A number of propitious influences are converging to find me happily writing another contemplation, still willing to attempt yet again giving form to realities increasingly formless.
Only a couple of hours ago, as I went outside to turn off the electricity to my room for the night, I was surprised to see unanticipated lightning illuminating the horizon far to our north. Bright and frequent, it nonetheless seemed pretty remote, and since weather rarely approaches us from that direction—especially at this hour—I smiled with faint envy of those receiving more rain in this early June of a year predicted to be drought-stricken in the Southwest. So, even though I could just barely hear distant thunder, I wasn’t inclined to entertain the possibility of rain on our recently bathed, but still thirsty roofs.
As you may know, our water system is entirely dependent on rainwater. Well water hasn’t tainted our pipes for over fifteen years. For months, predictions of local precipitation have been so dour that Sue chose to abstain from attempting another fabulous Swanback garden this year, limiting herself instead to a modest couple of very happy patches of garlic. Not ordinary garlic, however.
Last year, yet another aspect of Sue’s delightful unfoldment revealed itself as she dove headlong into the opportunity to satisfy a seemingly irrepressible desire to be a farmer. After decades of drudgery at the keyboard of that most thoroughly and exhaustingly mental discipline of the software engineer, she has, over recent years, progressively ventured into one expression after another of trying to coax the rich life of a devoted agrarian from the dry, prickly, unyielding New Mexico highlands. Ducks, orchids, chickens, dogs, horses, and gardening—all on a small piece of the planet not especially suited to such endeavors.
Having now entered the second year since she boldly and courageously quit her last job, she currently does an admirable job of transporting beyond the disappointment I’m sure her heart feels at not being able to so exuberantly and successfully fling her recently unleashed energy into creating yet another remarkably prolific garden. After all, she learned so much last year, feeding a momentum that so much wants to express itself in higher forms yet!
Watching the joy and enthusiasm of last year’s ‘labor’ was a clear reflection of Sue’s increasingly rich inner life—something which simply cannot be concealed. For me, one of the wide-eyed recipients of this lush atmosphere, enjoying her loving presence far exceeds the staggering bounties she brought to the table last year. Wonder continues to be my daily experience, even—or especially—when it doesn’t go as planned.
So, tonight, after drifting off with barely conscious matrices for more water swirling around my ethers like moths around a candle, I couldn’t help eventually becoming aware of a soft, gentle, but insistent rain tapping on my skylight and the awnings which have transformed the parched western side of our house into habitable spaces. That luxurious sound grew to a generous, harmonious flow, accompanied by rich, equally feminine thunder, which has now fallen steadily for over an hour and a half. Another, simultaneous Sound, far more pervasive, quickly nudged me upright to meet its invitation to celebrate this midnight surprise in the context of the contemplation you’re now reading. This lovely gift will undoubtedly bring the level of our rain water close to kissing the sweet, wet lids of its tanks, as well as filling the tank that supports the bird baño, fed by a bamboo gutter under the edge of Sue’s awning.
If all this somehow sounds like a simple-minded appreciation of a wondrous life in every moment we’re aware of it, then maybe I’ve been successful, in degree, in conveying what life under the wing of the Master and His inestimable Sound Current is like—to the point of just barely being able to stand it. Such is the love of the Master.
Unsurprisingly—and certainly not coincidentally—this particular now will momentarily culminate in yet another, life-changing seminar with Him. But, unlike typical finales, there will be no slack following this culmination—only continued acceleration. This is the nature of Shabda. It is never static, and has a singular intention—to see the aspiring soul of the student to its own realization, and onward. Expediently, effectively, and finally.
As always, this seminar has been manifesting on the inner for weeks preceding its physical manifestation—as all aspects of experience must. And, yes, it’s been intense. But the beauty of its intensity, and our grateful acceptance of it leaves us now thoroughly in alignment with absorption, in head-shaking, delirious bliss, into His divine outer message in the eternity of that coming moment. Ironically, His message and His mission are always the same, uncannily expressed—as only divine expression can, will, and does—in miraculously new, fresh, and previously unimagined ways, enlivening the soul with stronger awareness of a truth known only through His unfailing love.
I could write a lifetime of books attempting to describe living these weeks, these decades, on a journey not even close to being complete. As an irreconcilably dual concept, ‘completion’ doesn’t even exist in the higher worlds.
And, as a physical backdrop to this series of revelations on the ultimate journey, Sue’s magical ferns and other living recipients of her selfless love will continue to joyously express their gratitude for this proximity to the Shabda, as well.
But, as far as a garden, I expect this year’s manifestation to be condensed into those garlic patches. If the heavenly and previously untasted nuance of flavor of the few planting bulbs we sampled last fall comes through at harvest, we will simply smile in wonder at its flavor—which thoroughly redefined garlic for us.
Does praising garlic in the same breath as a current Living Master offend—or bring a smile? Morality, or a divine perspective?
Numerous lifetimes would be required to simply describe the wonder of relentless unfoldment Sue and I have been graced to share in just these brief twenty years. For two karmatically linked individuals, each treading their own unique path to liberation, to be able to both flourish on their own, yet simultaneously support the other’s specific steps in genuine love, rather than attachment—for decades—is a miracle facilitated only by a true Godman. Fortunately, describing it is only a momentary expression of appreciation for its unfathomable and still-to-be-revealed depth.
It’s stopped raining now, and through my window, an orange crescent of moon climbs the ponderosas—perfect time to go further in and absorb the richness.
Reflection after reflection, after reflection—all pointing back to the undeniable reality that the consciousness of Tom and Dorothy’s lovely daughter is whole-heartedly being morphed into the likeness of its Creator.
Postscript: June 6th, 2021
Two days and three satsangs later, two glowing chelas begin moving around to find acceptable venues through which to re-enter the physical. From my bedroom window, I see one of them walking in her seminar outfit out to the garlic patch. She pauses for a moment, bends from the hips, as if bowing for a closer look, reminiscent of our Master watching over His beloved devotees, then quickly turns and bounces excitedly back to the house.
I already know what she wants to tell me: eagerly awaited scapes have appeared on the tips of the garlic! After sharing the news, she goes back out with scissors and a pint of water. The scapes must be trimmed off to force growth back into the underground bulbs. A strong foundation is a necessity in the Light and Sound Teachings—for chelas and garlic alike.
And the scapes became a wonderful contribution to our breakfast.
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