Grace in the Desert

First Mystical Heart blog post. What could be more appropriate for a mystical heart than grace, in the desert? I’d love to know what image that title conjures up in your mind…

I was in Chaco Culture National Historic Park on my birthday in mid-October. It is always so hard to leave once there, out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to soak in but sun and vast skies, rocks, stars and the stunning architecture that still stands, created approximately 1000 years ago. I was just at the park boundry, ready to leave the Chaco magic behind, when I saw a lone man playing bagpipes near the entrance, his bicycle leaning against the fence. Nothing else around for miles.

Although I was under a time crunch to get to my next location before dark, I could not help going back to find out why a man was playing bagpipes in the middle of nowhere. He saw me turn the car around, drive back, park, get out and walk over. “I was wondering what you’re doing way out here?” I asked. “Well, I’m a volunteer at the park, and I ride out here so I can practice my bagpipes without disturbing my neighbors.” “I LOVE the bagpipes!” I exclaimed. “And, it’s my birthday today – how would you like to serenade me on your bagpipes with Happy Birthday?” He responded, “I actually don’t know how to play that on the pipes, but let me try something else.

He then proceeded to play, on the bagpipes, in the middle of nowhere, Amazing Grace – one of my favorite songs. It was my grandmother’s favorite song; holding her hand, I had sung it to her the night before she died.

What a gift! As I drove away, looking at the happy lone piper in the rearview mirror, seemingly placed there in that moment for no other reason but to send me on my way with an amazing gift of grace, I realized: the more open and receptive and curious I am, the more surreal and wild and delightful the gifts and surprises become.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…


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