BY HILLARY RAIN
“I'm lighting some palo santo for you,” my friend tells me, and I take a deep breath, let it out slow, feel my body surrender. “I'm sending you the deepest love.”
It feels like poetry and relief and hope.
In those moments when life offers you tremendous opportunities for growth—and by opportunities for growth I mean the unexpected news which makes your heart stop beating, or the spasm in your back which finds you clutching the edge of your bathroom sink to keep from dropping to the floor, or discovering a fresh new betrayal which stings like eff when air hits it for the first time—what is so healing about a gentle text flooding my heart from across the miles?
“I see you,” Alicia tells me without words. “I love you and you are not alone.” The alchemy of intention and fire offers language I understand. Her hands lay out sage, type sentences into her phone, flick a lighter, press flame to earth and leaf and oil. It is like embodied prayer. “I am here. Always.”
With so many of us sprinkled across the earth, unable to press close with skin on but desperate to reach out and touch, I've found great comfort in simple rituals like this, knowing that on the other end, someone is with great intention and love seeing or being seen with pure compassion, tenderness, and strength. This comm(union) of spirit is infinitely precious.
A Ritual for Sacred Prayer
I encourage you to close your eyes and ask, Who needs to know I am thinking of them today? Allow a name or face to appear before you. Take a soft, deep breath and gather your favorite incense (or a candle or bundle of sage) and go to a quiet place. You will carve out a small space to hold this moment which will become like an altar or womb or your own cupped hands.
Lay out any stones or treasures which remind you of your friend. Perhaps play their favorite song or a melody which resonates. With pure intention, in their honor, add a bit of fire to your incense and begin to offer a little prayer.
Call or text your beloved with a tender message.
This is the kind of thing love is made of.