Saturday morning, I didn’t get to the park until almost ten o’clock … we have company coming in the next week and I needed supplies from Home Depot for some repair. The Accuweather app on my phone was predicting that the day would be the hottest so far in our current heatwave … it was already 85° and humid. OK, I’m from back east … I know that by national standards 50% humidity isn’t that high but we’re spoiled here in Socal, at least with respect to humidity. I parked in the shade and set up my stuff … coffee cup, mp3 player, mini-speaker, and my messenger bag full of writing supplies … on a shady picnic table and began to write. Over the years, it has been my habit to talk to God in my journaling … that seems like a natural way for a writer to communicate with his Higher Power. It has also become a habit to let God answer back by writing what I think God might say. For convenience, God writes in all capital letters. Now before you accuse me of hubris, heresy, or delusions, let me make it clear that I know I’m writing the answers … God isn’t taking over my pen and I don’t take anything I write as God’s proxy too seriously. It is simply a comfortable way for me to maintain the Conscious Contact prescribed by the 11th Step. And sometimes, I get insights into my life in the process. If those insights are helpful, does it really matter if they come from inside or out?
So, I was well into my second page and chatting with God about my brother, who remains in the hospital, when the heat (and not so high humidity) began to get to me. I wrote, I don’t think I can stay out in this much longer. There’s absolutely no breeze. I swear, as I finished that sentence, a cool breeze drifted through the park. Thanks, I wrote, that was pretty cute. I CAN MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, YOU KNOW, I wrote for God. I guess I do, I answered. That kind of blows my mind, actually. Can You stop it? The breeze stopped immediately and I laughed out loud. Yes, it picked up again, even though I didn’t ask. Still, I finished my Morning Pages smiling. By evening, of course, the wonder had faded and my Rational Scientist was sitting on my shoulder, explaining it all to me. You just didn’t notice the breeze coming and going. Naturally when it stopped, you noticed and since you write every freaking thing that passes through that brain of yours in your notebook, you wrote about it. The breeze, which had been coming and going, just rose again. Coincidence. Same with stopping. Don’t be juvenile.
So, there you have it. I can recall the joy of a simple moment when I seemed to see God’s presence in the world … or I can cash it in for the rational, reasonable explanation. As Pi Patel says at the end of The Life of Pi, Which do you prefer?