The Healing Art (part two)

“The healer must know themselves to be connected to something bigger, something vast in its power to help us… something entirely whole. The healer is not the source of the power, simply its conduit.”

Who said it is lost in the past. For me, it expressed the entire art of healing; the idea that suffering is ‘smaller’ than the power of wholeness.

The main barrier to the positive perception of ‘healing at a distance’ is the belief that it can’t work; that there are no laws of the physical that support it.

The face-to-face comfort and companionship offered by someone sitting with the recipient are obvious, and easily supported by psychology. But the methods by which healing at a distance could operate are less discussed – for example, is the ‘self’ bigger than the physical constraints of the body?

When you’re with someone you love, you can feel their presence in a heightened way. There is an intensity about the space you share. The world becomes a special place within that ‘bubble’. You don’t have to be touching them for this to work.

If this works across a cafe table, then why assume that any distance is a barrier? Healing energies and loving energies are strikingly similar. What matters is focus, and the ability to draw on what is bigger than the ordinary self.

With people you know well, you can picture and feel their presence over any distance. That idea of a picture is of great importance. What about if we had the picture of a shared place of healing; a special landscape envisaged and brought to life by active cooperation and participation from around the world?

How about a picture that came alive?

(Above: an image created for the Silent Eye’s healing circle by mystical artist Giselle Bolotin. Image ©Copyright 2021) Facebook Page.

This is the method we have chosen to use to establish the Silent Eye’s new Healing Circle. The process is open to both those who need healing and those who would like to support the healing of others.

This method, often known as use of the ‘magical imagination’ has been used for millennia. We have a clear picture of a place of working. We bring it to life within our own imagination…. then we move within it, using certain conventions to bring into play our deeper and more purposeful energies.

The result is not subject to the limitations of space. This directed energy operates according to the laws of consciousness, alone. Nothing is ‘invoked’ by this method other than the attunement of your own energies, focussed on the needs of you or another.

This may be enough description, and you may decide this kind of healing method is for others. However, if you are interested in joining us in this endeavour, then the full script of the ‘guided journey’ is below.

The new Healing Circle will be inaugurated on the dawn of the Summer Solstice: Monday June 21, 2021, beginning at 04:44 in the morning – the time of the dawn – and continuing for the next seven hours. We would be delighted if you could join us by reading to yourself (or other friends) the text below at any point during that period.

———————————————

The Silent Eye Healing Circle – Guided meditation

The sun is rising on the horizon…

Before you is a level plain, a waving grassland, kissed with the golden rays. In the middle of this is a raised hill with a flat top. On the hill, you can see what looks like a small temple structure. You walk towards the temple with a sense of expectation, each step adds more positive energy to your journey. 

Soon you are climbing the wide, wooden steps to the raised surface. There is a gap in the temple’s walls and you look through. A Priest, sitting at a beautiful oval table, shaped like an eye, beckons you to join him. As you walk into the temple, you see that there is also a Priestess seated at the opposite end of the oval table. Each occupies a cut-out, carved, perfectly into the curving vesica shape of the table’s ends.

As you approach the centre of the temple, the Priest stands to welcome you. He asks you to take his seat and shows you a slip of shimmering paper flecked with gold. He offers you a beautiful antique ink-pen and asks you to write your name on the paper. In your visualisation, you watch as your signature emerges onto the beautiful parchment.

“Have you come to give or receive healing?” he asks. Again, he points to the paper and you write the one of the words, GIVE or RECEIVE, beneath your signature.

The Priest directs you to stand and take the parchment to the Priestess who now rises to greet you. She directs you to sit in her chair then opens her palm saying, “Lay the paper on my hand.” You do so and, the second that her skin and the paper meet, a myriad of small flames engulf the paper which curls into a burning cylinder and then dissolves into a thousand motes of golden light, each flying gently upwards to join what you now see is a slowly revolving picture of a galaxy where the stars and star systems are the glowing motes of the history of the Earth’s healing.

