Some ideas simply arrive fully formulated, coming out of nowhere, with no clues, no warning, and the first thing you know about them is when they come out of your mouth. Such was the whole stepping stones scenario.
Inside I am shaking my head at the ridiculousness of the idea. It is idiotic, dangerous… foolhardy as one of my companions put it… but then, the spiritual journey has always been that of the Fool.
We had been there before of course, the day we three had spent up on the moors, working together as three. That time I had simply shown the river crossing to my companions and they, being male, had waltzed off blithely across them. I myself haven’t crossed them in years. They are not so very bad, of course, but I do have little short legs and the gaps are wide; the stones can be slippery and many are worn and uneven in height and breadth, in places uncomfortably so. The river runs fast here too. The child had no qualms, the woman saw potential danger and avoided it.
The evening had been spent largely in the garden of the hotel watching the clouded skies; someone had told the staff the Northern Lights might be visible and that was simply too good a chance to pass up. We had spoken of fear and the way it rules so many aspects of our lives, and of trust… that greater trust we can find that the Universe knows what it is about and how, even from the darker times, great lessons can be learned. That, I suppose, is where the idea emerged from, bubbling out of my lips as if I had no control over them. This too is a matter of trust… sometimes you just ‘know’ and have to go with that, without necessarily understanding all the details.
I wish! No, I was deadly serious. Granted, there is no way I would subject anyone else to this kind of apparent lunacy, but some things are ‘given’ and have a purpose that may be beyond vision… which seemed an entirely appropriate thought as I closed my eyes and tied the scarf tightly around them, ready for my companions to lead me across the stepping stones. At that moment fear had me by the proverbials, but that is no reason to turn away. I trust these two men with whom I Work absolutely… I would trust them with anything and do. We have launched into what is, undeniably, a life changing venture that fills every waking moment on one level or another, taking time and anything else it requires. And since the inception of the School this is how we have worked… in trust.
None of us, I think, had analysed in advance what we were doing. It is only afterwards that the whole picture begins to form and there are some complex psychological and spiritual nuances at play. For myself I simply expected to be scared, but the moment the blindfold was on I was utterly calm… an almost meditative state descended where all I needed to do was surrender to the guidance of hand and voice and feel the balance of the world through my feet. There simply was no fear, only the moment. There was no consciousness of any sound except the rushing of swift water and the guiding voice, but the knowledge of presence was absolute. In surrendering my will to trust, the responsibility for movement across the river was no longer mine, my own responsibility lay in obedience to another voice than that of my own inner chatter in order to ensure the safety of all of us.
Stuart came behind, though I was not aware that he would, I could feel him there… not through touch or sound or any other physical indication, I just felt his strength behind me. That another of our companions had joined us I had no idea. Steve took the brunt of the burden, guiding my steps with his voice and was magnificent. His initial concern was based on my obvious reactions; he wanted me to be able to succeed and lent his strength as a gift; yet by this time I knew that little of this was about me, or indeed any one of us, and there was no fear. We three are a team and together we can do things none of us could, or perhaps would do alone. Our individual strengths and weaknesses complement each other, and each of us brings a unique perspective to the work.
This crossing of the river was symbolic in many ways, while on one side the waters ran calm and seemingly still, the other swirled and bubbled, running swift and deep. Together we crossed, trusting each other, we ourselves the bridge, it seemed, that gave us passage.
Fear was addressed in many ways over the course of the weekend, with one of our number conquering her own deep fear of heights and her doubts of her own capabilities, facing them with courage and determination, trusting herself. No-one had forced anything upon her; she had chosen to face fear and emerged triumphant. Trust, too was addressed, gently and naturally, as each learned to trust the others with their inner thoughts and found friendship, shared laughter and tears, opening to the gifts the moment brought to each.
As we brought in the harvest of being the seeds of future harvests were planted. Of such things is magic made.