I met recently with a friend who is having to rest and recover through the summer & into the autumn, after a spell in hospital suffering from a debilitating illness. The strange thing was, he said, that he’d planned some months before to clear his diary for those months in order to take life more easily. It was almost as if an unconscious something within him knew what was coming & had prepared him for it.

I remember another friend who once told me that his father had refused, despite family encouragement and for no obvious reason, to make plans for the celebration of a significant birthday, only to die unexpectedly before it would have happened. Again, it was as if something unconscious inside him knew what was coming.

I can myself remember, some years ago, sensing a need to read again a book about the various languages of love and the way in which we fail to recognise love coming our way in unfamiliar ways, and of then preaching about it. Several months later I had an operation for cancer followed by a six-month course of chemo and was deeply grateful for the book’s wisdom which helped me appreciate expressions of love which I would otherwise not have recognised.

I also know of occasional deep ‘just knowings’ that I can never explain rationally but which experience has taught me to trust and act upon, often to the astonishment and bafflement of friends & colleagues, and which prove to have been uncannily perceptive some months/years later.  Not all ‘gut hunches’ turn out to be so on the ball, and I’ve had to learn to exercise discernment about them, but with time and experience I reckon that I’ve got better at it.

I’m a bit cautious about writing of this, as many people will undoubtedly think I’m crazy, but I would not be surprised if the experience is more common than I imagine?  It’s likely that it will lead to tensions with more rationally thinking people.  But it’s as if there is a mostly unconscious sense that we have, which sometimes seems to hold and guide us.  I’ve come to explain it as my soul often knowing something before my head and heart do. As Sting sings “Let your soul be your pilot”.

As if to validate what I’ve written my friend Gail has just sent me a poem, that I did not know, by Rachel Field.

Something told the wild geese 

It was time to go. 

Though the fields lay golden 

Something whispered, -‘Snow.’ 

Leaves were green and stirring 

Berries, luster-glossed, 

But beneath warm feathers 

Something cautioned, -‘Frost.’ 

All the sagging orchards 

Steamed with amber spice, 

But each wild breast stiffened 

At remembered ice. 

Something told the wild geese 

It was time to fly, 

Summer sun was on their wings, 

Winter in their cry. 

First posted on http://contemporaryspirituality.blog/