The Priestess smiles and offers you her hands from which all the motes of golden light have flown. She turns you to face the outer walls of the temple and you see, for the first time, that the “pillars” are, in fact, people – each one cloaked, hooded, and veiled. The Priestess turns you around so that you have completed a circle then you come back to face her.

“There are seven of these planetary healers,” she says, “and, though you cannot see their faces, they KNOW you. Walk, clockwise around the circle until you find an energy that matches your intentions here.”

The Priest rises to take you to the first of the Planetary Healers, standing just left of the entrance where you entered the temple. Beneath the flowing robes, you cannot tell whether they are male or female, but you can feel the radiated love directed at you.

You approach the figure. Immediately, you begin to feel the energies of Mars.

“Absorb the energies of each, then, the second time around, rest by the one who matches your needs,” says the Priest.

In turn he escorts you, after the figure embodying the Mars energy, to the Planetary Healers of Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun, and Moon. At the end of the circle and, once more by the entrance, the Priest speaks, inviting you to take a further circuit and rest at the place you have chosen. You may take rest and healing in more than one place if you wish, but each time moving clockwise to the next. Your time with the Planetary Healers may be spent in taking or giving healing, but you should not mix the two in a single visit to the Healing Circle.

When you have completed your time in the circle, you return to the Priestess, holding her eyes and conveying, silently, what you have experienced. The Priest will escort you out of the temple and down the wooden steps. You make your way across the soft grasslands marked by two rows of flaming torches. At the end of the grasslands lies the start of your regular world of experience.

This guided meditation is designed so that you may take from, or add to, the healing energies of the Silent Eye’s Healing Circle. It is open to all, at all times of day or night. The officers of the Silent Eye, and others taking part, will regularly add their own energies to the Healing Circle. You may wish to add to this energy, and we thank you for doing so.

The Silent Eye’s Healing Circle is available anywhere in the world at all times apart from Tuesdays, during the period 14:00-15:00 GMT, when our own High Priestess performs a weekly closing down and re-opening ritual. During that time, we ask you not to enter.

These instructions may be freely copied and distributed as long as they retain the original words. They are also be found on the healing page of the Silent Eye’s website at: www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Thank you for participating in our work.

The Silent Eye’s Healing Circle is not a commercial undertaking. We do not, nor every will, make charges for our healing work. Companions and officers of the Silent Eye provide their time, freely, as part of their undertaking to serve.

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

 

The Healing Art (part one)

“Healing is about restoring the person’s power to heal themselves.”

The old lady who said it was called Jean. Beloved of all us us at the Roiscrucian group in Manchester, she was was a venerated outlier from a previous age; an age in which the sheer magic of mystical development and communion was not taken for granted, and was a path that required work…

“He has the healing touch, your son,” Jean had said to my father, matter of factly, as we were having tea, cake and biscuits after the monthly meeting. She had been suffering terrible back pain and I had felt drawn to ask her if I could place my hands on her back, where I knew the pain was located. She gladly agreed. Moments later, I felt the flow of the familiar energy… and she had sighed, quietly, the muscles in her back relaxing, and her breathing taking on a more normal rhythm.

No-one had said that to me, before, yet it made me feel good that she had voiced it. Raised in a Rosiucrucian family, I was used to being viewed as ‘odd’. Working with healing energies was another perfectly sensible oddity. Some things had to be grasped and performed intellectually, but there was nothing about invoking and using the healing force that was intellectual; it flowed like a living love from healer to the person who needed it.

It just ‘was’…

You can feel the energy best in the hands. Bring your palms close together, with the thumbs up, but don’t let them touch. Closing your eyes is not necessary but can help when you are starting out. Take a short in-breath, then expel the stale energy from your lungs. Inhale from the stomach, first, letting the diaphragm expand, fill your lungs to a count of five, and stop for a second or two with in the ‘fullness’ to register the gentle heat building in the space between the hands. Repeat the breathing and direct the energy from the in-taken breath through your body, down your arms to the space between the palms.

