Friday, May 3, 2013

The Awakening

In the moment that one first attains consciousness after an incredible night of deep, restful sleep, all is possible. The day ahead is pure, unencumbered potential.

As if unaware that the world beckons, the body still breathes the slow, shallow breath of slumber, the heart dutifully, almost grudgingly, pushes life-sustaining blood out to the frontiers and lazily draws it back again. Too early for any physical afflictions to assert themselves, age is momentarily unacknowledged, a muscle is yet even to flinch.

The mind and the body have not yet rejoined each other...the mind floats free, untethered. This is the ethereal, ephemeral moment when earthly restrictions (physicality, responsibility, society, mortality) simply do NOT apply to one's fleeting, disembodied, euphoric reality. At no other time of life is one's soul more apparent or more available. This is the moment at which the soul communicates its intentions, aspires to its best self and maps its path.

Then, seemingly in reflex, the body "catches up". It hails the mind with that first deep breath; a surfeit of oxygen enriching the fuel, as if to say, "don't leave me behind!". The muscles tense and the blood flows in earnest bringing the fuel to every cell.

Stretch, revive.

Eyes demand focus.

The hibernation is over once more. Life begins anew. The engine hums, ready. The aches and pains of age, the realities of infirmity demand attention and consideration, compromising the ability to achieve.

Once they are rejoined, will the body follow the mind's dreamy vision of the day? Will the soul's aspirations be fulfilled? On those rare, ebullient days when the answer to both questions is "yes", life reveals itself to the fullest.

(NOTE: The struggle to survive and thrive under the veil of a life-threatening diagnosis pushed my father to the boundaries of his being. During his last three years with us, he and I connected in a way I would have never thought possible. It was truly "a miracle". I asked him once if there was ever a time when his mind was free of the awareness of his plight. He replied that sometimes, when he first woke....

In loving memory of my Dad; a great teacher, unaware.)

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