This morning I listened to a podcast titled, “What is your intuition telling you?” I picked it out deliberately: it wasn’t one where I was simply listening to a speaker and the title was irrelevant, I actually thought, “Hmm, I want to know what my intuition is trying to tell me,” and selected it with intention. But I was, as usual, not a very good meditator.

It turned out that it was a visualization. The speaker — henceforth to be referred to as Our Guide — started by telling us to visualize ourselves in a grove of trees. Okay, I can do that. But then she mentioned the grassy ground under the trees and I was stymied. What? Grassy ground in a grove of trees? How? Trees usually block the light, making it hard for grass to grow underneath them. My grove of trees was scrub pines — the most common type of trees in clusters in central Florida — and the ground underneath would be dirt, scattered with pine needles.

But okay, maybe this is a grove of trees in a park or something, a place where someone takes care of the grounds. Different trees than those I’d imagined… more sedate trees. But I can imagine that, of course. So I have changed my imagined trees to go along with the grassy ground, when Our Guide tells me that one tree is special, and I should walk toward it.

I’m trying to imagine this special tree and I picture a redwood, despite the problem of the grassy ground. Specifically, it’s the redwood that Suzanne and I camped under in a state park in Northern California. But now Our Guide is saying that I can climb the tree. Okay, there’s no way to climb a redwood, that’s impossible. Maybe if I had those things loggers use, that dig into the tree, but come on, I’m not going to hurt my special tree, that’s just wrong. Also, it would be so uncomfortable. Redwoods have rough bark and they’re sticky. Aren’t I going to get sap all over myself if I try to climb this tree? 

I am not enthusiastic about tree-climbing, so I decide I have a special ability, like Spiderman, and I can just walk up the side of the tree. I really don’t like heights, though. I’m imagining myself walking up the side of the tree, carefully not looking down, and eventually Our Guide says we are way above the world, we can look down and see it below us, colorful and beautiful. I’m not looking down. What if I got dizzy? What if I fell? 

Now she tells us we are standing on a small platform looking down at the world. I am just so reluctant to do this. How big is this platform? Does it have a railing? I would like my platform to have a safety rail, possibly harnesses, and also, now that we’re at it, couldn’t it have an elevator? That would have been much more efficient than climbing a tree.

Seriously, has Our Guide ever climbed a tree? It’s not so easy. You have to pull yourself up using your upper body strength. If you climb high enough to get above the world, you’re going to be exhausted and sore, probably shaking with the effort. Realistically, when I got to the top I would have collapsed on the ground, panting with exertion. No admiring the scenery for me. 

But as I’m still fretting about the climbing, Our Guide has moved on. We have walked down a path and we are at a gate. A gatekeeper stands beside it and we have to ask permission to enter. It turns out we are entering our own personal sacred safe space.

What the heck? Who is this gatekeeper, then? Why are they keeping me out of my own personal sacred safe space? If it’s a guard that I’ve put on my space, shouldn’t he or she or it recognize me? How did they wind up with the job of standing in the way of me entering my own space and what if they refuse to let me in? Do I fight them? Is it a challenge kind of thing? Should I have a password? 

But while I’m busy resenting the gatekeeper, I’ve fallen behind again. Our Guide has moved on to first visualize and then sit by a fountain. We’re asking the fountain — our intuition — a question. Not a yes/no question, but something meaningful to us. I abandon my gatekeeper annoyance and fumble around for my question for a bit — what exactly do I want my intuition to tell me? Should I be a writer? That’s a yes/no question and besides, I am a writer even if I never write another word. Maybe what I want to know is what I should be doing with my life. Yeah, that’s a good question. What should I be doing with my life? So I breathe and I try not to think, to just let the question be there. 

Eventually, Our Guide tells us to take something out of the fountain. And for the first time in this meditation, I have a moment where it feels like maybe it’s not simply my conscious mind trying to visualize all this stuff, because out of the fountain, I pull… a rock. 

Yes, my intuition just gave me a rock. 

It is big, the size of a baseball, roundish but rough, dark gray and mottled. I know, without being able to see inside, that the rock is a geode, and probably contains crystals, but I don’t know how to get it open and I don’t even know that I want to. Maybe I like the possibility of the magic inside better than the process of breaking the rock open? 

Meanwhile the meditation has moved on. Our Guide is climbing back down the tree, but I am not doing that — who can climb a tree while carrying a rock? So I take the elevator down, still holding my rock, still wondering. I’m pretty sure my intuition is not telling me to become a geologist, but I honestly don’t know what it is trying to say. So it goes. Tomorrow will bring another meditation, another chance to listen to my intuition and be confused.

But now it is time to begin the day. My day is going to include walking the dog, dumping the tanks, eating healthy food, learning something interesting, appreciating something nice, and probably playing at least one game of Ticket to Ride. I don’t expect it to be exciting, but I do think it’ll be pretty nice, as days go. I’m grateful that I get to live it.