I was at a meeting at church tonight where we talked about abundance. The meeting started with a time of centering, during which we quieted ourselves and listened for our own heartbeat and focused on sounds outside the room. I could hear birds chirping just outside the window behind me. I imagined a nest with two or three babies. The chirps were high-pitched and a bit anxious, or maybe excited.
As I listened to a reading about abundance, with the sounds of the birds in the background, and my own heartbeat pounding a rhythm for my thoughts, my mind captured a memory of what abundance feels like to me. It was the memory of my first morning after leaving AM. Just 24 hours earlier, I had to leave the house in haste, taking with me only my briefcase and the clothes on my back. Later that evening a friend helped me retrieve some personal things, a few work clothes and papers and books, but not really even enough to fill the back seat of my car.
That night I fell asleep in the bed of my friends' son. In spite of the upheavel in my life, I slept peacefully for the first night in many months. When I awoke, I could hear the birds outside, the volume of their song increasing as the morning light cast out the darkness of the night. I got up, poured myself a cup of coffee, and went out to the front porch to listen to the birds and watch the sun rise. With a deep sense of peace and calm that I had not known for years, I sat on the porch, tears streaming down my face, and knew abundance, a richness to life that had escaped me all the time I tuned out what my heart was telling me was important so I could chase down what AM thought was important. With a deep awareness of my freedom, the chance to hear my own heart again, to truly listen to it and follow it, I knew in that moment I had everything I needed. I remember thinking, "I don't ever want to forget what this moment feels like." I paid careful attention to everything around me and in me, memorizing the feelings, the sights, the sounds, the smells.
My life is very full now. I've felt some fear creep in over the past few weeks, concern and worry that the richness of friendship and spiritual connection to the place and people here will vanish, that I could mess up and lose it all. I've found myself looking for something that would help me know I'm losing my grasp on the groundedness that nurtures the sense of abundance. I thought if I could just know what will be a sign that I'm out of balance, then I can know to move back toward those things that will help me regain my balance.
As I sat listening to the others in the group, while holding the memory of that morning on the front porch of my friends' house and feeling it again with the same intensity I felt that day, I knew in my heart what speaks to me of the abundance of my life. It's the sound of birdsong filling my house, waking me each morning, and breaking through during the day, sometimes even in the dark of night. As long as I can hear them, I'll know I have everything I need.