Thursday, July 9, 2009
A Jewel Hidden
How I came across a woman praying in the forest, and what it could possibly mean.~
Deep in the heart of a southwest desert, far from any road, days from any human habitation there is a depression in the sandstone rock. The rock is blonde in color with hints of red. It is part of a vast wilderness of rock just like itself. Most of us would get lost here and die within a week’s time. No one has passed by here for decades. Perhaps centuries. It is an exposed and hidden place. A place sacred.
In the depression of this rock is a jewel hidden from the rest of the world. An element rare and abundant. It is a cupful of water. It teems with little specks of life, insignificant, almost not there unless you look. Each speck going about the business of being itself. Little do they know they exist in holy water.
This rock that holds a handful of water is not unique. There are other places like this, every now and again, throughout this hot and desolate desert. They too hold life in their hands. They too are a salvation waiting to be found. Hidden in a nook or cranny, hidden away and protected from the blazing sun.
I came across a woman praying in the woods. It was along a river in the mountains of Washington. I was looking for a box that had been secreted away. I suspect she was looking for something secreted away as well. I could not decide if her prayers were Buddhist or Muslim, though she her self I believe to be a convert to that mode of prayer. She looked like the woman next door or down the street. Rather plump and reaching middle age. Her gown spoke of her conversion, whatever it might be. It had a bit of a fortune tellers touch. I said hello and nodded as I walked by, and she did likewise. I did not linger not wanting to disturb. I questioned in my mind the legitimacy of her extra-cultural methods, though it certainly wasn’t my place to judge. I knew she was trying. Perhaps she had found. Certainly she had a proper idea. I wanted to question her about her methods and thoughts, but I knew it wasn’t the time or place. I wanted to watch to see what she did, but I knew that would be a vulgar intrusion.
I went on and found my box. When I returned she had left. Religion is a method of Man. Mine is a jewel in the desert. Hers, a prayer said in the forest. We each have our ways.