Repeat the breathing, but do not strain at any point. A good healer is relaxed. A stressed healer does not heal.

Build the energy until you feel it has a power and warmth, and is being fed from within you by each breath. Your arms and your chest will feel like a powerful horseshoe.

If the person you are helping is comfortable with it, offer to lay your hands upon them in an appropriate place. The back of the neck at collar height is extremely effective, as it offers a direct connection with one of the most important parts of the spine and nervous system.

We are looking to interrupt the body’s ill-health or discomfort. Our excess of this loving warmth is to be used to restore, then tip their healing balance so their own body restores itself. In short, we are attempting to address the whole of the person we are working with.

The person needing healing may simply be ill, or may depleted in other ways. Often, people cause their own ‘dis-ease’ by holding negative thoughts and emotions within their bodies. These accumulate, darkly, within the self, preventing the healthy flow of their own restorative energy.

If the person receiving help is uneasy with close physical contact, offer to take their hands, instead. Hold their right in your left and vice-vera. You will feel a warmth in the wrists and thumbs as you conduct your energy flow. If no contact is possible, you can still send the loving energy by standing near them and directing your heart and mind to work together with theirs across the short distance.

Nothing complex in all that; nor was there ever. It’s simply a natural energy that one needs to encourage, develop and, above all, have confidence in. There is a special spiritual power in knowing that something is right and capable. In a sense, it’s like seeing it done, already…

What about across a distance? Is it possible to conduct what used to be called ‘metaphysical healing’ while not in the presence of a person, or group of people? In the Silent Eye, we believe it is, and has been practiced for thousands of years. We are about to establish a world-wide resource available to anyone, for every hour of each week, apart from a one-hour period where our special ‘place of healing’ will be allowed to rest, then restored, after the quiet hour has passed.

I will be providing details of this next week. We are inaugurating this at the Summer Solstice, when we will be building and empowering a shared guided meditation available to all to help them connect with the healing service. Anyone may join in. The new Healing Circle will operate on a basis of an elevated conception of ‘take and give’. Those who feel well and strong may, using the same guided meditation format, give some of their energy rather than taking it from the Healing Circle. A person who has been helped may choose to come back, subsequently, and give as a form of thanks.

The establishment of the Healing Circle will link it with powers of Being, ensuring that its energies are constantly refreshed for the use of those in need.

Next week, we will consider in more detail the principles of healing at a distance, and provide the script for the guided meditation to establish the Silent Eye’s healing circle in your own life, should you wish to join us.

The Silent Eye’s Healing Circle is not a commercial undertaking. We do not, nor every will, make charges for our healing work. Companions and officers of the Silent Eye provide their time, freely, as part of their undertaking to serve.

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

 

Interlude ~ Being There

It was quite strange, really. After a brief, initial wander around the inner stones of Stonehenge, marvelling at the scale and workmanship, almost all of the little party of out-of-hours visitors congregated by the storyteller to listen to and question his words. To be fair, he was an interesting and knowledgeable guide, but knowledge you can find anywhere and anytime… experience, presence, feeling the spirit and atmosphere of a place? That can only be a gift of the moment and once past, such moments may never come again.

That was certainly the way I was feeling, as I walked between the stones, greeting old friends I had not seen this closely in over forty years. You cannot touch the stones these days…but then, you do not need to. The magic of the place wraps itself around you like a warm blanket.

Stonehenge is a place where legend and mystery meet and meld. It was raised by the giants who once inhabited these blessed isles… or by the Devil, stealing the stones from an old woman… or by Merlin, asked to build a monument by Uther Pendragon for his fallen men, using stones carried by magic, by water and by music all the way from Ireland… Although, of course, the usual Arthurian myths go back only a thousand years to Geoffrey of Monmouth. Nowhere near far enough for this ancient circle, although Monmouth’s stories may have reached back into a more ancient past for their source and inspiration. Oddly enough, though, the old stories do tie in with the idea of music or vibration as part of the stone circle’s properties and with the idea that the stones were carried here by sea.

