When I was little, I was bouncing on my big sister's bed, with my twin brother. Little flecks of dust were floating down, caught on fire by sunlight which made them look like bits of gold. My brother started trying to eat them. Because he's a boy and that's how they experience things. I tried to catch them in my hand and this was about as successful as his attempts.
Instead of more bouncing, at one point I just sat. I stared in wonder at golden bits of something that I'm quite sure was eternity breaking through. Back then I didn't have this theory of mine really developed. I was just in awe of the beauty. It's been something that my mind can't let go of though, the idea that sometimes the spiritual world breaks through to the physical one.
"Basically her body is physically shutting down and she's going through the spiritual part of it now. Of letting go." My aunt's voice keeps making sounds through the phone but I'm off already. I should be listening, getting whatever details from this update on my dying grandmother's condition. Instead, I'm lost in wonder at what she is seeing.
I have another theory, that when God bawls out Job and asks him where was he when God laid the foundation of the earth, and continues to list a whole chapter of wonder, that all of those places he names actually exist. And if they do, it wouldn't surprise me if those close to death get to go to them. Could my grandmother be standing in front of the storehouses of snow? Or would she pick to see the ones with hail instead? Did she choose to enter the springs of the sea, or would she opt to walk the recesses of the deep? And, the forefront of my mind for the last couple of weeks: is she standing at the gates of death and ready to push forward through them? Where everything must be covered in gold.
I am thinking about this as we go to a wedding. With my five-year-old son asking every thirty seconds: is that her (the bride)? And once the bride walked by: when are they kissing? At one point I glance up at some flies getting zapped by a bug-zapper. They flash gold each time. Kaiya, sweet dear that she is, points them out: 'look mom, fireflies!' I haven't the heart to tell her what it really is. I wonder, as I stare at the gold flies, do we all flash gold like that when we go?
Later, I stare at the golden dots running down the table topper. It's a beautiful wedding. All creams and golds. Like heaven, I imagine. Perfectly beautiful and I'm in love with everything. The bride comes out for their first dance in a dazzling gown that looks like someone chopped up a star into bits to make it for her. All night long when I glanced at her I had seen the girl standing in our kitchen, listening to our instructions to her as a babysitter. The golden star dress suddenly snaps me out of that and she is a woman wearing eternity.
Early the next morning, in the wee hours of night, my Gramman pushes through that gate and goes home. I imagine if we had spiritual eyes to see there was a golden supernova that went off like a bomb when she left. A woman wearing eternity, walking through the gate to what's next.
What if- all of the gold breaking through is connected? From the flies, to the sunlight, to pretty wedding decorations and most of all the gold that comes from a saint going home? And what if, the noticing of these moments, is extremely important? Like an agreeing with eternal in this temporal, like just pausing for a moment and giving thanks opens up a whole door of superpowers, most powerful of which is the ability to keep one grounded when all the universe swirls in crazy madness around them.
What if the gold bits of our days are like the 'treasure' of this game of life, and we would do well to collect them into our very souls each day. Like the Israelites dutifully eating their bits of manna each day, maybe we get just enough for what is needed each and every single day. Just gold bits are all we get in this life, but it's the next life that they say the streets themselves are made of gold.
For now, I'll rejoice at each bit of gold that breaks through, and I'll set the rudder of my heart pointed to heaven so I can navigate through the choppy waters of this hard life.