I’ve been asked on more than one occasion what I believe in. I don’t usually talk religion merely because it usually leads to closed mindedness and judgement. Two of my least favorite things. People may think I’m nuts, I don’t have fucks to give those people. But I’m sitting on my roof and have this wonderful sense of self, of connectedness to the earth around me. Not in a cast-spells-and-chant-at-the-moon kind of way, but in a we-are-all-part-of-the-earth-and-sky kind of way.
One of my favorite books to sum up my feelings is Stargirl. An adolescent book by Jerry Spinelli. My copy has dozens of highlighted and dog eared pages, one of my favorites being, “The earth is speaking to us, but we can’t hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then – maybe – the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.”
I mean, come on. Who couldn’t fall head over heels for a sentiment like that?
I have never been to church. I don’t feel close to much of anything inside thick walls.
I had this Maple tree in my front yard growing up. My dad cut a large, flat, piece of plywood to fit like a puzzle in the branches. Just a floor. No walls, no roof, no railings. Just a floor. The branches perfectly spiraled up, like a staircase to be climbed like a ladder, like it was made for this little girl’s huge imagination. I spent every waking moment I could up there. I found my own self in that canopy. I heard the whispers of the leaves, like they were speaking to me. I felt the haze of the stars from a million miles away calm me. I watched birds up close, I watched people from above, I was part of that tree. That world. I did my homework there. I wrote poems there. I napped there. I just existed perfectly there.
I know that my parents didn’t take us to church because they wanted us to discover our own way. Our own light. I’m grateful for that. I discovered that I am more connected to the earth all around me and the sky above me than I am to a specific god. I’ve always felt that anything worth worshiping would never ask to be worshiped. That defeats the purpose of being worship-able, in my book. I want to be part of something, a partner.
I had a friend’s little brother find out I didn’t believe in his god, once. He was probably 14 at the time. I was 18. He got this sorrowful and confused look on his face and said, “But you’d go to Hell…I don’t want you to!” It made me laugh in a sad way. In a way where the idea of people believing damnation of good people makes you sick but you laugh. I know, without a doubt, I have an eternal soul, or whatever you want to call it.
I have the strongest faith in the world that my spirit will be part of everything when I die.
Who knows where I’d be if I didn’t have that Maple tree?