As a child in less than ideal circumstances, life was filled with dread and despair. Yet I always felt I had an invisible confidant in a faceless Creator – a sort of tabula rasa onto whom I could project all my love and hate; all the repressed passions I could not otherwise safely express in a world of chaotic uncertainties.

As I grew into adulthood with more than my share of unanswered existential inquiries, the one constant that brought me again and again into alignment with the only stable sort of inner calm I have ever known was my forays into the wilds of the world. It was and is there that I discover complete acceptance – blessings and beauty always exceeding expectation. It was and is there I return, again and again, for solace and comfort and the deep awareness that I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars [who has] a right to be here (The Desiderada).

Where is God to be discovered for us mere mortals if not right here and now, wherever we may be? To be doomed solely to imagine the numinous is a fundamentalist punishment I have long since cast off as a snake sheds its skin, leaving a hollow ghost body behind. Not in any way meant to diminish The Mystery that confounds even the most ardent quantum physicist or cleric, my forays into nature infuse me with grace in ways both profound and sacred, insuring my place in the scheme of things. The interplay of light and shadow; the fathomless eyes of wild creatures; the miracle of each leaf and petal draw me into a dance with life, itself. If repeated on a regular basis, a divine dispensation imprints itself on my very being, much like placing small hands into setting concrete. It is an imprint that is not easily removed, once fully cured.


All images taken on the Mana Road of the Big Island of Hawaii – copyright 2012 by Bela Johnson

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