The snow is slowly receding, a process that will be accelerated by the rain and seasonal temperatures expected during the next few days. Most days now are marked by well below freezing nights and sunny days with temperatures in the mid-forties, Fahrenheit. When the sun shines warm and bright, the sap is likely to flow generously.
The squirrels are mating, running willy-nilly, and paying little attention to anything but one another; this results in greatly increased mortality as predators, including cars, take a high toll. Sometimes there are disputes over potential partners or territory, other times the mating is frequent and apparently random; all this makes for engaging viewing for us humans.
We have arrived at the juncture when the sun has moved to the north side of the house in the afternoon, filling the downstairs with rainbows as its light passes through the crystals and prisms residing on our windowsills. In the morning the south side of the house is filled with shadow puppetry as the sunlight creates silhouettes on the walls.
Jennie has taken up residence in the studio where she is undertaking an enormous, remarkably well contained, sewing project. We move stacks of cloth from one place to another as needed, sometimes being stabbed by hidden hem pins in the process.
The other day we were asked to offer a ceremony for a person who had experienced a difficult time. As is very often the case, we felt remarkably fortunate to have been asked, and blessed to have been able to conduct ceremony. We were deeply aware that our role is to be the human face of a profound, iceberg-like, process involving many beings, in which we are the most visible, the very tip-top. Those who support us may remain largely invisible, yet without them our efforts would likely lead to little.
A bit later in the day, having arrived home, we noted that our usually quiet feeder was teeming with birds. This gathering of the winged people continued for some hours, culminating in a visitation by an entire flock of blackbirds, infrequent visitors to our feeders.
The timing of this event was striking. Over the years we have noticed that quite often birds or other animals visit us during, or immediately after, a healing ceremony. Once a buck and doe came conspicuously crashing along the top of our hill in the very midst of ceremony; this was particularly attention demanding as we seldom see deer, and almost never see bucks, and all present took the visitation as a blessing.
As the afternoon unwound, we found ourselves embraced by one, what Jung called “synchronicity”, after another. We have come to accept the ancient understanding that in our profoundly entangled, connected, universe no act of healing happens outside of a diverse community of caring. We are repeatedly reminded that we are most effective when we acknowledge the many realms of support that are available to all of us who ask, rather than becoming beguiled by our roles as healers.
A couple of the young people I know have chosen, or been chosen, to explore the path of becoming healers. They are engaged in learning many useful skills, and are frequently captivated by the results of their attempts to be helpful. I work hard to be supportive, reminding myself that forty years ago I was in that same place. I also quietly attempt to teach them that while techniques are useful, even important, the spirits and the world will likely teach them exactly what they need to know as they need to know it.
The task of the teacher, I suspect, is to subtly remind excited, sometimes awestruck or terrified, young people their job is to learn to work with the spirits on behalf of those who ask for aid, to suggest repeatedly that there are many beings who are wiser and more talented than us yet need our aid to bring about healing, to insist that healing is a joint endeavor. It is our task, I believe, to insist that, very often, healing arrives as the person or persons seeking our aid realize they are never alone, even as they may experience moments of overwhelming loneliness or feelings of abandonment. We are here to remind ourselves, our students, and those who seek our aid, that we are held by an immense community of beings, and by a force that we humans have named “love.”