My Soul Remembers—5—AFRICA
Into the melting pot of life, I once more was being refined to be poured into a mold ready for a more fruitful experience.
Life had expressed in many bodies and in many loves since that eventful experience on the hill.
Help me to remember the message, the deep teachings that poured from His gentle lips.
Reveal truth to me as it was revealed at the empty tomb.
Let me, too, know the truth that lives eternal and sets man free from the self and personality that binds and constricts.
Let me know the humility that He possessed and the ability to live by it.
I am unsure and feel strange in my new world to which you have sent me.
For years men have considered this a dark continent, and this is where you desire to teach me.
I, like Him, must say, “Your will be done, not mine.”
I accept it as another of life’s lessons on the pathway back to the original source.
I realize you are in the process of teaching and grooming me for my contribution.
You say, I must learn tolerance; I must get more understanding and learn these things well.
I come into this present world foreign to its ways and its people; I am an alien.
In this life, my world is a mass of brown, black and copper bodies.
I, too, accept my new garment of flesh and will make every effort to wear it well.
The great universe is now teaching me my next important lesson in her graduated school of life.
Inspiration began to fill me, and I felt a power that was generating a new kind of experience.
Slowly, God was releasing a form of prayer through me; primitive, yes, but it was definitely prayer.
I found myself alone much of the time in a sort of meditation that one cannot explain.
Devotion was more than words and acts.
Devotion was a deep inner realization that something greater than myself was guiding, directing, and moving me into an expanded consciousness.
My feelings did not speak for the others, for the power I was feeling seemed unknown to most of our people.
Once more, the pageant of the cross moved through my mind; He lives, some how I know He lives.
The cross lost its sorrow, and I rejoiced in the knowledge I was beyond that experience.
Yes, God was blessing my ebony temple in wonderous ways as He made His Presence felt in me.
Presently, I felt that I had found a part of myself losing lost, and here it was.
I am speaking of the real self, not that which appears to be.
I was beginning to like my new experience, and Africa was home to me at last.
My pioneering spirit finally found a degree of rest in this new adventure.
Yes, it was an exploration in the pages of eternity.
Life was good to me, for she gave me the love of a quiet yet mentally alert partner.
He was handsome and possessed a strength not disguised by muscle.
Time after time, he would question me saying, “Who are you? Where have you been?”
Explanation at this point was impossible, for neither of us knew the answers.
We could only believe, trust, and know that there was a plan bigger than either of us.
He reminded me often that I was different from the others, haughty yet with a softness; a product of many mixed emotions.
We felt very much together, but yet, there was a separateness one cannot explain.
He would say over and over, “You are mine, I love you. Yet, I do not have you completely.”
His kindness was God’s gentleness being expressed through him.
I desired him above all else in my life, for such love I had never tasted.
His body was like my own, a blending that brought total compatibility.
Our love was endorsed with deep feelings; everything within us embraced this union.
Our God became real to us in our own special way, although He remained far removed to many.
In silence, we sought Him, while others chanted or used frantic gyrations of the body to induce His favor.
True, this method of prayer still holds many in bondage to a past they remember and cannot forget.
For many, this past is their present, and they have no future since they are bound by habitual patterns.
We were happy to be free.
* * *
How clearly I recall his chiseled face showing approval while blazes from the fire leaped and played on the ground like happy children.
His clear eyes told me much that could not be revealed even in speaking.
Yes, my soul remembers.
Yes, how well, it remembers.
At last, I had learned one of life’s precious lessons: a lesson in human love.
Love is almost impossible to define, for in defining there are limiations.
Let me say, it is a feeling like none other.
It is that which would cause you to leave all else and follow its path.
It is deep, moving, penetrating, and charges the cells of the body with vitality and a sense of quiet joy.
One does not talk about love promiscuously.
Love is a sacred gift, a gift received without wrappings or obligation.
In love, one gives the whole self in order to receive more of life’s gift.
One must never violate this gift, because it is in stealing the soul is robbed of its richness.
One cannot take that which is joined with another and expect joy.
Joy is not the reward of a thief.
Our love unified us as one unit, seeking only to satisfy itself in each other.
There was never a reaching out to other lives.
Our love was a love confined to our own souls.
You ask about love and tell me it hurts.
This is true, but in its hurting there is healing.
In its pain there is sudden joy that releases all sense of memory of pain.
Love is a balm that soothes anything that would bring injury to it.
Love does not ask but stands ready to give of itself to better serve self.
This kind of love I have known; this was our love—a very special love.
Even heights of passion knew tenderness and brought a subdued quietness in its richest moments.
Moments alone, my soul remembers how my body ached and hungered for his closeness.
The warmth and softness of his flesh was like the cloak of prayer itself.
In his nearness, I could not remember any separation.
Our love lived, it was vital and inspired, bringing fulfillment to all our needs and desires.
His hands were my guide.
His love was my strength.
His tears; they became my humility.
“Why could not such a love bring forth children?” you ask.
What about children?
They are only life seeking itself.
We had our own adjustments and were too busily engaged in growing.
All energy was needed for our own purposes.
I was concerned, however, that my body had not been able to bear or be blessed by giving life.
At times I felt barren—an empty vessel that could not be filled.
In quietness, I asked life to use my body, to let an idea be born through it.
I offered myself as a source of re-entry into the physical world for some other soul in search.
In spite of our love, there was a feeling within me that longed to feel the pulsations of life and growth.
Yes, to know the pain of birth and the joy of giving.
I even wanted to wrestle with the pain in order to hear life cry its way back.
I found that this was not my mission or my task.
I could only rest in the love I had.
Rather quickly, a tiredness crept over my body like the clouds closing out the rays of the sun.
I felt strange and had a feeling of being under some sort of natural sedation.
Try as I did to persuade life, she would not extend herself to me in this body.
Her course had been run, and she no longer felt it necessary to maintain this temple.
She had spent her energy, served her purpose, and now must return to the giver.
So few years, yet a lifetime of love had been squeezed into thirty-odd years of growing.
Another span had been added to the bridge of life, and its name was love.
My only regret was leaving the man who had given me more than many lifetimes.
I loved him, and the pain of separation was unbearable.
The struggle in consciousness had begun, but again life was the winner.
I quietly passed from the earth plane, knowing I had drunk from life’s richest nectar, LOVE!
My soul lingered in the area trying to bring peace to the love I left.
I made every effort to reinforce his grief with the love we had both known and shared.
Hours I remained at his side, praying, as his ebony face washed itself in a profusion of tears.
“Know I am with you,” I would say, and there were times I believed he knew.
He would become quiet and clutch the grass pillow to his face as though it were my own.
Days passed, and I requested life to let him join me.
Life was good and granted him freedom from a grief-stricken body.
© 1972, by Richard Dale Billings
All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.