NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

Tending the Spark

May 15, 2017

 

"Rather than the need to heroically save the whole world, the real work of humanity at this time may be

to awaken the unique spark and inner resiliency

of genius within each person."

- Michael Meade

 

I was sitting in my orange desk chair adding a few paragraphs to The Book of Calm before one more editing deadline closed, the door opened to a warm spring day, the breeze adding freshness to the air and my somewhat foggy brain. A loud caw-caw-caw suddenly filled the room and drew me outside. A large crow balanced on the tip of a twenty-foot bamboo stalk, squawking at me for a good half-minute before it flew off of its swaying perch.

 

In the Native American tradition a visitation by Crow is a call to speak up about what you feel is “out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust . . . to allow your personal integrity to be your guide . . . to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.”* After Crow flew off, I found my energy had changed—I was more directed, inspired, and present with my writing. Perhaps more importantly, my original intentions that led me to this writing suddenly bubbled up, filled with a momentous sense of joy.

 

A few days later the word “tend” began to dance through my mind. To tend to something or someone is to “direct one’s mind or energies; to stretch toward; to be in attendance; to move in a certain direction; to hold a course.” And so I am led once again to remember—to write about that particular windy day while sitting in my orange chair hearing the caw-caw-caw of Crow, and recall how I was tending to myself, to the book, to the spark that Michael Meade urges us to embody.

 

For to tend to our spark, our resiliency, our unique and specific genius, is paramount. As we tend our spark, its heat and aliveness radiates outward and other sparks are fanned out of smoldering concealment—into the brilliant light of many transformed selves and a transformed world.

 

* From Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, by Jamie Sams and David Carson, 1988.

 

 

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Calming Practice: Contemplate the Miraculous

 

“A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.”

― Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

 

Consider the miracles of your life:

How have you reached this moment of time?

Who or what event happened to come along and turn you toward

the people and places and synchronicities that nurture and support you now?

Breathe in the grace, breathe out the doubts. 

Breathe in the grace . . .

 

 

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