Can You Hear Me?

Sanctuario de Chimayo by Ana L. Palles

I dreamt that I had received an email from a friend of mine with the subject line the name of a mutual acquaintance. It was highlighted in bold at the top of my email list and somehow looked more urgent in sharp black. I didn’t know what the email said, only that I was worried when I saw it and immediately went to click on it to read it.

That is when I woke up.

I felt somewhat disoriented as I got up, wondering if I had already seen that email in my inbox or whether I was about to when I turned on my computer as part of my normal morning ritual.

Finding nothing out of the norm in my inbox, I decided to head downstairs for the second most important part of my morning, brewing a pot of wonderful Antigua Guatemalan coffee. I have actually been in Antigua, Guatemala and it was a beautiful place filled with ruins, flowers and tucked corridors nestling old ways of life. I enjoy sitting with my steaming mug and tasting the creamy earthiness of my favorite bean.

I promptly forgot about the email and hurried to start on my long list of deliverables. The day flew and before I knew it, I found myself driving home at seven o’clock in the evening after my kickboxing class. It was a sudden flash of memory that abruptly brought me back to that email.

I decided to call the friend who in the dream had been the email sender. It had been several weeks since we’d spoken so it would be good to catch up. I reached her as she was driving home from the dog park and I told her my dream story. I could hear little catching noises in the background and I noted the excitement and agreement on the other end of the line.

“Well,” she said, “It is interesting that you called because I was going to send you a note tomorrow when I had more information.” It seems that the mutual friend had gone into the hospital quite suddenly and undergone neck surgery that morning. He had been experiencing a sore throat that would simply not go away so after going in for tests, it was discovered that one of the screws in his neck had come loose and was pressing against his esophagus. It was one of those oddball incidents and prompt surgery was required.

Now I wasn’t particularly close to this person and had not spoken to him in several years, but it appears that the fact that my friend was thinking about sending me a note on the following day were enough to reach through the fog of sleep and send me a message.

“You are a really good message receiver,” she said, and I chuckled because I’ve experienced these types of incidents for years. Contrary to what one might think, this can create a lot of confusion and stress in what are often unpredictable occurrences. Hearing it, understanding it and not being considered a freak is just a couple of the challenges one faces.

Over the years I have tried to determine what triggers these things. Dreams, words or phrases seemingly whispered in my ear, and images that sometimes play in front of me like overlays on the existing scene. Or sometimes like a movie segment put on the screen before my eyes by the mad projectionist that I often think lives in my head.

While I have a lot of theories and discussions with various clergy from different faiths under my belt around this topic, the explanation that I have arrived at is in fact the simple statement my friend made to me. “You are a really good message receiver.”

But it isn’t about one individual having messaging capability. It is about the fact that we as humans come equipped with the capacity to receive and to send these messages. Whether we hear them clearly, or whether we even choose to allow ourselves to hear them, is really more a function of practicing than anything else.

Spiritual teachers who work with the angelic realms are continuously telling us to listen to our guides, listen to our angels. Sometimes we just don’t have our hearing set to listen to these humble murmurings. Other times we simply dismiss the quiet susurrations convinced that we are hearing background noise or an annoying insect.

Learning to listen is hard even when we are working with flesh and blood people sitting across from us at the table. Learning to truly listen requires focus and for some, dedicated training.

The years have made me more comfortable with these funny episodes of apparent cross-communication. For one thing, our guides certainly have a good sense of humor. Once I learned to listen, I also learned to laugh heartily at myself.

For example, earlier in the week, a friend of mine was asking for some travel recommendations of must see sacred sites in the Santa Fe area. Without hesitation, I drafted an email of half a dozen of my favorite locations. Among these was the Chimayo church where miracles have been reported due to the sacred earth found in one of the rooms of the church.

As I told my friend about this church and included pictures of me digging in the dirt to fill the only container I had with me that day, an empty film canister, I briefly wondered where I had put that little container sealed in its little ziploc bag.

It had been five years since that trip and at one time, the container lived in my nightstand drawer. However, it had been awhile since I ran across it, probably the result of one of my many obsessive cleaning episodes. I shut off my computer deciding that the following day I would look around and see if I came across it.

With a yoga class first thing in the morning, I launch into my rituals to get out the door fairly efficiently. After getting up and washing my face, I reached into the closet shelf and grabbed my yoga clothes consisting of an old t-shirt and a pair of pants. Having washed and folded all the laundry the previous day, I had a fresh stack of t-shirts sitting in their usual closet bin.

Imagine my surprise when upon pulling the top shirt off the pile, I see something suddenly drop to the floor which I recognized as an old film canister inside a ziploc bag.

I had no idea where it had come from.

How this container of the sacred dirt ended up on top of a pile of freshly washed t-shirts to be coincidentally stumbled upon after an email conversation referencing it and my stating my intent to look for it the next day, I don’t know.

What I can say is that I could almost hear the chuckling.

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