I visit the Portland Japanese Garden often. In part because I am a volunteer garden guide. In part because it is such a beautiful place.
This morning, sitting at the Sand and Stone Garden trying desperately to connect to the sand and the stone, I had an epiphany.
Beyond the short wall which is the enclosure of this garden is a stand of trees. I’ve seen these trees every time I visit. This morning they reached out and lifted me into their broad embrace.
And in the moment of lifting, every time I ventured into a forest flashed through my awareness and through my sense of bodily-felt emotions when I’m in the forest.
And I realized the depth of connection I feel each and every time I enter a forest.
The deep awareness of being gently held. This is what the forest does for me. Holds me. Close.
And in the holding, I feel my connection with the boundlessness. My connection with all that is. In the close holding I am not limited, I am one with the vastness of all.
This morning, such a strong, present feeling. I was surprised, overwhelmed, taken both deeper within, and in connected step with all of this powerful boundlessness.
Deep emotion welled within my heart and deep gratitude for this insistent connection offered by the forest. Bringing awareness outside of time — yet fully anchored in this moment.
I felt the circle of trees which surround and holds this garden space. I felt their arms embrace me and lift me up to see beyond the concern of the moment.
I may be solitary, but I am part of a greater whole which has my back even if I don’t always recognize or acknowledge the attention, the love, the upliftment.
Everywhere I go is this connection which doesn’t trap or limit me. Instead it is the boundlessness lifting me to feel connection within and without.
In feeling this connection, I felt the sacred motion of All That Is. The uplifting, the ease of connection, the awareness of vastness, and that I am not small. Instead that I am worthy, sufficient to be a conscious heart within the vastness. I, too, am sacred. And my connection with all is sacred.
This morning my world expanded. The forest reminded me: in sacred connection, I am always gently held.