The first phase of Stonehenge was completed around five thousand years ago. Whatever the original purpose of the monument had been, by four hundred years later, it had become a burial ground. Not only were the original, ritualistic interments still present, but many other cremations and some unburned bones had been randomly buried in the Aubrey Holes and ditch. Some kind of wooden post structure had been erected too, and I have to wonder if it is not from this point in time that the site, its solar alignments clearly marked and probably celebrated still, gained a reputation for healing.

If the purpose of the original builders had fallen into desuetude, leaving behind only the rumour and echo of power, might it not be that people brought their sick here in hopes of a cure? Even today, the bluestones of Preseli are credited with healing properties, while those that were carried across the country to build Stonehenge must have been seen as utterly magical.

For myself, it was magical too, with so many memories flooding back of time spent within the stones as a child held at the centre of a family, and later as a young woman, always aware that the stones were more than they appeared on the surface. But it was already the end of a long day. I had driven for much of it and the long drive ahead would make us late getting home. I was bone-weary and, looking at the photographs that were taken, was gaunt, grey and haggard. If anyone was in need of a little help that day, it was me.

To heal is not necessarily to cure. The two may, or may not, go hand in hand and may, in fact, have little to do with bodily ills. There was certainly healing to be had walking between the stones that day… a softening of hard edged tension, a gathering of resources and whatever it was that would tip me over the edge to a place where seeking help became a life-saving necessity rather than a dithering choice. We had barely begun to explore the wonders of the construction, but for a while, it was simply enough to just be there.

Interlude ~ Auld Aquaintance

We were back at Avebury, after a longer absence than we would have chosen. Without the pandemic, there would have been recce trips and a workshop here already this year… and no sense of sadness as I drove past the lay-by where we would have parked to walk up to West Kennet. I would have like to have made the short climb to the ancient long barrow, a place that holds both welcome and memory, but there was no way even that little slope would have been within my capabilities.

We stopped instead beside the great prehistoric mound of Silbury Hill. Coming or going, we pay our respects to the ‘largest prehistoric, man-made mound in Europe’… thinking yet again how futile such words are to convey the sheer presence and majesty of this gravid earth.

File:Goddess Nut 2.JPG

If, as one legend avers, King Sil is buried within the mound upon his horse, then no trace of man nor beast has ever been found. But think of Nut, the sky goddess of ancient Egypt, who swallowed the sun every night and gave birth to it each dawn and perhaps ‘King Sil’ takes on a different guise.

File:Silbury Hill, England.jpg

In the Egyptian myths, the sun travels through the underworld at night, plagues and attacked by the great serpent, Apep. Not so very different, perhaps from the mound at Avebury, surrounded by the mirror-pool of waters that reflect the heavens and through which a swallowed king would have to pass.

Why is it that we can attribute such sophistication to the ancients of other cultures and yet deny it to our own? If we wrote down no tales, we remembered them… passing them from mouth to ear, heart to heart, throughout the millennia. Perhaps that is a more sacred way of passing on the innermost stories of creation than simply committing them to paper or papyrus. To hold something so close to your heart that you never let it go… or be befouled, damaged or broken. And yet, such a holding is only as strong as its holder… and all men return to dust in their day.

Leaving Silbury, we headed along the Avenue, parking the car so we could get out and wander amongst the stones for a little while.  We greeted them as old friends… long missed, it seems, since our last visit.  And yet, they were still so familiar that we knew their names and faces… could now pinpoint where, right across the country, the same shapes have been chosen for stones that still somehow manage to remain wholly unique to each site.

And yet, there is a similarity in the shape and faces of the stones… of that we now have no doubt at all. We have seen it from the Western Isles to Cornwall… and everywhere in between. Although it is now lost to us, there is a meaning and language in the shapes the Old Ones chose for their stones… and in the faces that they show to us.

