There is something about throwing my head back and looking up towards the sky that gives me goose bumps.
Maybe it is the momentary thrill of tearing my eyes away from the path before me, and trusting that I won’t trip and fall flat on my face.
Maybe it is because of the excitement that accompanies looking up at the unknown, waiting above me.
Maybe it is the hope of seeing beauty reflected back at me by the blue expanse.
Maybe it is the anticipation of relief, as I let my shoulders drop in repose out of their determined stance.
Or maybe it is simply a combination of all these things that gives me goose bumps every time I look up.
T h e H a m s t e r W h e e l
Sometimes my life feels like it is galloping full speed ahead and I am barely hanging onto the reins. It is dashing around in a flurry of things and people to tend to, appointments to make and deadlines to meet. As I race around to get things done, I am always one step behind as I think about the future. Sometimes I get stuck in thoughts of the past. In any case, the present moment seems to elude me. And I feel like the hamster on the wheel.
There is something about throwing my head back and looking up towards the sky as I circle the hamster wheel, that makes me feel like someone has just dumped a refreshing bucket of cold water on my head—suddenly my eyes are open and I am wide awake.
What I do know for sure is that when I throw my head back to look up into the vast expanse before me, this simple act gets me to my center – a place of balance and peace, for I am bound to see something lovely, unexpected, and even magical every time.
C o m f o r t
Once, years ago, I looked up to the sky in sorrow and anguish. In my anguish I was startled as shimmering leaves of silver and gold fluttered against a backdrop of indigo sky. They appeared to be waving or acknowledging my pain, and I noticed how I felt immediately comforted by their recognition. I began to look up frequently during this time, and found myself eagerly greeting and appreciating the shimmering tree leaves as they seemed to flow their love back to me a thousand fold. Sometimes they appeared to dance with the clouds, beckoning me to join in. I always felt better afterwards.
C o n t i n u i t y
Another day, walking the dogs, I saw the most magnificent sight as I leaned my head back to enjoy the big sky. I stopped in my tracks to the disappointment of the pulling pooches. Thousands of silky parachutes floated overhead. As I looked into the infinite blue, I could see silvery webs dancing on the wind a mile high. It was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen. The strong thick webs of spiders, most likely black widows, carrying the egg sacks of their unborn, to land where ever the wind ushered them. There was a greater meaning in this migration that was speaking to me about trust, inherent freedom, the continuity of life, the oneness, beauty and perfection of all things.
C o n n e c t i o n
Most recently, I stepped out into a meadow. White wispy, puffy, fine cotton-like seedlings floated as if in slow motion all around. I felt as if time instantly had come to a standstill. The depth of the sky became enormously real to me as I looked up and could see thousands of these seedlings dotting the sky. Each seedling slowly rotated, this way and that, some floating and attaching to other seedlings becoming clumps together and then wafting away from each other. They were totally unique individuals, yet all an integral part of the whole of this process they were a part of.
For me, this simple act of looking up, no matter where I am in my day, is a way for me to instantly come back out of my thoughts right to the wonder and clarity of the present moment.
Here, whether it is amidst shimmering leaves, cauliflower clouds, traveling spider webs or magical seedlings, time stops and the hamster wheel vanishes.
Here I reconnect to my greater self, the mystical core of all things and all beings.
Here I am comforted in my human heartaches.
Here I understand the continuity and perfection of all life.
Here I remember that we are all one.
No wonder I get goose bumps.