So the upwards pointing icicle came to my garden one morning about five years ago. I still have no idea what to make of it. It was there, bold as brass, or a little icy excitement, emerging from the frozen ice of the pot. Icicles usually go downwards. This one went upwards. There was no dripping overhanging tree or drainpipe above it, no blade of grass or stalk within it….it was just an upwards pointing icicle, my own little strange miracle.
The word ‘miracle’ has the same etymological root as ‘mirror’ – it is to do with how we see things reflected in the world around us. How we perceive things. When we look with wonder, this is the miracle. A miracle is thus a change of perception. When you think of it like that, it makes more sense. Something extraordinary, something wonderful, but that we can accept because we see and witness it. When we need a miracle, what we need is a change of perception.
To be wonder-struck by life is a great gift. When was the last time you looked at the world in wonder? At the stars and the frost and the moon and the trees? Maybe recently if you are reading this blog. But what about looking in the mirror with wonder? At your eyes. Your eyes are amazing. They are beautiful. They are staggeringly, stunningly beautiful. Go and have a look. Allow your mirror to offer you the miracle of beauty.
There is something very important about this link between miracles and the mirror. When the psyche breaks free from its self concept of being simply separate, simply cut off from the rest of manifestation – when we begin to perceive interconnection, oneness, the wholeness of which we are a part, the game changes. This is a moment of awakening. Nothing will ever be the same again, once you begin to have a living sense of this. Rumi (as rendered by Coleman Barks) puts it like this:
‘…Many beings in one being,
In one wheat grain
a thousand sheaf stacks.
Inside the needle’s eye
A turning night of stars….’
So, what is it that we can see? How can we perceive things? How can we see things differently, wonderfully, reflectively? How do we effect the miracle in our own lives, so that we may see wholeness instead of fragmentation? Trustable, living mystery instead of dead certainty?
If you are wondering what happened to the upwards pointing icicle, my cat (who is called Gloria) came out, sniffed it, and ate it. She likes things to be quite simple. There is room for both me and Gloria in the alchemical garden.