If I could only choose one word to describe my life, to describe the meaning I have derived from my brief adventure on this planet, this is the word I would choose: Attuned.

There is more life surrounding each of us than we will ever be aware. This is one reason imagination is such a gift. It’s not a frivolity to use it; it’s a necessity. I don’t know whether imagination creates new life or simply reveals something so old and universal it cannot help but be recognized by many, and touch many hearts. All I know is it is an essential, and every soul would wilt and wither without its healing presence.

To live attuned means to live awake, alert. I must learn to follow the instinctual voice beckoning each next step. Even if my mind says “nonsense” I am learning to reach past that input for additional wisdom rooted deep inside my spirit.

I have been on this journey to find what moves me, what shakes the ground beneath my feet and rattles the roots in my psyche. I know that if I do not seek it, it will not seek me. If I do not open the window, the unseen, unheard, unfelt will not visit me. So open it I must.

On a recent trip to a nearby cafe, I took a moment to walk over for a closer look at a painting on display on the far wall. It was a local artist’s work, and I had been admiring it from afar for the duration of our family breakfast date. Admiring is perhaps the wrong word. I had been listening to it, and it was calling me.

I felt myself drawn toward it, and standing close by, I felt embraced by it. I felt the divine feminine calling out to the divine feminine in me. It was truly like being held and told everything was going to be okay. Little did I know how much I was going to need that reassurance later on in the same day.

I was greeted by a retired couple who were seated nearby. They shared my appreciation for art, beauty, and well-crafted words. We had a long and fulfilling conversation, delighted to discover our shared values.

I told them I was more poet than painter, and they smiled and exclaimed at how wonderful that was. Then, eyes twinkling, the gentleman pulled a folded paper from the pocket of his jacket and handed it to me:

These words are attributed to the 5th century poet and playwright Kālidāsa. I have since committed them to memory.

I thanked the couple, said my goodbyes, and headed home with a full and happy heart.

What happened next is a story for another day.

Jamie Bagley