(The following was written years ago for a Creative Writing class I never quite got around to finishing. 🙂 )
I remember the day well. It was in early January, a Sunday morning; the air not chilling to the bone, but cold nonetheless. As I set foot out of the house that morning, bundled, I did so alone.
The catalyst for this morning journey was not merely exercise, although I was, in a sense, exercising the demons that were tormenting me. I had awakened with a heaviness upon me, as if someone was kneeling on my chest. Thoughts and questions had been swirling through my mind that weekend like the lifeless, lingering leaves of autumn dashing around the ground, seeking a final resting place. My two week vacation was coming to a close, and I couldn’t muster the desire to return. What was my alternative? What was my heart’s desire? My daughters had had other plans for the weekend. I really had hoped to see them more. I was stuck … alone … and there didn’t seem to be a soul in sight who could throw me a line. But through the blur of a dashing mind, I remembered something … I needed to break the cycle, and simply changing the scenery with a walk along the country road in front of my house seemed to be the answer.
My typical walk lasts about a half an hour and covers just over two miles, but I didn’t need more than a hundred yards or so before the prescription began to have its effect. I was simply setting my focus on relaxing, breathing, when a thought came to my mind with a quiet boldness, as if it was a bulb breaking forth from the cold ground, reaching for the warm sunlight of spring. You have allowed these thoughts to grow as you have set your focus upon an opportunity to regain a clarity of focus. The soul whispers that accompanied me were like a quiet friend, prodding my memory with vivid reminders of the thoughts that had enabled me to overcome adversity in the past. The joy remembered began to unfold like a familiar, fragrant flower … in my heart.
My thoughts turned to Daskalos (1), mystic/teacher who lived the entirety of his life on the island of Cyprus until his death in the mid-1980’s. The Magus of Strovolos, as he was known to others, offered me a new perspective on the notion of how important it is to attend to our thoughts, introducing me for the first time to “elementals.” He pointed to the fact that as we focus on the thoughts that come to our mind, we pour energy into them, and whether they be deemed good or bad, we can literally breathe life into them. They can become very real, and in like manner, have a real impact on our lives. From the moment I first read this, I could attest to its validity. I had experienced it. But, as is the case with all in fleshly garb, I don’t always practice what I “know.”
As my house came into sight, my spirit was soaring with the birds over the meadow. Those swirling thoughts of the weekend had settled, finding their resting place away from my heart, with the dying leaves of the season. The energy which had tempted them to life had turned to fuel for the adventure that lay before me.
But I’m reminded to continually guard my thoughts, fully aware that … as they are … so I am.