Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Reminiscing brings a memory forward from years ago, one that I cherish to this day.


    Mom belonged to a group of women affectionately known as the Eufaula 8. They were all middle-aged and belonged to our local Methodist Church. Being together for over twenty years had given them the perspective of time and wisdom. Meeting at least once a week in one home or another, they shared experiences of friends and family, never formally, but always lovingly. I wondered what they discussed and when asked, received the cryptic answer, "Whatever happens to fall out of the sky".
Learning this during one of our regular Saturday conversations, it slid to the back of my mind.  I lived 90 miles away, going home for holidays and special family weekends, so Mom and I kept in touch by phone.
One Saturday morning, I rose early, made my coffee, and left for the local church where our choir was to give a concert. Upon my arrival, I discovered the air conditioner wasn't working. It was the middle of June, one of those early heated days that takes your breath away, promising more to come with its suddenness.
Not able to escape, I was miserable. Also, having to sit on a narrow windowsill in one of the church windows didn't help. I was becoming increasingly agitated with each passing moment.
  Suddenly, I found myself on a cool forest path, looking around in amazement.  The trees formed a canopy overhead, and the sunlight played through the leaves. I delighted in the sounds and smells I loved… the smoky scent of the leaves under my feet, the many shades of green, and the clear, fresh air, but how did I get there?
Remembering the years I played in the woods brought sweet memories of running through the streams, chasing jackrabbits, and climbing trees. Always loving nature, I was mesmerized and calmed by all that surrounded me. The shade provided relief from my overheated state, and the varieties of trees and shrubs took my focus far from my former discomfort.
Something drew me further down the path, through the cool green. As I walked, the chirping of birds accompanied my journey, bringing a sense of joy. Forgotten was the church, the heat, and the day. Nothing except the peace of the forest was with me.
The path led to a shady pool surrounded by trees and bushes. A huge rock covered with moss was at one end with smaller rocks nearby. The small pool seemed inviting, although I couldn’t see below the surface. Walking closer, there was a moment of transition, and I found myself in the water, sinking in the warmth, with the sunlight filtering through. It was the most beautiful feeling I have ever experienced...perfect peace. I felt a presence holding me, and couldn’t help but smile in thankfulness. Closing my eyes, I gave in to the loving and care, not wanting it to end.
 Gradually, the feeling faded, and I was back in church, sitting in the same window, no longer agitated, hot, or hurting. I looked over the faces in the crowd, some familiar, most not. Who had given me this perspective, this gift of calm and peace? I received no affirmation, no acknowledgement.
    I couldn't wait to get to the phone to mom and our usual Saturday morning conversation. As I related the events, she remained silent, making no comment. When I had completed my wondrous revelation, she uttered five words that would have an effect on me for many years...."I'll be damned, it works".
    There was a moment of silence from both of us. I think I was the first to speak, asking mom what she meant. With a slight chuckle, she told me that she and her group had created a 'soul pool' in which they placed their children and the people on their prayer list each morning, the same time that corresponded to my sitting on the windowsill. Done faithfully for years, this was the first affirmation of their efforts. I had described the pool and surrounding woods, down to the smallest detail.
As we continued talking, we remembered our many conversations through the years, those of our shared belief in a loving presence, one that encompasses us all, regardless of individual differences. She and I had a psychic connection that waned when my son was born. The soul pool, however, remains vivid to this day, a testament to her unending spirit, her quest for knowledge, and her belief in a rewarding hereafter.