On one day we see a tortoise and stop to examine its detail. On another, we walk into the beauty across Turtle’s shell, letting the experience open us to new dimensions.
Peculiar things occur in dreams. Even more curious is how they probe through our layers. Dreams can draw us inside our protective shells to contemplate brave acts, and out again to engage the same world, differently.
It began with a hike through an arroyo near our house. As I followed the curved, dirt walls, my mind wandered to thoughts of Mother Earth’s generosity. Soon I reached a place where I settled in for meditative prayer.
There, Jesus met me in Dreamtime. He pointed to a cross and asked, “What do you see?” A feeling of unconditional love washed over me. Clearly, there was a theme to my day. First, Mother Earth and now Jesus, implying forgiveness and the laying down of one’s life.
My contemplation began with gratefulness, and then took a swift, personal turn. Did I have sufficient strength, or love, to give like they? Does anyone? I reflected on times that people had lived beyond themselves and wondered how deliberate acts, counter to our instinct for survival, nurture wholeness?
Letting go and permitting the other to win
Allowing things to fall apart, and then rebuilding them
Tolerating being broken, to find a more authentic self
Taking an exposed risk
Grieving lost hopes, trusting a better way for the collective whole
In my prayer dream, Jesus pointed to the cross and asked, “What do you see?” I did not sense that he wanted an answer as much as he wanted me to consider participation in the risen Christ.
How far could I extend forgiveness? How would I know when laying down my life for another was choosing life as opposed to demonstrating a false sense of humility?
Over the next few days, I asked several more questions. Repeatedly, I heard one reply, “Walk into the beauty.”