I wake up this morning in the house of friends who gave me shelter after evacuating my home in the forest with massive fires raging all around. It’s dark outside – midwinter darkness at 5.30am – and a perfectly full moon is occupying in the sky, like one bright, all-seeing eye. I will remember this moon as the one who came to teach me the true meaning of Acceptance.
Winds are still howling outside – those ominously hot winds that have been haunting these lands for days now. Rain has been absent for so long that everything just burns. Whole towns are on fire around me. I cannot but feel something apocalyptic about these times. In other parts of the Western Cape, schools have been closed and thousands of informal dwellers have lost their homes in floods.
At the end of the day, my mother and brother manage to get hold of me despite electricity outages and internet and cellphone black-outs due to equipment having been burnt down. “Gee Sister”, says my brother on the other end of the line – “It never rains but pours in your world!” Yes, a paradoxical metaphor, but true here right now.
A few days earlier, my brother and I had a conversation in which I was lying flat on my back, not being able to do much more than that, due to intense dizziness and nausea that had been slowly intensifying for the last month. So bad it has become that my friend Rhianne drove the 7-hour journey home with me after a recent visit to the oncology department in Cape Town.
That visit had brought its own challenges. In the typical linear style of mainstream medicine, my dear doctor is starting to feel at the end of his rope with what medicine to put me on. Everything for him potentially indicates a worsening of the metastasis in my bones, including these symptoms. We do a brain scan that confirms I don’t have cancer in the brain as he had feared. I am due for more advanced tests in some weeks – but for now, back home, with Rhianne at the steering wheel of my car.
So at the time my brother had called me over the weekend, life was already presenting a fair deal of challenges. This dance with the teacher called cancer is asking of me to both feel my feelings and keep my head clear. If I were to buy into potential medical prognoses, that in itself would be enough to kill off my immune system.
And yet, I am finding in the midst of this apparently severe landscape access to a bedrock state of presence that is unmoving. In a message to my friend Roberta, I describe it as Acceptance. I am finding myself in a deep state of peace, not at war with anything – certainly not with cancer. There is acceptance in me that the symptoms in my body and the test results are just an appearance, and that I could at any time make a turn to perfect health. And there is also acceptance in me of the presence of death, that companion that walks silently with each of us throughout the days of our lives.
“Acceptance! That is the key!” responds Roberta. And then she qualifies: “I’m not talking about accepting your experience only. I’m talking about accepting your light. Rest into stillness and accept your light – that is the healing.”
Everything in me knows the truth of this.
And so, yesterday morning, after packing the car with basics so that we could evacuate when needed, Rhianne went off to support friends who were actively involved in monitoring the fires – and I simply let go completely. Sitting, then lying down, I open to that Current of Light that has become such a powerful frequency in my life since first going to John of God. This time, my entire body gets flooded with the Christ Light. It’s not an infusion of light into something else – it’s a recognition that I am That Light. A state of profound acceptance opens in me.
Neighbors come around to close and take away my gas bottles and advise me to leave the farm now. I drive towards the nearest town and into a wall of flame. It is clear from the activity in the area that everyone in this diverse community of farmers, farm workers, healers and hippies are pulling together to support each other like never before. Despite the devastation – a house filled with people had already burnt down and several friends had lost their homes – there is a Light pervading all of this. I could say it is the Light of our Essence, the basic goodness that potentially gets pulled forth from all human beings when we are in crisis.
Fast forward a few days. Countless homes have burnt down in nearby towns. A fire is still raging close by. I am back home, and everything in this body that is so dizzy indicates all there is to do is drop deeper into the Current of Light. I see light flooding in from the heavenly realms into everyone – humans and animals and plants alike – bringing an opening so profound that it floods me with tears.
Acceptance: the knowing that Grace prevails, no matter what it looks like.