We walked, naming the stones, greeting them, untiI had to turn back.  It wasn’t far…and nowhere near as far as I would have liked… but it was good to be back amongst the stones at all. From here we could clearly see Falkner’s Circle, a ‘lost’ circle that we had sought for some years earlier and found, discretely hiding in a hedge. There was no hiding today and the stone was clearly visible, even from this distance, illuminated as if from within.

With the Red Lion subject to virus restrictions and the beautiful old Waggon and Horses at  Beckhampton still closed by the pandemic, we were pretty much obliged to wander into the centre of the village and the main circle, in search of facilities and so I could catch my breath.

There was the familiar thrill as we ‘breached’ the energies around the circle… never quite the ‘psychic shock’ of that first time, but you feel it every time as you drive or walk into the presence of the great circle of stones. It is always like stepping into your place within an ancient and unending dance to which your soul knows the music… and as if you have never left your place at all… as if the time spent away from the dancing life within the stones is of little relevance. It is a strange place… but it heals the crazed stress-cracks in the soul like few others. Just to be there was enough.

Healing

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” That has to be one of the most popular quotes from the work of the thirteenth-century Persian poet, Rumi. You see it all over the internet these days and yet, I wonder how often we stop to think about what it might mean. Much may be lost in translation of words that seem both familiar and easily understandable, knowing so little of the mindset, beliefs and culture of the writer, but even taken at face value, such words conjure an image to which we can all relate.

Every life holds its own heartache. We cannot avoid them, no matter how we try. We cannot hide from them, though we can, and often do, try. Yet still they find us. And every heartache, great or small, leaves a wound that remains tender, often prone to infection from further hurts, just as any wound of the flesh. Untended they can fester and even the smallest can bring terrible pain and cause greater damage than the wound itself warranted.

Yet, if we cut ourselves, we do not run from the pain… we deal with the cut first, cleaning it, maybe having it stitched by someone more qualified than we, if it is bad, then we keep it clean and let that cleanliness and the fresh air do their work. There may be a scar, there may not. If there is, most of the time it fades into insignificance and is forgotten.

We do not treat the heart as kindly, though, do we? We often worry at the hurt like dogs with a sore foot, we scratch it and press it to feel how much it pains us, or bite it as we illogically do with a tooth that needs attention. It is almost as if we are afraid that the pain will stop.

I have wondered about that. It is not as if we enjoy the hurting. But maybe we feel a need to cling to it, to keep it alive somehow. Perhaps we have lost someone or something and in allowing the pain to heal we feel as if we are betraying that loss? Maybe the pain is due to fear and in letting go of the fear we fear the unknown territory of being unafraid? The familiar is always more comfortable than the unknown… at least in our own minds.

The danger is that we allow the hurts to define who we become. We sink beneath the murky waters of pain and cease to see clearly, allowing events and our reactions to them to shape who we are and how we see the world. We learn to see ourselves through a veil of hurt and in turn this is the image we expect others to see.

Yet we are not our hurts. The pain can teach, or it can, like a flame, burn away the impurities and leave behind something cleaner and able to move freely. I have a feeling that is its purpose, to allow us to burn for a little while, cleansing the grief and fear, before emerging like a phoenix renewed.

The scars remain as reminders. Nothing is lost or forgotten, but it can be allowed to take its place in the past and be a solid foundation for the future. Perhaps if we are able to allow ourselves to heal, seeing the wounds, as Rumi says, as the places where the Light enters, the pain would find its proper place in our lives as a teacher, not loved, perhaps, but respected and acknowledged for the value of its experience and the healing it can bring.

Whitby Weekend: A quiet hour

It is rare, on one of our workshop weekends, to get a moment to yourself outside of your room. There is so much to do and any free time is generally spent catching up with people you too seldom see. But, given that I was in no fit state to join the others for their cliff-top walk, I found myself in the car-park above Staithes on my own.

