Get Holy: God Tastes like Cherries (on the Roller Coaster to Redemption).
Who knows the exact flavor of the Holy Spirit, of Aether, of Life Force Energy piercing your dark heart and mine?
You are that cherry breath-beat, God-beat
I am a Priestess of Your own creation
Can you taste the light of God in your words, your breath, your mouth?
Do your ears detect the mystical hymns that shatter your illusions like firecracker lightning, raising you from hibernation?
It is time to stalk the salmon in clear streams, leaning against the pine-stump pews for rest.
Do you hold your sin-stained eyes in front of mirrored lakes, or bury your indiscretions under the dirt?
Will you beg to be stripped of the grey clouds inside your restless womb, your paralyzed heart?
Wander the path, formidable beast. Your soul was made for creating.
O Bear, heal the Earth.
I scrape the rough pads of my paw across my face. Sometimes I need solitude as I walk across western, bleached grasslands. I raise my brown spirit-eyes to the heavens, searching for God on the tips of the stars. I take the pain of my ancestors and weave it into the hairs of my coat, this cloak of hurt that I wear. Some of those emotions don’t belong to me, but I feel them deep into my tough skin. They keep me warm. I strike out with gnashing jaws, ready for the fight.
Mostly I search for soul food, for survival, and after all, that is a hungry quest for God.
It’s been a long ride. Sometimes I wait for the attendant to come, dressed in white, as I catch a hint of a feathery wing hidden just under his jacket. I want him to unbuckle me from this spiritual coaster car, which smells old and musty, and has only a leather strap to hold me in when I go down the big hill with the double dip. But it is not time yet. He doesn’t come.
I was sitting in church, watching the light filter through the golden yellow windows, when I was young. I had been to other churches with windows that I much preferred. They had many colors, but this church only had solid ones. At this time, I was thinking about how the Sundays in my mind were this exact color of yellow, just like those windows, just like the light.
In my mind, I saw time floating out ahead of me. Each day had a color. Monday was tan, Tuesday was blue, Wednesday was beige, Thursday was orange, Friday was magenta, Saturday was red. Sunday was yellow.
My earliest memory of that light is from when I was an infant. I saw my mother’s face, and the face of an unidentified man. At some point, the man inflicted some sort of pain. It seemed that it may have been my baptism or a doctor’s visit. Either way, the cold waters of baptism or a cold injection caused pain, and I screamed. But there was that same yellow light. This is my earliest memory of peace turned to pain.
As I got older, I questioned everything in church. Being a female in a patriarchal tradition was complicated for me. Why can’t women be priests? How could people take witches to the stake when they were so gifted and connected to nature and intuition and magic? Silence was the answer. And so from that young age, I began to seek. I have had distance in my relationship with God, and I have spent time consumed in spiritual pursuit, feeling close to God.
I have been confused and guilty when I had doubt, because at the core of me is an unwavering faith — a knowing — that there is more.
There are stained glass windows hammered into the wooden window panes of my heart that are full of red sins, blue mistakes, purple retributions, jagged-teal curse words and iridescent spiritual quests. I want to hang these windows on the walls of my body with rusty nails for all to see.
God Tastes like Cherries
I’ve already apologized to God in case it’s not true, but I have tasted God in the sacred energy of others, and on at least one occasion, God tasted like cherries. It was unmistakable. I think it was the combination of God energy with the essence of that person. I think it was how the Holy Spirit tasted that day, like ripe, fresh, red cherries. Sacred. Pure.
And I met Jesus Christ in an amusement park once. He was across the bridge from the merry-go-round, and I was incredibly surprised to see him there. I wept. I did not feel worthy. This occurred during a meditation. I clearly did not expect to run into Jesus. And my father. In an amusement park. Jesus held out his hand, and as I reached for it, I realized that I was a child.
A feeling of pure love washed over me, and I realized that although I have experienced the feel of Earthly love many times, I had never experienced anything of this depth. Worthiness braided into forgiveness braided into peace.
As a bear, I am completely comfortable with my nature. I hunt, I eat, I live in nature. As a human, I’m not so comfortable. I sin. It would be easy to look at the good I have done, or the dark I have not, to justify my worthiness. But part of this spiritual journey involves knowing that there have been times when I have committed murder to someone’s self-esteem with a look in my eye or an unkind word.
I am a bear cub, trying to get comfortable in my bear-ness. My bare-ness before God.
When I was eight, I had to set the table as my mother bear cooked dinner. I jumped onto the counter and started lowering the dishes, counting them out. Then I froze. I usually counted out six plates, but there was only the need for five now. My family had been whittled down to five on this Earthly plane with the passing of my father, and I had a strong urge to not draw attention to this reality. I felt my own pain, but the intolerable part for me was to feel the pain of my family.
Plates equaled lives. Plates equaled death.
So, I brought down six plates. I felt the part of me that believed in miracles leave my body and float into the dish cabinet. My wise mother quietly, without one word, picked up the sixth plate and returned it to the cabinet. An error corrected by the delicate grace of a mother bear. Feminine Grace. God’s Grace. Pain turned to Peace.
So, speaking of bears, I had a dream once, in which I was a Native American Warrior Woman riding a horse, and I shot a bear with an arrow. I felt great sadness. I was chanting in a language I did not recognize. I bowed down before this creature, honoring her sacredness. This bear that I had killed was a bear, but this bear was also me. This bear was my guilt. This bear was my lies, but also my awakening to my gifts.
This bear had the light of God’s healing lessons about life and death inside her giving heart. Peace turned to Pain turned to Peace.
Get holy. Get jacked up on God. Put on your claw-ripped jeans and get real. Breathe in that cherry-flavored holy water that you find flowing in the streams of your wild existence. Don’t just touch it to your forehead and your heart, but raise it up to Mother Earth. Lap it up with your huge bear tongue. Experience a full-body, full-soul baptism. Feel heaven. Dip your questioning paw in the rich, sugary honey. Chew on soul food.
Because living doesn’t mean doing it perfectly, it means doing it anyway — even after you have been stained like glass. Pray to God, your guides, Mary Magdalene, study Buddha and the great Spiritual teachers. Visit historic, holy places. Do Yoga. Float on the wings of Angels, until you find pure, deep freedom in the arms of God. You, my holy Warriors, are made of delicious flavors and sacred waters. Pray.
Maura Coyne is a seeker, a dirty wild horse girl, and a lover of the passionate life. She practices hypnotherapy, equine therapy and energy/breathwork to assist others in removing the blocks and obstacles that often prevent them from moving forward on their life path. Teaching others to transmute the heavy and dark challenges that they face, by moving them into the light of creativity, strength and spirit, she is committed to healing herself along the way, and witnessing miracles in Nature. If you are interested in a little soul archaeology of your own, contact her at Wild Goose Farm, named for her patriarchal Coyne ancestral line. She aspires to continue going on wild goose chases for the rest of her time on the planet.