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The Heart of Wonder: Thank You Stevie

I am inspired to talk to you about Love. Love is the great healer. Love smoothes out life’s wrinkles and fills in crevices. Love takes away the pain of a child’s skinned knee and love warms the heart of the one who grieves. Transmissions of love take all forms, shapes and sizes. Love flows mysteriously at times taking secret underground passages while at others boldly flooding a room the way sunlight might flood your living room in the afternoon creating a warm and cozy place for the cat to take a nap.

Love moves through infinite avenues many of which involve creativity. Love’s masterful hand holds the paintbrush, strums the guitar, twirls the baton, taps out poems on the keyboard and chops vegetables for a delectable minestrone soup.

Love breathes us nourishing every cell and fiber of our being.

I want to share an experience I had recently where I was penetrated by Love. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the first day of a music festival in Napa, California called BottleRock and it was here that I had the honor of receiving the Divine Love that flows through the music of the legendary Stevie Wonder. Stevie has been sharing his divine gift for over fifty years and his music and songs are as fresh, radiant and heart-drenching as ever.

Simply put Stevie Wonder emanates Love with every note he plays and every sound that falls from his lips.

When Stevie sings it feels you’re like being showered with honey golden nectar and as you soak up the sweetness of this musical ambrosia it’s as if your cells are opening wide in much the same way that a baby bird would open its’ mouth wide to receive food brought by the mama bird.

It’s that kind of essential soul nourishment — the kind that melts you and thrills you at the same time.

One might even call Stevie’s music a direct line to God.

Nearly every song could be called a greatest hit and the notes hit the bull’s eye of my heart piercing my soul with joy. Honestly, I was not the only one who knew all the words to the majority of the songs; everyone was belting them out with huge smiles on their faces. Being in a crowd of Stevie Wonder fans felt like being with family in a certain way and even though we came from all walks of life the music unified us and our apparent boundaries and differences magically dissolved. Standing there on a warm May night we were one.

Music is a great unifier — especially music that saturates the heart with Love.

I was amazed by how the transmission of love that came through receiving “Stevie’s blessing” catalyzed an effortless healing with a friend of mine. The situation was one of those where the communication had gone awry, where what had been said felt hurtful and I was cognizant of the fact that the air was not clear between us. When these messy interactions happen in my life — and I humbly admit that they still do from time to time; I make it a point to clear them up as soon as possible. I find that when a communication doesn’t hit the mark then there is often a residue that just doesn’t feel very good.

Maybe you know the feeling of running into someone with whom you’d had an edgy interaction the last time you were together and now being with them feels kind of uncomfortable? Perhaps you even went so far as to take a different aisle in the store to avoid eye contact with them?

When these kinds of situations arise in relationships with people whom you really care about then you can choose to tend to the relationship by leaning in to the discomfort in order to traverse the gap that has grown between you. It’s like that pair of jeans with the hole in the knee that you meant to patch but didn’t get around to doing it; you know how the hole gets bigger and bigger? It’s like that. When we don’t tend to the holes in our lives they expand— the bigger they get the harder they are to mend.

So mend I did but not in the way I’d planned. We met on the playground after dropping off our girls at school and once we’d hugged hello she asked me, “How was Stevie Wonder?” This was the perfect question! My heart opened. I grinned from ear-to-ear and out poured the love, passion and gratitude I have for Stevie and how inspired I am by the way he shares his heart.

One of the most potent moments of the show was when he first came out on stage dressed in his long, royal green satin African robes, his braids hanging to his waist, donning his shades, walking slowly and gently saying, “Hello. I love you. Hello. I love you. I love you.” I could feel that he did love me and each one of us. The love poured from Stevie to me to my friend. Love echoes through time and distance so sweetly and easily.

Through the Grace of meeting in our mutual Love for Stevie Wonder whatever had been calling for healing was spontaneously mended. Simply by us connecting in the depths of our hearts no words about the past encounter were needed. Sometimes a specific communication may be needed and in that moment as we stood in the warm morning sun on the school playground there was a healing communion through what I would call the Heart of Wonder.

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