When I go on retreat, I spend much of my time lying face-up on a rock in the sun, looking at the sky through the trees. Last year, I happened to notice sparkly, thin, spider-threads running from branch to branch. When the sun shifted, I saw that they also ran from tree to tree. Another change in the light revealed that they also linked the trees to the house…and the house to the rocks on the ground…and probably, after so many hours, the rocks to me. The whole yard—likely, the whole mountain—was connected by these tiny lines on which insects and energy traveled.
It was a profound representation of what I imagine the world might look like on an energetic level: all of us connected to everything, and energy vibrating between us at every imaginable frequency.
What is our awareness of these vibrations? Sometimes they’re easy to feel, like the rush of energy that comes with meeting a kindred spirit, or the sense of peace or stress I encounter when I walk into a room. When I read a book and find an excerpt that touches me deeply or causes me to see something in an expansive new way—it’s a vibration on the line between the writer and me, and it isn’t limited by time or space. Or when I’m at a concert with hundreds or thousands of other people, and the sound and energy from the performers and the audience are tangible.
These vibrations are connective, and I’ve found that they can also be directive. When I get an idea that vibrates strongly inside me, whether positively or negatively, it affects the actions I’ll take. When I meet someone and get a strong feeling from them, it colors my interactions with that person.
For me, it’s usually easier to recognize vibrations around me than it is to be aware of the ones inside me. Even on the rare occasions that I’m able to get very quiet, I have a hard time getting in touch with the movement of energy inside, and an even harder time listening to what it might be saying to me. But I know that nurturing that awareness is of utmost importance as I navigate through life—what better guidance could I ask for than that which comes from the energy speaking in and around me? Learning to listen and then to understand this other language will take time, and a patience I’m not sure I have!
In the meantime, the image of the spiderwebs on the mountain invites me to consider the possibilities.
Sarah is president of New Momentum for Human Unity, and works in communications for two nonprofit organizations in Milwaukee.