The Golden Hour of Connection
Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller
It was warm for a January afternoon. I was feeling the need to get out of the house, breathe some fresh air and stretch my legs, so I headed to a beautiful beach where I knew I could find just what I needed.
As I approached the familiar sandy shoreline I could hear the waves gently drumming out their rhythm up and down the wide stretch of beach before me. Scanning the expanse of sand and water that lay under a dense gray sky, islands dotting the horizon at the mouth of the bay, I glimpsed a solitary loon, just offshore, sharing the quiet peaceful scene with me.
Despite the serenity, I could feel the immensity of the approaching storm, its presence was palpable, causing a hunker-down and bare-it response to steadily grow in all the sentient beings in its path.
We were expecting up to 10 inches of snow. I was imagining it would be wet snow. It was too warm for anything light and fluffy. I could picture snowballs flying and snowmen dotting front yards around town when all was said and done. But, at least for those few hours before sunset, I knew I could stretch out, expand all my senses and take in the soft, welcoming company of the beach.
THE GOLDEN HOUR OF CONNECTION
This whispered quality of hushed stillness I was experiencing is similar to the 'golden hour', that time either at dusk or dawn when the sun is casting a magical warm glow over everything. We're enchanted by this reddish-gold light during these times. It's as if we've crossed into the fairy realm. The light may not have had a golden glow, but while walking on the beach on the eve of the approaching snowstorm that day, this same quality of enchantment hung in the air. I felt suspended in it.
It's moments like these that stay with me. They feel cozy and intimate. And they're times when I can really tune in and connect with a place in a much deeper way.
As I stood there, letting the waves wash up around my boots, I found myself having a conversation with the Sea. It was as if the enchanting atmosphere enticed within me a certain desire to commune with the place. This experience isn't any different than talking to the trees while out on my walks or the birds as I fill their feeders. Each time a dialogue is made possible and I open myself to participate with the non-human realms.
When we engage with the non-human realms in this way we share a piece of ourselves with the place and invite a response. The responses we receive in return can be as varied as hearing the chirping of the birds growing louder as they come closer to a warm sensation in my gut or a flutter in my chest as a weight of awareness ripples through me and comes to settle in my bones – a treasured knowing that the inhabitants of the place are responding to my communications.
When we open ourselves to communicating with the non-human world in this way we expand our sense of community and strengthen our empathic abilities.
This ability to extend ourselves to those who live alongside us in the non-human world helps us in numerous ways. I encourage you to extend yourself and offer up to the place a simple 'hello', send out a humble call to connect. The life all around you will respond and how it does will be for you to discover. It may be as subtle as a breeze or obvious as a chickadee landing on your outstretched hand. No matter how the place engages with you, celebrate it and keep connecting. Your communications will grow richer and richer when you do.
Video Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller