Tonight we made our annual visit to Kingsmen Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare in the Park.  We took our picnic dinners and our chairs (seemed like it was salads all around tonight), our blankets and our jackets (even on these hot July days, the nights get cool there) and settled in for an evening with the Bard. 

I had not seen the Tempest before, and was in for a delightful surprise!  The story had me mesmerized from start to finish, and I was baffled by people asking during intermission “is the second act as long as the first?” 

Kingsmen always outdoes themselves, but, in my opinion, they went over and above with this one!  The musical interpretations and the dancing were purely delightful.  The costumes were extraordinary, and the actor’s interpretation of Caliban was eerily reminiscent of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

What I found especially interesting, though, was the story itself.  What started out as a tale of revenge for a grievous wrongdoing ultimately found the protagonist undoing all of his deeds (except, of course the union of his daughter and the prince!) and declaring his forgiveness for everyone.  As if that wasn’t enough, he then asked that the physical afflictions suffered by Caliban be cured. 

Clearly, Shakespeare knew that the power of forgiveness is incredibly strong and has amazing healing properties.  Vengeance, on the other hand, will only serve to rot away the seeker and will in no way put things to rights. 

Our pre-play conversation went in its usual 20 directions, but a primary focus tonight centered on the news a member of our dance community received concerning her health.  The news was bad enough to shock many of us and give us pause. 

It also reminded me that, as we continue to see a large number of people passing on, we also continue to see a great deal of energy and activity.  I again raised the possibility that the people who are becoming ill and moving out of their current human existence are doing so because they either do not want to or cannot be part of the changes that are coming.   Once I raised the possibility, I found agreement and recognition in my friend’s eyes.  She has been experiencing what I can only call a hyper-awareness of the people close to her.  She’s able to sense where they are in a crowd, even if it’s not where they were supposed to be. 

Although I had not come across this before, it seems to me that she has a very particular role in what is coming.  She is supposed to watch over and protect the people in her circle.  As she is quite tall, it isn’t really a stretch to see her as a sort of Amazon/Wonder Woman type figure who takes her responsibilities very seriously.  She cares deeply and wounds easily, but always gets up to fight another day. 

I think this struck a note in me for another reason, though.  At one time, I found myself confused as to whether my role was warrior, light worker or healer.  I’m still not entirely sure how my part in this era will play out, but I don’t seem to feel the warrior instinct any longer, especially given the example of my friend and how tuned in she is to her friends, and how sensitized she is to keeping track of their whereabouts.  I was never connected to anyone like that.

Of late, I seem to be doing more teaching than anything else, not by intent, but more by some Universal design.  What to me is simply sharing something I’ve learned along the way seems to be resonating in other people far more than I, in my heart, believe I have any right to expect.  I am, of course, gratified that I can offer something that someone else can use, but I am more often amazed that what comes out of my fingers really means something to others!

I think what it brings home to me the most clearly is that each of us has lived through certain situations.  We may not have handled similar challenges in similar ways, but we did what we needed to and found our way to the other side, a little the worse for wear, perhaps, but with a new tool and added strength.  What we also came out with was an experience that we could share with others because, someone, somewhere, might be able to use some of what we’ve learned to help them through something now.  In that way, we all have the potential, and even the obligation to be teachers.  We all have something of value to share with others who might be struggling with something we’ve managed to, if not master, at least blunder through.

In some ways, I believe that the challenges that we are given are there, precisely so that we can gain wisdom and share it with others.  Getting through the challenge, learning the lesson but failing to share what we’ve learned makes about as much sense as buying a beautiful new dress and putting it away in the back of the closet with no intention to ever wear it.  What a waste, and how sad to deprive others of sharing the beauty?

I hear the term “be present” a lot lately.  As humans, we really are responsible for being present in our lives.  For learning the lessons, having the experiences, sharing with others and understanding what our role is, and what contributions we have been given the ability to make.

As more of us become aware of the fact that we are each a part of the greater consciousness,  we won’t need as many reminders, but until more feel the connection to the Sea of Souls, the Universe will have its hands full, nudging some of us along, trying to get the attention of others, and encouraging still others to stay the path and not get discouraged when people don’t seem to be listening.

For now, the word I will be spreading is just that:  “Be Present”

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for things which remind me to stay my path, even when those reminders seem tragic.
2. I am grateful for my increased awareness of the things around me and the experiences I’m having.
3. I am grateful for friends who do understand and do see the exciting changes we are beginning to experience.
4. I am grateful for the good health and positive energy I find in my friends.
5. I am grateful for the way animals seem to be connecting more than ever with their human companions.  It is clearly an indication of things to come.

Love and light. 

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