Across the expansive plains of North Dakota, over the majestic mountains of Idaho, carried through the dewy air of Washington and Oregon, then down the sunny California coast, through the red rock of New Mexico, surviving the scorching heat of Oklahoma, Texas and the Carolinas, I now sit under a canopy of droopy tropical trees in Florida listening to the symphony of bugs and birds that chant in July's steamy sauna-like forest.
Rishi just drove away to look for food for dinner that we can cook on our camping stove, taking with him the van we have called home since the end of May, when we first left Toronto. More than my first US musical tour, this journey has been repeatedly a call to faith, to take bold leaps into the unknown, trust and expand to meet unforeseen possibilities.
During a recent meditation, I saw beneath me a bridge of light. I could not see it with plain sight, but in surrender, in openness, I trust, I saw it there, carrying my every step. Limited cell phone reception, intermittent Internet, bookings that spontaneously dissolve as others magically arise, we are being asked to live right here, right now and engage life fully.
By grace, all those who have come to my shows and workshops love the sharing. We have been asked to come back to every venue we have attended. I will also be performing at BhaktiFest in Joshua Tree, California (an invitation that came to us while on tour) the first week of September. So we will be on the road longer than anticipated.
I am now alone in a large campsite, sitting on the ground that has been freshly moistened by a typical mid summer afternoon downpour. No tent near me, no van to call home that carries all my gear that I hold dearly, I sit in the open air and become familiar with these raw surroundings. In the aloneness and quiet, I feel drawn to meditate and listen to the immense pulse of nature that is so vocal in this heat. Squirrels and geckos are coming close to check me out. Who is this girl who sits alone amongst us? Cicadas swell to answer: She is one of us.
I can see RVs in the distance that look like strange metallic beasts in this treed land, where long clusters of moss hang and sway in the breeze from thickly sculpted yet almost furry mossy branches. Lush leaves of deep green are drenched with the moisture in the air, seemingly relaxed in the heat.
An unexpected vulnerability has come over me, as I sit by myself. I feel tiny in a massive world, yet also more intimately connected now out in the open air to the planet, the mother herself. I pray and listen. There is an earthiness I find in simple living, that brings me to touch an honest frailty of being. It also empowers. Through surrender, I find love and feel immensely connected to it all.
It is from this place of surrender that I sing the new songs for my new fans on this US tour. It is from this place I am drawn to create. Is She, the Mother, not so immense, so vast, so potent, infinitely loving and compassionate? And all we need to do is open in stillness to find Her patiently waiting, right here, right now, wherever we may be.
The sun is going down and light fading in a cloudy sky. The pot of rice, that I am minding on the camping stove beside me, quietly cooks as I await Rishi's return. Time to close my eyes now, and rest in the precious moments of surrendered meditation...