I want you to know me and what brought me here. We’ve all heard of callings and I don’t know if I believe in callings but I know I’ve been called and I don’t know how that makes sense but it does. It does. When you plant a seed everything that that plant is, is already there. Everything it could become. Growth isn’t changing it is about becoming what you have always, always been. This is my becoming.
I do not get along with summer. The heat turns my bodies equilibrium to chaos. Yet in the summer there is one thing that I do. I walk up to the lake and swim to the centre where I float. Stretched out and balanced in the surface of the water, I can lie as ages pass. Even in the green algae of the man made lake made over productive by the field run off. Even with the sun in my eyes that space is simplistic and still. You cannot float without trust. Trust your body will not sink. Trust your buoyancy and the nature of the waves. Trust the oxygen in your lungs to hold you up in a weightless state of suspension. Arms out, chest up, legs sometimes sinking under their own airless weight but not dragging you down; it is not easy to float. The water fills my ears so I cannot hear anything clearly and all that I can see is the sky making its way over my eyes and taking me through.
Look at an eye next to a supernova and then you will know you are the universe. When I was eighteen I started to read about evolutionary biology. I probably spent six months crying over images of the Tree of Life. It wasn’t till that moment that I realized how much I had felt out of place. But when I learned that I synthesise sugars the same way an oak tree does I couldn’t have felt more peace. I float in a world I belong to in every helix of my DNA.
My Mother used to tell me that life is a river. Sometimes you swim with the current. Sometimes you float. But if you spend the whole time trying to fight your way upstream all you’ll get is drowned. I’m anxious. I’m a fighter. Even though I know there is no peace in it. I’ve spent my whole life so far trying to figure out how to float the way I can in the lake and I still can’t get it sorted. Nine times out of ten I’m trying to swim against the current. I’m still focused on the tenth time. That’s the one that holds growth. That’s the one that reminds me of all the tiny, seemingly random pieces of my life that come together to create my worldview. Floating with no fear of the water underneath, for if you fear the water, you will sink in it.
I remember the igloo my Father made. It was on the farm that we moved to when I was three, back when winter was longer. It was one of those rare times when the snow turned perfect and it was possible to cut blocks from it. We spent the day cutting and dragging and making this igloo. I don’t know if it was actually as perfect as I remember it but it doesn’t matter. I remember the blue of the light that filled it when all seven of us huddled inside that night. I remember the short tunnel leading inside. I remember the snow.
The beautiful thing about nerve cells is that they allow us to feel. Giving the dimension of tactility to our worlds: cold, ice crystals turning to water on skin like they did inside the igloo when I took my mittens off; hugs, kisses, the brush of fingers; jagged edges of a leaf; the smoothness of a stone, or itchy wool, soft cotton, cool silk and hands through my hair, the tug at the root; tree bark, cat fur, heat, wind, rain, breath. Dendrites transmit electrical signals through our bodies to our brains, humming our world physical. That web of cells creates a whole and complete moment in me. As water closes me into a space of pure emotionality, sensation is another kind of purity. Pure physicality. Those cells, our nervous system opens us to this world. I try to live in these moments now. I try to feel with my fingers and palms, with my whole body. Build an awareness. Feel the water pulling me into the realization of all my seams. Every place the world becomes outside of myself.
In floating there can never be anything more to do than float. The water creates even pressure against your body, quieting your busy mind. If you flail about you’re swimming not floating. In that space of doing nothing it is possible to realize what everything is. That is the moment to see that you are everything. Elements, cells, electricity. Atoms making DNA, lying in a world you grew from, and will be recycled back into, with no need to live and no need to die. Nothing more or less than a startling, unique expression of stardust. Only then can we understand what it is to not just live a moment but to be a moment.
I am not in possession of a life. I am life. An expression of existence, of life and all that it has the capability of being: tortured, pained, ecstatic, euphoric, content. I am one of an infinity of chances. A chaotic, spinning infinity that will spin into more expressions than can be imagined by the billions of human expressions on our small blue planet in our remarkably unremarkable galaxy.
I am not in the business of significance. I don’t think humans are any bit more brilliant than any other species of flora or fauna. I don’t think there is a higher purpose, any grand scheme, better or worse place. I am part of a change. I am a grain of sand on a beach on the side of one ocean that will be something quite different some day. An ever moving directionless evolution, and that is more than enough. I float because it is the way that I remind myself of everything that makes up my equilibrium. I float for homeostasis. For balance. For space where I know everything and nothing at all, and I need only to float. I teeter and totter, sinking, struggling, taking in water. I drag myself down and claw back up. I suffer and love and break and bend. But the tenth time I float.
All I can say is I am becoming. Just becoming. Two years ago I made a covenant. With God, the Universe, the Great Love, the Devine, Light, Balance, Energy, Mother Earth, Life, Stardust. Whatever words you use. A covenant to learn, to believe, to put the pieces together. Every day I stand by that. I see the mystery in all of us. I learn, about saviours, veiling, Islam, Zoroastrianism, prayer, tarot, spirits, fairies, star seeds. I read scriptures, gospels, epics, songs, I celebrate holy days, I seek the history of symbols. I follow where the stories take me. I do this because it is part of my calling but I also do it because it deepens my own becoming. It helps me every day to fall in love. If I am not shaken to my core, I am not in love.
I have always felt called to ministry and that was part of me I let go of because I would never have sustained my integrity as part of one religion. Unitarian Universalism isn’t a religion, my spirit is a reflection of the heart of UUism and I believe the heart of the World. This is the love I have been waiting for.
I made a covenant years ago to believe in the mystery of the Universe. To lean into it. To meet it with open arms. I am starshook. That is why I am called. Called to love, to learn, to become. To serve. I will meet that call in whatever path is shown.