In the center of an open space of short grass I am so surprised to see a man who looks like a king. He has no crown but when I look at him I think of royalty even though he is dressed like a shepherd. His coat is not fancy or jeweled. It goes to just below his knees and the sleeves are wide at his wrists. The fabric looks thick like it is made of heavy handmade linen. How did I not see him before now? Why did he not answer me when I was calling out for people of my village? Maybe he can show me the way back to my village. His face looks very kind. I run toward him to plead for help.
When I arrive a few feet before him I stop at once. The kindness that radiates from him takes my breath away. My clutched hands loosen in the presence of his pure peace. When I look up into his eyes on me, I suddenly feel calm. This man is so still, like a high mountain lake without a ripple on the surface. Standing before him I cannot remember why I would ever feel disturbed. I feel like I am being held in his warm embrace, but he is two feet away. A strong sense of devotion to him rises up from within me.

I take a half-step closer and look carefully at his face. It is difficult to decide what he looks like because he seems to be continuously changing. I think he is tall, but then I am eye to eye with him. I think his face is narrow, but then it widens and all of the sudden I am looking at a great lion. When I am sure he is male, he then changes again and I see a feminine face. As soon as I decide I know what he is, then he changes. I stand here for some time watching this kaleidoscope of life forms. At first I want him to stay the same so I can count on what I am seeing, but the longer I watch I start to feel delighted and look forward to what will come next.

I want to show this ever-changing kaleidoscope man to Ato and then to my surprise Ato’s face becomes the face I am looking into. My heart lifts with my love for Ato. Then Ato’s facial features change into a child I do not know. The love in my heart remains the same for this unfamiliar child as it was for Ato. I did not know it was possible to feel the same love for a stranger. Then the face changes to a white woman. My love remains steady. I realize there is a space in my heart to hold love for every creature and person I am seeing. I am more capable of being loving than I thought.

This royal kaleidoscope man shows me his original face again. He leans in closer to me and looks me in the eyes with his kind soft gaze. I feel anticipation growing in me as if I am going to receive a gift beyond anything I have ever known before. He closes his eyes and mine close also, because we are linked in a way I have not known before. Behind my closed eyes I see millions of points of light connected by living lines. These lines reflect all colors of the rainbow like a spider web in the sunlight. This gigantic living web has a gem at each intersection. What I learn is that all of life is gracefully linked together. Just as a flock of swallows flies together as one great bird, when one person in the web of life changes, it affects the movement of everything around it.

Something changes and I am not looking from the outside at this wonder of living lines; I am inside of them. From within the web I can visit every living thing. My journey is so swift that the visits are not like making personal friends, but more like gathering my connection to all living beings.

In the visits to the different gems in the web I get to know the place, person, or creature through my senses. I am smelling decomposing leaves in a grove of oak trees, hearing the pants of a young woman running a race through woodlands, watching sunlight glisten on the back of a frog who just climbed out of the water, listening to the deep pop sound of ice moving in a glacier, taking in the scent of an elk who is bending down to drink from a river. All life is connected and I am never alone. I am flooded with gratitude and love.

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