A Love Supreme

an essay by
VICKI GOLDSTON | Publisher + Writer



TODAY I AWAKENED to yet another power outage. I stomped out to my backyard to rant and to water my flowers.  “Every time I turn around, we’re out!” I took a breath, and suddenly realized this morning was cooler than the recent heat and humidity we had been experiencing.  My plants’ soil had been christened by a secret and sacred rain through the night, and I didn’t have to water them.  I took another breath, which included the scent of rosemary, gave thanks, and smiled.  The weather was inviting me to go for my morning walk.  My foot has been giving me the blues.  So, I walked my neighborhood, rather than the park.

After only a few steps I noticed my aching foot.  Determined to walk, I cupped my iPhone and selected music. I accidentally bumped into Michael Jackson on my playlist, and he had my ear.  “Do you remember the time…” Before I knew it, my eyes held wells of tears as I envisioned my kids and husband dancing to this song, and I was reminded of the power of music.  It can conjure up the roots of rhythm and make you “drop it like it’s hot.”  It can also take you to a bittersweet place where your heart must embrace and remember loved ones gone from sight (my husband transitioned 7 years ago). The next automatic selection on my playlist was John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. To say Coltrane’s music is ethereal is an understatement. This morning it evoked a spiritual response from me.

It was as though every tree I passed spoke to me, saying, “See my splendor, I am a part of you.” Coltrane’s saxophone blazing, I was struck by the countenance of this everyday visual, which now seemed to be transformative. As I walked uphill, I practiced Qigong, breathing and navigating my chi, (energy), “One fun, two shoe…” With the crescendo of the song, the chant started, “a love supreme…a love supreme…”  At that moment I saw a newly broken limb of a tree, and I bowed to the power of the storm that must have hit while I slept. Further down the street lay a dead limb with no leaves. I thought about the cycle of life, and of the power of regeneration and renewal that the trees symbolized. I felt a sense of hope for the universe, and my foot no longer hurt.

Originally published in Garden Spices Magazine, reprinted with permission.
Photograph by Vicki Goldston

A Love Supreme, by John Coltrane