Just minutes after I almost missed my flight to Thunder Bay, where fourteen workshop participants await my arrival, I am compelled to pull out a pad and pen . . . I am suddenly so full of gratitude.
It’s not because I accidentally and inexplicably turned off my alarm clock last night and woke up a full hour past the time I had planned, to begin my trek across town to an airport to which I had never been; not because now I had to speed toward Mesa in traffic before sunup; not because I didn't know where to park; not because they refused to check my bag full of writing supplies at the ticket counter because my plane was already boarding; not because I had to pull my bag through security along with my heavily laden computer bag, wearing a heavy ski parka in the Phoenix warmth; not because at security I found an impossibly long line, which I stepped in front of trying not to make any unneeded eye-contact; not because when I handed my ID to the guard he said, “And you stepped in front of all these other waiting people, why?”
Not because he waived me through anyway, and not because the x-ray and screening line was long and slow, and not because I received a pat-down from an unattractive man that was a little too intimate after I forgot to take off my belt; not because I then ran through the airport with my boot laces untied, holding up my pants, lugging my computer bag and pulling my big green suitcase behind; not because I broke out in a hot sweat beneath my ski parka that I purposely did not pack so I would stay under the weight limit; and definitely not because in mid-stride I heard them call my name over the loudspeaker, perfectly pronounced, "John Deakyne, please report to gate one."
And not because terminal one just happened to be the one furthest away from where I started; not because in the end I made it to the plane just in time and the stewardess rushed me down the aisle with everyone staring at me with the look that asks, “What’s his story?” and not because after all this I found myself sweating and panting in my proper seat just before the plane backed out of its spot and headed toward Duluth.
I’m thankful that it all somehow worked out alright when at so many points it could have gone so wrong, but the sense of gratitude seems larger and more encompassing. I am consciously resting in some divine construction, a matrix of energetic lines and infinite connections and it feels like loving hands are holding and sheltering me.
I am aware of my connection to more and more remarkable souls and I see the circle of my soul family expanding like concentric circles from a stone dropped into still water. This grid of connection and the corresponding field of gratitude are independent of circumstances and survive even if I oversleep, or make a wrong turn and end up standing in the middle of the parking lot while my plane races down the runway without me. In that alternate reality everything is still in divine order and the field of gratitude is still available to me, but only if I choose it.
Everyday there are so many things that could go wrong that don’t, and every unwelcome circumstance adds another thread to the tapestry of our humanity, and every miss-step brings us haltingly closer to the perfection of this human construction.
Upcoming workshops and more about John's work: http://earthschoolforsouls.com/