Listening For The Gentle Voice Before We Arrive

Dec 02, 2021

By Franco Marini

Growing up in a small rural village in Northern Italy had lots of advantages as a little boy. Store-bought toys? Never heard of them as a child, which opened up all sorts of creative possibilities of creating toys from sticks, pebbles, and other found objects. Brushing teeth? Never had to, that was a privilege only for the adults since toothpaste was quite expensive. I do have to confess, that once in a while I would sneak into the bathroom, unscrew the lid of the tube and would enjoy a tiny bit of toothpaste in my mouth...sweet as candy!

Health and Medicine? So much knowledge from the healers of the past. I remember that whenever anyone had a toothache, my mother would gather a round leaf small plant, cook it in milk, and place it in the tender area. Success was eminent and usually relief would appear in a couple of hours. Coughing or colds? A string of garlic around the neck and lozenges made from cooked, burnt sugar, and some magic herbs, almost always did the trick.

When I was four-and-a-half- years old, I contracted a severe case of the whooping cough. The homemade lozenges didn’t seem to make an impact and the evening 'mentholatum' on a warm cloth placed on my chest felt good, yet did not curb my coughing.

On a very scary afternoon, I began coughing excessively and could not stop. All of a sudden I felt a glob of yuck getting stuck in my throat. Suddenly, I could not breathe and could not make a sound to summon for help. After a few moments, I felt my body go limp and I crumpled to the floor. The last conscious memory was of my mother screaming, “Help, Help, somebody help...he’s turning blue!” (Of course all in Italian).

My next moments were laced with a beautiful sensation of calm and pure satisfaction. I felt myself whooshing through a dark tunnel and after some travel time, I began seeing a large, soothing, round circle of candles. From that space, I could hear angelic voices and welcoming vibrations. When I arrived in the midst of the circle, I looked up and felt a sense of love, acceptance and pure calm. I was elated that I had arrived there and I was ready to join the circle of wonder.

Suddenly, a caring, warm hand encompassed the top of my head and I heard a gentle voice say, “We are not ready for you little one, you still have some work to do before you arrive”. Before I even had a chance to question this kind of edict, I felt my spirit being swished back into the tunnel and slowly opened my eyes, finding myself on the kitchen floor surrounded by my family.

Upon hearing my mother’s pleas, my father rushed into the kitchen from the garden. He had opened my jaw and thrust his hand down my throat, clearing the blocked phlegm. Breathing again, I welcomed the site of my family and felt a bit of sadness in my heart for not having entered the space of bliss.

As I continue my journey on this earth, I often stop and ask in a curious and loving way, “ What is still left for me to do before I arrive?”

What is left for you to do, before you ARRIVE?