The Next Invitation

In the best childhood stories, magic begins with an invitation: a crisp envelope sealed with red wax, delivered by owl. A mysterious doorway slanting green-gold summer light onto dull asphalt.

But in everyday story, fascination forms the doorway. Maybe a bird lands on a fountain and catches your attention, shakes your thoughts from your to-do list. You stop to watch… and in the stillness that follows, you step out of time.

In stillness, you can see the subtle motion that’s always around you: the breeze on the leaves, on the grass, ruffling fur and feathers, brushing the fine hair on your arms.

If you stay long enough, your awareness sweeps out low and fast on silent wings. Hawks and honeybees and ants and spiders appear as though out of nowhere, each on their own paths. You feel your own breath, your beating heart, the sunlight shining down on all of you, drawing you into a larger pattern.

Maybe this is why the first human fell to her knees to pray: to be in more intimate contact with these intricacies, with the dirt-level details of God.

In moments like these, I know my calling: to step out of time, out of story, out into service and magic, gaze cast wide across the Earth to see and feel and belong to everything.

And just like that, the bird I’m watching accepts me and relaxes. The trees remember me and are delighted. And I’m simply, thoroughly anchored in it, like I’ve gone home.

It lasts a split-second before my ego jumps up to ask, "Have I done it? Do I get to be enlightened now?" and the startled bird explodes into flight.

It's OK. I'll get another invitation tomorrow.