Steven from A Golden Fish has encouraged his followers and readers to write about a transformative moment in their life, and post it Wed. Aug. 19th. (He is providing links to all those who participate on his blog.) Since I am going to the hospital early tomorrow, I had scheduled this post to appear on its own - but I think it is already August 19th somewhere - so here is the transformative moment I would like to share with you:
I was a robust nine year old girl, living in the suburbs of Toronto, having just become the proud owner of a new, red and white CCM bicycle. I'd had it for a few months, rode it enthusiastically every day, and it began to feel like an extension of my body. There seemed to be no lag time between my impulse to move and the bike's performance. It seemed to be connected to the internal command centre of my mind and muscles, and I loved to ride hard and fast while exploring nearby neighbourhoods.
There was a community adjacent to ours where there were very grand homes on wide, tree-lined streets, with graceful, manicured lawns that swept down to unpeopled sidewalks. The trees on each side of the street arched overhead, forming a canopy and creating chinks of sunlight and shadow on what seemed like my private touring promenade. I was happy as a lark to be speeding along, exploring alone, on my bike.
One day, out of the blue, I seemed to merge with the rhythm of the spinning wheels, the breeze on my face, the speed, the sense of freedom - - to a degree that I suddenly had this unfamiliar feeling of being connected to everything around me. Yes, I was infinitessimally small, and yet, in that moment, I just knew I, too, was an essential part of the greater whole. I sensed my place in the universe. I felt life coursing through me.
The only way my little mind could express this magical feeling was by saying over and over again: "I am alive." "I am alive." "I AM alive." "I am ALIVE." "I AM ALIVE." For that moment in time I had a felt-sense that I was more than the identity conferred on me by accident of birth; I was more than what I was learning; I was more than the expectations placed upon me; I was more than what I did or had. I was movement. I was breath. I WAS LIFE. I existed in time and space. I mattered. I belonged to the universe. I was pulsating in tune with it. I was alive.
I had sped my way into a felt-sense of beingness and connectedness. The boundless moment and I merged, and I felt expansive, free, in control, like I could "leap tall buildings in a single bound". A truly transpersonal sense of be-ing and BE-longing in the universe. "I AM ALIVE." danced and vibrated through every cell in my body. I felt as if were flying. I kept pedalling for all I was worth, not wanting the feeling of boundlessness to end.
Nine years old and the combination of the speed, the chinks of golden light shining upon me, the freedom, the sense of physical mastery, the solitude, all graced me with a transcendent moment that transformed my view of myself and my place in the world. I never told anyone about it. It was mine. It did not need to be broadcast. It did not need any adult validation. I knew I could trust the feeling. I did not know the word "transformative" then, but I did know something important had happened, and that I would never forget the feeling, the knowing, the connection of that "alive" moment.