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Shared Teachings: In the wood


Mallard, it hurt to witness your wounded aloneness.

I sought to help you, rescue you, but by isolating yourself on the frozen waters, you removed my options. I retreated, understanding that nature’s plot excluded me. Alone, you followed your dharma.

Days later, your relative expanded upon your teachings. Now, Heron lies face down, atop the log jammed debris behind the canal lock gates. With a heavy heart, I recognize you heron, motionlessly crashed amidst the refuse. And yet, there is something about your eye.

Balancing atop the floating debris, my daughter maneuvered to respectfully release you from being assimilated into the riffraff. You flinched, then blinked. Shocked and grateful, we attempted a rescue.

You had laid face down in the muck for God knows how long, dying a slow winter, death. Cradling you, we struggled to retrieve you from your frozen demise. Despite our love and effort, we were unable to release you from what had already been set in motion. Our love would not be your rescue.

Once gone, your feather continued to vibrate suggesting that the life force exists in multiple dimensions. Spirit crosses where form may not. It is a continuum extending beyond the physical.

Heron has always held the teachings of the individual’s unique path, simultaneously moving forward while honoring your point of origin. You roost with others, yet stand in your own solitude.

We each have our own divinely programmed path, our soul contract to fulfill, extending beyond the physical world. Our souls formed a pact or a covenant with Spirit, agreeing to a journey to further our spiritual evolution.

As humans we are endowed with free will, and challenged to choose between light and dark, choosing to grow in love or default to less. We can share, support and love each other, but ultimately it is a solitary life passage, generated by each soul’s covenant. No other being can change it. I have mine. You have yours.

Much like a woodworker who defers to the wood itself to prescribe its emergent form, so it is with our life path. It is predetermined within the grain of its original nature, as we are reliant upon our soul’s choices made long ago. As a woodcarver pulls an image from the shape lying within, we too, navigate a pathway which has been laid out and agreed upon for our spiritual growth. Our soul contract exists before we are manifested into human form. Our karmic soul contract is “in the wood.”

Patricia Walsh-Collins is a 40-year resident of Bucks County, with a 25-year career as a professional educator. She is creator and owner of Art of Spirit and Art of Spirit’s Earth School.