I awoke to a cloudless sky, to a red rooftop that reminded me of the far east, to my tea steaming warm against my face, to thoughts of hope to memories of the past.
I awoke to a day.
But I have not let go of all the yesterdays. It has remained in the crevices of my wrinkled hands.
I. I am. That feels strange, to actually recognize my self. To recognize the “I” before the world. To make “I” visible and the world…the world invisible.
There is nothing. It’s rough, it’s dirty, it’s even creepy.
You want to know what type of life can exist out here in these harsh conditions.
And then, there he is. Leonard.
A fully awake spiritual being dedicated to love.
He is one of those extraordinary people in this world that make you smile for no reason. He is magical. Leonard has been living off of the land for over twenty years. He is now 78 years old and shows no signs of slowing down or being 78 for that matter.
Skin darkened from the desert sun. But his eyes burn with blue birds and his soul shames the light from the sun.
Wait, let me back up a little and tell you the backstory of Leonard Knight.
He ended up in the middle of no mans’ land by accident. Driving from Vermont to California his truck broke down in the desert and he broke down crying. He wasn’t always sold on love. He asked God for help fifteen times and just like that he awoke. That’s how this one man journey of salvation began. At first Leonard was only going to stay for a few hours and built a little monument to thank God for the love he had received in that dark moment. And of course there was a much grander plan for him. That’s how Leonard began what is now Salvation Mountain. There are pieces, like a tree he built from huge truck tires and sticks he found laying around that took him ten years to do. He smiles telling the story because at the top of the tree he painted seventeen blue birds in twenty minutes and that’s what he became famous for. Leonard and his blue birds.
His soul is free. He has a purpose. He is such a happy man.
Leonard is so beautiful. He sparkles. He has childlike playful excitement about what he has created. And let me tell you what an astonishing achievement he has single-handedly imagined and brought to reality all for the sake of love. Yes, Love! He has built a mountain from adobe, hay, paint, sticks, and tires.
He has a great motto, I love it, I think the entire world should adapt it “God loves us first…so keep it SIMPLE”
Yes! Thank you Leonard!
Keep it simple. Of course.
As I leave his illuminated world of color and love behind, I can’t help but wonder about all the Leonards of this world existing quietly and building patiently. I leave and face the road and face my reality with the hope that I too can dream up my own awakening.