I was a dove.
A white dove flying through a dark valley on the edge of my memory. The silhouette of my past abruptly ended with the light of the horizon of my future.
My journey was from the narrow shadow land towards the blue sky of my freedom.
I flew. That is all I ever knew how to do. My flying was like your walking. But I had to fly, I could not walk.
All I had to do to fly was breathe. With every breath I stayed aloft another time. That’s all it took.
First there was hardly any light at all as the valley walls towered above me and I was dwarfed by their rugged strength and enormous presence.
Beyond, it seemed, was more darkness with faint lights so distant I feared never to touch them.
As I sat and watched I remembered a time gone by that was even darker than no lights or sunshine.
I felt the break of dawn.
A clear line was emerging between my past and the present, unfolding with every breath.
My spirit lifted. My soul prepared for flight. My body breathed a deep breath and floated into nothing.
Slowly, the little dot that I was, gained height and I flew in the ‘V’ of the valley towards a light that magically attracted me.
I knew not what was beyond the ‘V’ but light, and the only way to get there was for me to fly.
I took a deep breath of imagination and cleared the rim of the valley into the blue nothing.
Suddenly there were no walls, no cliffs and no more ‘V’ that I had to carefully navigate in.
For the first time I could fly unobstructed as I left the valley behind.
I filled my head with golden views. I breathed the air of infinite beauty. I soared and dived and tumbled. I floated, rose and merged with all of nothing.
I knew suddenly that my breath was everywhere and I was in every breath.
We can’t see the air. It’s ‘nothing’ to most of us, besides air. We become aware of it when we become conscious of our breath. That happens seldom. We gulp for air when we run out of air and then realise how utterly important and necessary it is. During meditation a great practice is to focus on the breathing of air. Slowly breathe in filling your lungs, over say about five seconds, hold the breath gently while the word ‘Aum’ forms in your mind and breathe out again for five seconds. That focus alone quietens the mind. We now become aware of the flow of air. At the same time if you practice a little you could associate a picture, a word and a feeling with that process of breathing. You could imagine a movie screen in your head showing those desired pictures and it could happen to the rythm of the breathing, unobtrusively. The thing about air is that it flows like water flows and surrounds us too.
We are critically aware of the air-flow when we fly close to mountains. That’s where up-drafts or waterfall-like down-drafts occur that affect our stability in the air. Air flows like water. Air is fluid. Obstructing it creates barriers causing detours that change the unhindered flow. It will still flow, but obviously not as easy. If we now associate well-being with air we will be inclined to want it to flow as natural and unobstructed as possible and stay with us. Why? Well, let’s have as much well-being as we can. Let’s have the air flow around us comfortably. Let it flow through our home peacefully and not zoom in and out like through a jet. Let the air be fresh and rich. Let’s view it as the bringer of energy and health and wealth.
I love air. It’s my medium and while I am not a bird I often wish to be able to become one at will. Imagine being a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. Imagine being a swallow or a Gymnogene.