Staithes is a pretty village, once a major fishing port with every available inch of land holding fast to a cottage. The narrow streets and gay colours of the houses give it a welcoming feel… but I had completely forgotten about the hill that leads down to the bay. And this is not a hill anyone should be able to forget. Down is relatively easy… although the bits of me that were aching disagreed… but getting back up would be hard work. Still, I had a while to wait and, with the last light of the day tinting the sky, I wrapped my cloak around me, thankful of its warmth, and sat down to watch the sea.

 

There is a lot of history in Staithes, and I should probably mention that Captain James Cook had lived and worked here as a boy before the sea caught him and him on the waves, but to be honest, the only thing I could think of was that the sea had me too. I have never wanted to become a sailor, but the sea has always pulled at my heartstrings. Perhaps it has something to do with being as islander… something we tend to forget when we live inland. The sea is in our blood and, although many of us see it but rarely, it is never really very far away. I have lived inland all my life, but sometimes closer to the sea than I am now.  For years, I did not see it at all, and even now, when I get to the coast a little more often, there is a childlike excitement and a sense of coming home.

The waves beyond the little harbour crashed and foamed, within the embrace of the walls, the sea was mill-pond calm…at least on the surface… as the sun went down. I watched a family of children collecting shellfish along the waterline, a lone mallard duck looking out of place amongst the seagulls. And I watched as the tide turned, listening to the song of the waves and the beating of my own heart. There is healing in such moments of peace and communion, when there is nothing to do except be and the sea always works her magic.

I could have gone inside and waited in the pub, but I was perfectly happy where I was. By the time the others arrived… and not by the path I was expecting… the sea had receded and so had the pain. All I needed was a coffee and a little warmth to feel better than I had all day. Everyone was tired, and the pub was packed, so instead of an early dinner, we parted and made our way back to Whitby and our hotels. At least, that was the plan. The night, though, had an unexpected treat in store…

Facing Fear With The Silent Eye, Part 7 – Fear Itself ~ Helen Jones

More from Helen Jones on our visit to a rather special site…

I recently attended a workshop with The Silent Eye about Facing Our Fears, an extraordinary weekend spent among the hills and grey stone villages of the Peak District. It’s taken me a little while, as it usually does, to process everything that happened. Once again there was history and mystery, good company and tasty food, old friends greeted and new friends made. And, as always, revelations.This is part seven of my account, parts one, two, three, four, five and six can be found here…

As we approached the Andle Stone its size, half hidden by the slope and vegetation, became more apparent, as did the fact that this was obviously a significant part of a larger landscape. Once again, there seemed to be a tradition of climbing attached to the stone, as someone had incised footholds as well as graffiti, and cup marks higher up indicated it had been in use for a very long time. However, it was a good four metres or so to the top so we decided to leave it, pushing through the shrubbery to the front of the stone, where an inscription lay hidden.

Continue reading at Helen Jones’ blog

Facing Fear With The Silent Eye, Part 6 – Release ~ Helen Jones

Helen continues her journey through the sacred sites of Derbyshire…

I recently attended a workshop with The Silent Eye about Facing Our Fears, an extraordinary weekend spent among the hills and grey stone villages of the Peak District. It’s taken me a little while, as it usually does, to process everything that happened. Once again there was history and mystery, good company and tasty food, old friends greeted and new friends made. And, as always, revelations.This is part six of my account, parts one, two, three, four and five can be found here…

As you pass between the gateposts leading onto Stanton Moor, there is a feeling of entering another world. Perhaps it’s the Cork Stone, a great stone guardian whose sphinx-like profile has monitored the path for millennia, or the old quarry marks, now overgrown. Or perhaps it’s the many cairns hidden amongst the heather, silent indicators that this is a land of the dead.

