I receive unto myself
every right and privilege,
every acknowledgement
of my full membership
into this classy club
among my contemporary

Merely a
kindergartner in this
decade of distinction,
I respect countless initiations
that transported me
into this family
of wrinkles,
inner playfulness,
total trust,
compassionate suffering,
genuine humility,
inclusive forgiveness,
and refined gratitude.

I experience at once
a disposition of determination
and a spirit of new awakenings—
observing, claiming
and celebrating
every critical, painful pathway
I have wisely and stupidly

More often now, I observe,
I am realized by my Self
from a deeper consciousness,
in Love’s omnipresent

Not unlike Rumi,
I more often come into that “field
beyond right or wrong,”
where I receive and redeem
everyone and everything
in creation.

Nineteen years ago
I went on a
Vision Quest,
in the Big Bend Desert.
One of several prerequisites
during my preparation time
was to go into the woods,
get totally lost,
enter my Death Lodge
and bid goodbye
to all those who came
into my presence.

It was a perfectly dismal day—
50 degrees, slow steady rain—
all sense of direction
obliterated by thick clouds;
another perfect day
to be lost.

I happened upon
a dilapidated hunter’s sanctuary,
sheltered myself
from the rain,
hunkered down,
pen and journal in hand.
I wrote my blessings
and final goodbyes to
all my loved ones.

Lost in my own time zone,
I sealed all goodbyes,
stood up,
looked around,
asking myself aloud,
“Which way calls me to go now?”

Like a very gentle breeze,
a slight stream of energy
ambled past me,
quietly stirring across my face
pointing off my right shoulder
about 45 degrees.

Without thinking,
I turned into “that” direction
and walked straight ahead,
not knowing where I was going,
lost outside, found inside,
lifted, liberated and joyous,
aware of a powerful Inner Restfulness.

Before I knew it
I found myself “being found”,
emerging from a time warp,
transported to my waiting car!
I thought of Philip and Azotus1
and L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time.

Nineteen years ago—
lost and found in the woods,
later sitting in a sweat lodge,
then meditating alone,
fasting on water
three days and nights
among rattlesnakes,
a bear and a mountain lion,
scorpions and javalinas.
Sweating under searing sunlight,
totally vulnerable at night,
green eyes penetrating silhouetted darkness,
Fear and ecstasy intermingled.
This was my time to learn
that holding on to fear
was my choice.

In Silence and in emptiness,
going beyond resistance, doubt and thinking,
I was brought to embrace everything.
Cuddled into the Milky Way,
I became one
with all creatures
and creation.

All fear banished,
A Great Peace remained.

To this day,
a great Peace maintains.

A great Peace contains,
remains, sustains.

My Octogenarian body
and my Immortal Soul
breathe a sigh
As I read the daily obits;
a great Peace contains.

As I peruse my own unfinished life,
a great Peace remains.

As I reflect on my adventures
and learn from everything,
a great Peace sustains.

Actually, I’m finally learning,
everyday and every experience
becomes one more vision quest,
because I seek my truth
in whatever does happen
and, equally,
in whatever does not happen.

There is something magical
about being an Octogenarian.
Being alive seems more than
having a body,
more than attachments
and achievements.

A resounding excitement
welcomes and seduces me
into More
of my unexplored Present.

A proper youthfulness
within my Octogenarian oldness
encompasses all my years
into One Presence
ever unfolding,
always Now
unceasing in Love.

Hal Edwards
July 11, 2015

1Acts 8:38-40

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