Found Heart-White Mts, NH, USA

I was watching the gathering clouds and their shifting shadows on those familiar mountains for quite a while. I saw you, but it wasn't until I turned and took a step that I could truly see you.

With an intake of breath, my heart expanded in awe, recognizing yours, so perfectly formed.

How many others had passed by without noticing? What if I had not turned that afternoon, had not taken a step?

Gratitude awakened, witnessing this mirrored image of sacredness balanced on the mountainside.

You.   Me.   God.

Standing as One in this single moment of grace.

I love this tree. I love remembering the feeling of awe that filled me when I looked through the viewfinder of my camera and realized that the branches and leaves grew into a perfect heart shape. But I didn't see it right away; it took a while until I was standing in just the right position to be aware of what was in front of me the whole time.

The form was there, the core essence of holiness was present all along, but I had to orient myself properly in order torecognize it. I think the same can be said for the holy essence that resides within each of us.

During the month of Elul, leading up to the Yomim Noraim, the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is a Jewish spiritual practice to make t'shuva — to turn, return to our goodness, our godliness, to God.

We turn inward. We look in our hearts and examine closely the mountains of mistakes we have made. We turn towards those we have hurt and ask for forgiveness. We promise to do better — at the very least to try to be kinder and more thoughtful in the year to come. We do what we can to repair what we have broken. We make a conscious shift from where our hearts were positioned when we were intentionally hurtful or simply not paying attention to our words and actions. We return to God awareness, remembering that it is when we forget our own divinity and that of others that we inflict harm.

We choose to change, to grow. Like the micro-movements of alignment a yogini must make to settle into vrkasana (tree pose) with strength, firmly rooted, balanced, open, present, we readjust our inner stance until we can see beyond the misdeeds, harsh words, insincerity, apathy, judgment and wounds to discover our own holy hearts, beautifully formed, strong, rooted, balanced, open and fully present; silhouetted before the jagged background of those mountains. The dark clouds move aside, our holiness shines brilliantly. It was always there. Here. We forgive ourselves; perhaps the hardest step of all. We have returned.

Laura HegfieldLaura Hegfield is a daughter, sister, wife, mother and lover of life with an artist’s soul. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis three years ago, she is no longer able to work outside her home. She stays engaged with the world through photography and shares her journey on her blog.

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I am deeply honored to have my post shared here at the Being Blog. If this resonated for you and want to come visit my personal blog you can find me here @ Shine the Divine: Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

Thank you! Well written and heartfelt. Love the tree.

Only when we recognize our own holiness can we truly appreciate the sacred in others.  It took me so long to really get this, but I'm glad I had you, Laura as one of my gracious teachers.

Thank you all for taking time to read this. May ALL beings be blessed with an awareness of holiness all around them and deep within.

Very inspiring in preparing for the coming days of awe. Thank you, Laura. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life

thank you again everyone for your loving comments and for reposting and a wonderful feeling to know that so many people could enjoy the beauty of this tree and be inspired by it the way I was.
gentle steps

This is beautiful, Laura. Thank you for posting the tree-heart and your reminder of how to find peace within us and within our relationships with others. Peace Be With You.

Thank you for your reflections on Yom Kippur , t'shuva. As a Christian minister I believe repentance is necessary throughout the year and throughout our lives. My wife and I celebrate Rosh Hashana when it coincides with Christmas. I also believe it is important for Christians to celebrate events on the Jewish calendar such as Yom Kippur and also Lent which are both focused on repentance.
I see that you have Multiple Sclerosis,MS. My wife Carol has had MS over 35 years and experienced ever increasing disabilities and loss of function. We began an aggressive course of strength training and flexibility training with me as her trainer and she experienced an amazing reversal of many disabilities and restoration of many functions. I wrote about this in a book, "Warrior: Reversing Disability From Multiple Sclerosis Through Strength Training, A Love Story." Many have described this book as "inspirational" and a "love story." You may find it of personal interest as a fellow MS warrior. If you are interested in this you may find the book at or on Kindle through Amazon. We are also working on a documentary film based on the book, "The MS Warrior, A Love Story."
Would love to hear from you and continue these conversations. David Phillipy, 615-554-5876.