The alarm goes off at 4:20 a.m. My body shudders as my feet hit the carpet.
The first challenge is a three-mile walk. I say challenge because it's not what I feel like doing. The brisk morning sends chills through me, as my stiff legs slowly warm up. I've come to know this early morning world so well. Still dark, the next minutes will slowly give way to dawn. The stars begin to fade as the first phase of light barely shades the sky. Everything smells fresh as the night moisture lifts from the earth, cleansing the world of the residuals of yesterday. A few minutes into the experience, I am lost in poetic thoughts and overwhelmed by the feeling that life is so much more than the ‘to do list' that will consume me today.
A mile into the walk, I reach the park and leave the structured sidewalk as I move onto the softness of the grass. The light dew covers the ground and every step I take is recorded in it. I'm always confronted with one bike track running through the dew. Who is this person that's up so early? What are they thinking as they ride through this park? Are they passionate about their early morning journey? It's strange that I entertain such thoughts about this phantom individual. Maybe I'm resentful that I have to share this phenomenal morning with someone else. Or possibly I'm upset that they created tracks on my palette of the morning dew.
This early morning walk is so spiritual and the heightened awareness of all life fills me. In the beginning, I take the walk and somewhere in the middle, the walk takes me . . . and I feel connected to everything I encounter. Nothing goes unnoticed and everything overwhelms me with intensity. I walk halfway into the park and turn to look at the fresh footprints I made in the dew. It's as if I am part of the creation and connected to the Creator. This visual souvenir will quickly disappear when the sun begins to dry the earth.
Finally my pace grows slows as I gaze upward to breathe in the beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains. Pure majestic art of a Creator, that's unparalleled in powers and creativity. I am lost to this vision that will remain unmatched by anything else I encounter today. How can I hold on to this? I close my eyes and try to recall it. No mental picture can capture the essence of all that's before me. It's not just a vision, but an experience with dimensions, edges, highlights, depth, light variations, motion and most important, it's spiritual. Ah, yes, that's it . . . I'm a Spiritual Being having a spiritual experience. It's not about my ability to process it, surely it's beyond the human endowments of my mind. At this moment, I don't feel more or less than I did before, rather I feel full and complete. I feel connected, whole and so alive. Yielding to this spiritual moment, causes a paradigm shift in my relationship with everything. Some would say it's a mystical experience, but to do so simply frames this moment as something to ponder. Instead I claim the evidence of the transformation that has taken place. I'm now ready and excited to take on the day.