We tend to see ourselves and our images reflected in ways that may or may not be accurate and true depictions of who we really are. But covering up our inadequacies doesn’t negate them or make them disappear. It is the realization that we can change who we are and even how we feel. Trouble doesn’t last always, and given time, it will pass you by. You can give up on life and at some point they will stop asking why. The trip just took you along, but you just couldn’t hear the song, that they sang about you throughout the day. According to the song, things just weren’t going your way.
I recently returned from the beautiful island of St. Lucia where I was immersed in tranquility. I looked and saw what my cousins were doing and replied “That looks like fun to me.” The volcano spewed hot molten minerals down in a stream, you know. They were bathing in sulfur water and I foolishly, but lovingly went along in tow. “Beckon, come on. This just what you need.” His St. Lucian accent blended with other dialects of the Caribbean all at once. I looked at him and he looked at me. “Come on cousin. I looked around, he shouted “You Shaba.” Did we meet on some other retreat where we had an occasion to greet?
I thought and put my ego way. I was in his sulfur pool and he could have his say. He called for me to have an experience, and I had to get comfortable with going outside of myself for it. With camera on hand and no kind of fan, it was hot you see. The water felt wonderful, and as it washed over the people, he wanted to cover me. Never sure of how much to endure of circumstance beyond my understanding of the day. Not having read about anybody dead, and people were happy covered in clay. I decided with my mind that I had to unwind and follow my cousin’s beck and call. And with that I dove into the practice of covering myself in sulfur first of all. He shouted, “You’ll feel 10 years younger and roar like thunder, and you’ll know what I mean. You and any person that puts this on will feel brand new.” I listened to what he had to say, his smile and his eyes looked a different way. He shared exactly where he had been and how I was his brother and friend. He began to coat my face and then I saw an image of me I couldn’t erase. And here we were at this pond you see … a place where I thought I would never be.
So when you come to that roaring day, and you wonder what it is you’re supposed to say, know what it’s like to be this way. We need to take the brakes off of our lives, and understand not everything has to be about strife. Perched on the side was a sister who looked angelic in her way. Like heaven was speaking to her in her head, not a word spoke, just an expression instead. She was speaking delightfully to me, and I took out my camera and captured that moment in sulfur, you see.
No it wasn‘t youth that she needed you see, she was obviously with her own special brand of energy.
This was a supreme delight, a wonderful vision, an angelic sight. It was like she was wearing a crown on her head, and her ego was not designer bred. She had removed the brakes and was free of herself.
I would ask you to just look at the picture, too. Look deep in her eyes of gray and blue. See what you can immerse yourself in that gives you shine every day. Something that will rub trouble and confusion way. Find it in music or scripture or people, or even something inside. You can look to the heavens and see the beauty in you. Or meditate and let the silence speak to you. And recognize how special you are each and every day.
Eventually, she had to wash it off.
Peace. –Munson Steed