By Cecille Swayneson
I’ll always remember the first time I stepped into the heartbeat of the universe. The opportunity presented itself while I was living at King Edward Road in Jamaica, West Indies. There were many ‘things’ about our house and ‘yard’ which was special. The cool, sprawling wooden house imbued with some kind of mysterious quality and the archaic design was formidable like a wise unwavering eye.
One special accessory within the yard, was a swing made of thick beige rope which supported a substantial smooth, worn wooden seat; Atop the swing, perched on sprawling sturdy branches was a make-shift treehouse devoid of walls: the house was a wide square wood tucked securely within the elbows of four branches, this was where I spent hours reading. The leaves served as enclosure. Dreamy days were spent swinging back and forth, flying high; gazing at sky and landscape, breeze blowing against my skin…for whatever reason, my sisters and brother weren’t interested in the swing or treehouse. This was my heaven on earth.
I have no idea why nature decided to open its mysterious ways to me that day, but open it did.
It was mid morning as I walked through the silent shaded rooms and onto the shiny black marble verandah; I stood looking upon the front yard, taking in the high green hedge against the crisp, caribbean-blue backdrop. The clouds were swept clear. It was a glorious morning and all was still and beautiful. Down the black steps I descended, once my feet touched the solid surface of dirt, I was no longer earth bound. I had stepped into a single, vibration. Every solitary thing was still. Time as I knew it had stopped. The only thing which hadn’t stopped was the heartbeat. The universal heartbeat. And I and everything in that yard was one. My heart was a collaboration of the trees, breeze, grass, dirt, clouds; vibrating as they did. No longer a separate entity. “From earth we came and so shall we return.” Never were such words truer. My feet were rooted to the earth and yet I was weightless. My head danced upwards and merged into sky, expanding outwards, rolling into infinity, and I could see forever and there were no dividing lines. All had merged, beating in time and I felt like they felt, stupendous. I had expanded, contracted, and became one. And one was everything on earth.”God is good, God is great.” I heard a voice whispering, felt words slipping from my mouth, heard rustling of leaves, sun on my face, releasing me from a most profound mystical enchantment. Even though ten years old, I knew I had been gifted by the universe. If ever there was a secret to be held until time, this was it. And I marveled at my experience. Many years later I spoke about this journey to someone I met once at a function.
Yesterday, I ‘happened’ upon the post below by Louie Schwartzberg. I was rendered to tears, so profoundly moved was I by the story he shared. I believe we all know the truth of life is found in the beauty that surrounds and dwells within us. Our contribution is to recognize with grace the extraordinary mistaken for the ordinary. Gratitude toward self and others is mandatory. Gestures of kindness are priceless and always welcomed. Go ahead sign up for the ride.