One of my sisters has cancer. A bad kind. With an ominous stage number and a horrid percentage to beat it.
But here’s something marvelous.
I went to see her and I saw her spirit. I saw how the cancer has taken a toll on her body and continues to knock her around with pain and nausea. But not her spirit. I saw how it is separate from her body. How it remains strong. How it shapes the smile on her face, the timbre in her voice and the light in her eyes. I saw this illusive thing called spirit and I marveled at its strength.
That’s when I began thinking about prayer. I am not a religious person. I think of myself as a spiritual person. Someone who has a reverence for life. Someone who can sit quietly in the presence of nature and feel awe, wonder, inspiration. I think I mistook those feelings for spirituality because here is what I witnessed through my sister: Her spirit is fused with life, yet entirely separate from blood and bone. Of course, right after noticing this separation, I felt awe and wonder and inspiration but my sense of spirit and spirituality is different now.
Now when I close my eyes and listen to my breath, I follow it to my sister’s spirit and that’s when I begin to pray.