I suppose if you are wrapped up in metaphysics (different than being enraptured), you must be able to accept the unexplainable.

Whether it’s a sight, a sound, a feeling – even a touch or an aroma, when we enter the realm of metaphysics, we give up the certainty of knowing what we know and become open to not knowing. If we feel “touched”by a hand brushing our shoulder (and there’s no one there); if we hear the radio play a song we just thought of – if we see something or someone and the sight defies description, than I believe we are entering a new level of knowing and Other awareness.

This is not to say we can’t know what we’ve been taught. But I believe we must be open to knowing more than we know – or thought we knew. And, the unexplained exists to expand our knowledge of a life outside the one we’re “living.”

it’s not in any one book, these explanations of metaphysical experiences. It’s not necessary to drug yourself to expand your knowledge or to talk yourself into experiencing a transformation. It’s only important to be a witness to what you come upon (or comes upon you) and to take that experience inside, believing it possible, even if it seems not.

In the late 1970s, my husband and I were living in a suburb of Denver. This was nearly a decade after my mind-bending hepatitis illness, and I don’t recall experiencing or witnessing any transforming events like that one. My life was routinely mundane, or so it seemed, and nothing dramatic. Earlier, a friend had introduced me to the I Ching, and I sometimes consulted it for answers, but I don’t think the responses were unexplainable (although almost always accurate).

In Denver, we lived in a fairly new third-floor apartment on a wind-swept plain, and the time of year (Autumn, I believe) was particularly windy. I was gazing out the window, watching a pile of tumbleweeds gather (like friends in a group), clustering to the point, you couldn’t tell where one began and another ended. There was a giant, growing one-story clump of them. I found this fascinating, for some reason, and I called L over to see the massive tumbleweed heap. As we watched the wind propel even more tumbleweeds onto the pile, we noticed a woman in a dark cloak walking towards the stack.

“Hey, look, at that woman,” one of us said, and we stood, at the window, transfixed, as she neared the tumbleweed structure and then disappeared inside of it. Although we continued watching for some time (who counted?) we didn’t see her rumbling around inside the giant weed or even see her exit. It was as if the tumbleweeds swallowed her whole,  I could only imagine how suffocating it was inside there ; she must have felt some pain from the prickles.

Even now, as I write this, I realize how unbelievable this sounds. Where did the cloaked-woman come from? Where did she go? What drew her to the tumbleweeds? Why did the weeds assemble in such a way they created a tower? Almost like a tumbleweed monument?

It grew dark finally, and there was no flashlights outside, searching for her, or an ability to even see the tumbleweed tower in the dark night. It was too unsettling for me and L to to venture outside and investigate. To this day, I wonder what we would have found.

But, of course, the next day, the tumbleweeds had blown apart, and there were just random small piles of them, here and there – and by the end of the day, they were all gone.

Over the years, I’ve investigated the “symbolism” of tumbleweeds, but nothing strikes me as particularly significant about them.  I bought a small movie poster for William S. Hart’s western movie, “Tumbleweeds.” It’s in my office, reminding me of the unexplainable experience. And I’ve researched tumbleweed outbreaks that have closed down whole towns. Still, no explanations about where the weeds come from and where they decide to go.

It wasn’t until many years later, about eight years ago, I had another unexplainable Tumbleweed experience, this one in California. I made light of it, at the outset, but this time, it was personal and it was significant.

I came here to learn.


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