Two nights ago i went for a walk because i could not sleep. Severe congestion in my lungs was causing me to go into uncontrollable coughing and wheezing every time i laid down. i felt like a walk would help me move some of the congestion, and at the very least, move my body for some exercise if i was not going to be able to sleep.
As i walked down the road, numerous locals, who know me or know “of” me (apparently this white girl got a reputation started by some rumors that are quite laughable) were calling out to me to come talk to them. Only problem, I had no voice. The severe congestion, sinus infection, and coughing all conspired to take my voice away. So i just waved and continued on my journey.
i have been loving the silence imposed by my loss of voice. i so enjoy the space of no words, only being. i am actually naturally designed as an introvert which surprises so many people because i am known so much as a public figure. It is part of why i started blogging. Felt like a way i could continue to share messages that might (or might not) be helpful to people without my needing to be actually in person all the time.
As i walked down the road, the evening was playing its nightly symphony of crickets, frogs, and other sounds that i am not completely clear on, but love. The bright and magnificent moon was playing hide and seek with big, billowy clouds blowing through on the gentle breeze–remnant from the storm that had blown through earlier. The night felt so alive and magical.
As i rounded a bend on the road, i startled a kitten that was crossing. It is rare here to see cats. It is mostly dogs, and sadly most are not faring so well– mal-nourished and mangy and often abused. So to see a kitten was a real treat. It was mostly white with what appeared to be a bit of mottled other hues, so it stood out in the otherwise very dark road. i stopped, bent down, and called out to it to see if i could give it some love and affection. It was too skittish, an obviously feral cat, so it ran away. It stopped on the other side of the road, i stayed where i was and called out to it again, trying to encourage it to come to me. It hesitated, but then scampered further away. In that instance, i saw a flash of a vision of the kitty being hit by a car. i cooed and called out to the kitten, trying everything i knew to get it to let me come near it. i knew that i had to get this animal and find it a safe and loving place to call home. Unfortunately, no matter what i tried, including just staying still for a very long time and inviting it with my thoughts to feel safe and come to me, nothing worked. Eventually, the cat ran off into the bushes and would not return. i said a prayer for it because that was all i knew to do, and then i continued on my journey.
The night still felt so mystical, but the edges were tinged with this uncanny feeling about the sweet little kitten being hit by a car. i walked until my hips began to yell at me. i have hip dysplasia which is degenerative and over the years have experienced more and more chronic pain in my hips, especially when doing anything of impact, including walking. So, i turned around and began my journey back to Great Huts where i am staying. i can not explain it completely, but there was something in the very air, an electric charge of sorts that kept sending ripples of tingly energy up my spine, neck, and out my arms. (And no, i was not smoking marijuana! i know that is what many people would think reading something like this and knowing that i am currently in Jamaica!)
As i emerged from the dark part of the road into a little golden glow cast from one of the few street lights in this area, i saw two guys weaving and stumbling their way home, obviously having just left the bar a little ways up. One stopped to look at something in the road, while the other saw me, and called out, “Hey! Wa Gwan?!” This means basically, “What’s Up? How is it going?” i of course did not answer as i had no voice, and just smiled and continued walking.
As i came upon the other man, i looked at what he was looking at lying in the middle of the road. It was the kitten. i stopped, stunned, tears immediately beginning to flow out of my eyes. Now this guy, decided he would have his try with me. As i couldn’t talk, i had no way of telling him that i wanted to be with the cat and not with him, so i had to continue down the road. A short bit later, i stopped, thinking i had waited long enough for the guys to move on, and i could go back to the little animal. But when i turned around and started to head back, the guys were turning around and called out to me again. So i turned and kept walking. i started looking for a banana tree or some other broad leaf plant where i could use the leaves to pick up and wrap the kitten in. As i was walking, i was praying that the kitten was now indeed dead and not just severely hurt because out here, at this time of night, there would have been nowhere to take it where it might be saved. i knew that if it was severely hurt and not dead, that i might very well have to kill it myself to stop its suffering. By this point, i was sobbing, stumbling along in the darkness with my tears further obstructing my view. Surprisingly, i could not find the right plant, but i found a cardboard box and picked it up. i knew by now the drunken men would be continuing onward to their home and i could return to the kitten in peace.
As i walked, i prayed for its spirit to be set free. i prayed that it was dead and that it died quickly, so as not to have suffered too terribly. i approached the little being and knelt beside it crying and praying. i scooped it into the box and found a hole in a barbed-wire fence where i could get through and bring the kitten to its final resting place. i couldn’t seem to help it while it was alive, but maybe somehow, i could help it now. i lay the box gently on its side so that the kitten was laying on its side. i continued crying and praying, wishing the spirit of this little being to find peace. And then, i walked away.
My whole life, i have experienced the pain of others on a very deep and visceral level. For a long time, i did not have the tools to process that much grief, so i shut down and built huge walls around my heart. Over the years, having done so much work on myself, the walls have begun to crumble under the power of my fierce love. But sometimes, i go through stages of giving up and shutting down. i can’t understand why beauty suffers and hatred, ignorance, and violence thrives. (And please do not quote scripture here. It has never worked for me and never will.) It is at times like these, where i have to remember there is no understanding. There is only acceptance. Anything else just causes more grief. i struggle with the despair. i struggle with the pain of my heart continuously breaking further and further open. And then i try to let go and let Love. Even as the tears etch paths down my cheeks as i write this, i let go and let Love. Because no matter how much it hurts, it seems the real reason for living is Loving. And so that is what i strive to do.
In Love’s Service,