Humans have been using this place for thousands of years, which is why Stanton Moor is a place of national importance and, as such, is protected. Prominent signage advises visitors to leave no rubbish, make no marks and, something that became important as we journeyed further into the landscape, keep their dogs on a lead at all times.

Continue reading at Helen Jones’ blog.

The little fish who swam

There has been a sick fish in my son’s pond for months now. At one point, there were two of them, floating belly up, side by side, and sporting ugly ulcers. They were so ill that we had even been obliged to discuss the possibility of euthanasia, although that goes against all we have learned about the nature of hope over the past few years.

We even went as far as buying clove oil with which to anaesthetise the fish if their suffering seemed too much for them to bear….and the day we did so, they rallied. It seemed at the time as if, having accepted that responsibility, the need for action was removed.

We named the fish for their characteristics during their illness, to distinguish between them for the daily reports on their progress or lack of it. Once, grossly swollen and looking for all the world as if he would die of dropsy, a virtually incurable problem, we called Fat Fish. The other is now on his third name.

After a few weeks, Fat Fish made a truly remarkable recovery, against all odds and predictions. The other fish was not so lucky. At first, all he could do was flap feebly. Then we had a period where his recovery looked impossible… and the next day he would be swimming. We named him Trooper for his gallantry.

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

Trooper hid himself under the plants and no longer swam. He was not eating and became translucent, thin and weak. Every day, I twitched his blanket of plants when I arrived at my son’s home…at first, expecting the worst, then as the days went by, hoping for his release and knowing that by all logic, he should already be dead.

We were back to the big question again… how long could we leave him in this state? We had tried every medication and intervention by now and nothing was working. It was heartbreaking to watch.

Nick, however, was convinced the little fish would rally again. “He’ll be fine,” he said, over and over again and with utter conviction, every time I broached the subject. “He can do it.”

I had to wonder if my son’s unrealistic belief in the fish were a reflection of his own impossible recovery, rather than a hope based in reality. Nevertheless, we continued to watch and wait…and I continued with my own unreasonable hopes, and every day I expected to be preparing a grave.

Then, one morning, Trooper was gone. He was no longer beneath the plants… my heart sank. He had given up the ghost and I would have to remove his body if I could find it in the depths of the pond. I looked everywhere…the water is clear and yet I could not see him.  Until I caught sight of a fish with the distinctive black marks on his back that identified him as Trooper, swimming with the rest.

I held my breath, expecting the emaciated fish to float back under his plant. He didn’t. He sped around the pond, chasing his friends and doing laps. We had seen him rally briefly so many times, though, that I was not convinced. He hadn’t eaten for weeks, was so thin and pale you could almost see through him and his side had still not healed.

Told you he’d recover,” said my son. I was still expecting a relapse, but a week later, and the little fish is still swimming. His back, unless he chooses to submerge, doesn’t quite make it underwater. He is a little lopsided… but his side has now healed. He’s eating… and he is out-swimming every fish in the pond in terms of speed and energy. My son renamed him Super Trooper.

I cannot help wondering how much my son’s adamant belief in the little fish helped his recovery. I had enough knowledge to realise that my own hopes that the fish would pull through were not at all realistic. My son, with less knowledge, simply had faith in him and refused to believe there could be any other outcome.

That is a magical thing. The little fish’s recovery, given how ill he was, seems a minor miracle.  I have seen a good many troubled teenagers who just needed someone to have faith in them, trust them… believe they were worth something… and it changed their lives from a slippery slope to a steady climb. I held my son’s unconscious hand, willing him to health, despite the prognosis… surrounded by his friends and family who also believed he could shatter the predictions. And he did. Those who have believed in me when I could not do so drew me out of the shadows of my own life and into a place where I can believe in myself.

To believe, to trust… to have faith in someone… that is an expression of Love. It can move metaphorical mountains… it can change lives, and bring healing, both to the one who believes and the one in whom they have faith. I wonder how often we underestimate the power of such a simple act… and what we could achieve if we could bring our whole hearts to Love, hope and trust?