By Kerri Romeo
Alice was quickly learning NYC was a wonderland in itself, full of history and landmarks. She hadn’t been to church since her adventures began and on a Sunday she decided to take another walk through Central Park. This time to visit St Patrick’s Cathedral (built in the 1800’s endorsing religious freedom and tolerance) on the other side.
A comforting breeze carries her along and she begins to hear music again; A gentle tune on an acoustic guitar. Her Ladybug friend appears again humming along…
“Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…”
It is early morning and the sun is rising, but somehow Alice knows the Ladybug’s message has a deeper meaning. The Ladybug flies up ahead where Alice sees a young girl seated cross legged. Her eyes are closed. Her hands in prayer at her heart. She looks sooo peaceful. A different kind of peace. A different kind of love. In Strawberry Fields the energy was about working towards peace and love with others. This peace had a softness. An inward reflection. Meditation.
Before Alice continues towards the church she overhears a conversation. Confusing words fill the air: Self-centered. New Age. Woo-woo. Dangerous.
Alice doesn’t understand. How could something so pure be seen as dangerous? And new? Isn’t this an ancient practice?
Continuing towards the church she hears a gorgeous melody…
“My sweet Lord, mm my lord, mm my lord, I really want to know you, Really want to go with you, Really want to show you, Lord…”
A small group has gathered in another small area of the park for an impromptu music session (inspired by the anniversary of the Concert for Bangladesh in collaboration with UNICEF). Alice smiles when she sees the Ladybug has taken a front row seat on the shoulder of a black cat who has wandered into the mix too. Everyone is welcome.
Alice reaches her intended destination and opens the 9000 lb bronze door with her tiny hand. Stepping inside the church feels like home. The British architecture reminds Alice of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford (where the real life Alice’s father was Dean). But something else stands out to Alice. She sees another young girl. She is kneeling in a pew. Her eyes are closed. Her hands in prayer. She looks at peace. Like the girl in the park. Peace and love. In prayer.
After the church service, Alice begins to head back towards the park when she overhears another conversation. This time sharp words pierce the air: Judgemental. Hypocrite.
She feels the sting of being misjudged by people who don’t even know her. Just because she came out of a church? Her eyes begin to fill with tears when the melody she heard earlier drifts through the atmosphere…
Now I really wanna see you, (Hare Rama), Really wanna be with you, (Hare Rama), Really wanna see you, Lord, But it takes so long, my Lord, (Hallelujah), my Lord, (Hallelujah), My my my Lord, (Hare Krishna)
Alice instantly feels a calm come over her from the beautiful intertwining of beliefs. Connection, not separation.
We all speak a different spiritual language. Once we try to define our beliefs with a word or words, it can easily be lost in translation. Many are grounded in their faith, but society as a whole has been taught to feel uncomfortable with spirituality. And it shows.
It shows in everything from an individual to a collective sadness that is grasping for answers. With a focus on individualism, material success and dogmatic rules we are growing more disconnected.
But arent’ we all seekers? Isn’t curiosity and spirituality connected? Alice has been gathering the missing pieces that can make us whole: Peace, love, imagination, curiosity and spirituality or consciousness.
“Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here…Here comes the sun; And I say it’s all right”
Consciousness can be found in a church, a synagogue, an ashram, a mosque or in a garden; in a book, a song, a prayer or a meditation; by lighting a candle or creating a painting; through traditions or rituals or connecting with nature or animals; through the eyes of a child. Consciousness can be found in solo explorations, small collaborations or larger community gatherings; in learning about the universe or supporting a cause. And it can be found any day of the week.
How do you connect?
“The spiritual path is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it.”Marianne Williamson
All the lyrics and songs mentioned above are, of course, by George Harrison. Stay tuned for more familiar words and melodies.
Kerri spends her days as an office administrator for a ballet barre manufacturer and her free time playing frisbee with her dog in NJ. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.