06-11_ Hubbard GlacierA year and day after my successful cancer surgery, I am boarding a cruise ship with 11 friends, destination – Alaska!  The cruise is a surprise 70th birthday gift!

What a way to celebrate being cancer free for a year! I am so grateful for the gift of life, that I am alive to take this trip. As I am writing this, I am remembering that the glaciers are one of the landscapes I see on t.v. the first morning I awake after being admitted into the hospital for tests a year and half ago.When the ship heads into Hubbard Glacier (pictured above), the first on our cruise, I am standing on the top deck aboard the front of the ship. People crowd around, excitedly talking and laughing, all vying for a front row spot at the railing of the boat.  I am fortunate to grab a spot right up front, so everyone in my group takes turns. All this time, the boat sails closer to the mountain, and we are  already seeing large chunks of ice floating on the water.

I am thinking to myself that I am a little disappointed because these chunks aren’t as huge or magnificent as I’d seen on t.v. or in other photos.  Perhaps, I muse, the smaller chunks are because summer is only 10 days away or because of global warming.

No sooner do these thoughts enter my mind, then I feel myself being pulled into the glaciers. Now, I know that sounds surreal! It is, yet at the time I feel a great calm come over me, as though these amazing natural structures are enveloping me in their arms, protecting me. All the people, the noise, the chatter, the laughter – all disappear. As I am being cradled, I feel this divine love subsume my whole being.

I have no idea how long that moment of oneness with God lasts. And, I have a thought that this is the same feeling of love I had in the hospital.  Except then, with my stomach contracting with pain, I remember thinking as I’m viewing these landscapes, “I’m not ready to die yet. I want to see all these places!”  Next, love so powerful breaks my heart wide open, and like on the ship a year and half later, I feel so full of love that tears roll down my cheeks.

When I come back into consciousness, these thoughts come into my head, ” Love is the power that heals all”!

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