easily. You traveled a great distance to get here. The dream of your life has been dreamed from eternity. You belong within a great embrace that urges you to have the courage to honor the immensity that sleeps in your heart. When you learn to listen to and trust the wisdom of your soul’s longing, you will awaken to the invitation of graced belonging that inhabits the generous depths of your destiny. You will become aware of the miracle of presence within and around you.
I suppose it was this longing that called me out onto Piedra Lisa today. I was less aware of miracles and more conscious of the weights that I dragged along. Residual anxiety about dis-ease—my own and my loved ones. The fear of suffering, of insecurity, of the terrors of wars and rumors of wars, of the impending doom of a parched, overheated planet. Pictures of migrant children with no place to lay their sweet heads, despairing faces of homeless on street corners, my favorite backyard birds disappearing and the loneliness of elders. It is not that I have a corner on this gloom and doom. I know you all feel as I do, dear reader. You know intimately what is laid waste in these days, how it seems the imagination of humans has become very shrouded and curiosity is lost. How all of this brings us to our knees as we long for the Divine Light to shine through a crack. Just one small glimpse.
Though I didn’t wake up today saying, “Please, Longing, what is it you want me to be present to in my life,” I felt the seeds of Divine Longing like a stone in my belly as I walked. So I climbed over rocks and trudged along dusty trails. I huffed and puffed. I sat among the rocks. I listened to my longing. The feeling of being a creature trapped between heaven and earth, between responsibility of daily living and the muse of creativity, the burden of being a soul trapped in a body somedays. As a 60 year old woman, unexpectedly I find myself more heaven side these days with fewer years before me. Time feels precious.
My longing, as O’Donahue reminds me, is to not waste a moment of this wonder-full, awe inspiring moment in time while I do have life and breath. Not to let the importance of human love and connection pass me by as I mistakenly look to the sky for Divinity to be unleashed like shooting stars around me. Longing says, ” See Divine Presence in every moment. In the remarkable ability to move your body. To put your hands among millions of pulsing bees in a hive. See, smell, touch, feel, and taste a planet filled with wonders. Revel in hugs and kisses and tenderness. Relish sitting around a feast table with friends and family laden with abundance. This manifest reality is so superbly fertile and fecund! “
So, I will see try to see Longing as a worthy friend, not some pestering, annoying stranger.
It is not lost on me that we are squarely in the season of every spiritual tradition that celebrates light—including the Earth who offers us her twin companion of Solstice. Perhaps this Season that celebrates the longing for light will ignite your own longing. Hope against hope that an epiphany or divine spark will fall into our hungry hearts, greedy for light, and break open a beacon.
7 thoughts on “Longing”
I love your collage of photos, Anita. May you never lose your holy longing–tapping into the longing the Divine has for the world and you!
Thank you Em!
Your longing helps dispel some of my longing. The photographs are beautiful.
Thank you so much Patricia! I hope all is well in your corner of the world and you are still writing!
You’ve described “longing” so well! Your sharing of this inspires and pushes me to try to dig further and see how that can turn into something creative and life-giving. I find it so easy to settle for staying more on the surface (though it’s unsatisfying). Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I so appreciate your reply, Gwen. Wonderful to hear from you! I see you as a bulwark of creativity— always diving deeper—so it’s good to hear your kindred spirit in this Holy and fertile Longing…