Eighteen. Assisi, Italy. At the cathedral where St. Francis once knelt in prayer.
Alone, the chill of the stone walls cool in the calm, quiet air. Open hearts throughout the centuries make wings for mine. St. Francis appears. Eyes smiling, he says simply, “Humility is knowing you will be seen, and doing it anyhow.”
The scent of sweet blossoms fills my being, a bouquet of instructions. I am in a room amongst the stars, with walls I can gaze through losing myself in an utterly calm universe. There are rows and rows of file cabinets here in this starlit room. St. Francis says gently, “When your hands tingle, hold them palm up, recite this simple prayer, then open a file drawer and read the glowing page before you. Follow its instructions.”
We practice together.
Leaving Assisi, our next stop is Pompeii on a wet and slippery day. Walking up a hill I see a small cluster of tourists gathering around an elder woman who is part of my travel group. She lies muddy on the ground.
Palms tingling, I stop where I am. I follow my instructions; turning palms upward, reciting my simple prayer, effortlessly finding the proper file drawer in the stars. I watch my instructions play out on the glowing page.
Shuddering at the idea of all these strangers passing judgment on what I am about to do, I let St. Francis’ rich voice remind me to be humble.
With a deep breath, and a quick eye roll to heaven, I step right into the center of the circle, plopping down cross-legged by my travel companion. Placing my hands on her head as I had been shown, I watch the blood and rain pour from her temple making sticky trails in her hair.
“She slipped on the wet stones and hit her head there,” says a woman in the crowd, pointing to a low wall.
I press the center of my right palm, fiery hot, tight against the gash on her forehead.
In moments I take my hand away. I discover that the cut has not just stopped bleeding, it has simply stopped being. There is only a small, neat line where the bleeding wound had been. Someone takes a Band-Aid out of her purse. I ask for a tissue, and gently wipe the blood away. I cover the thin scar with the Band-Aid.
I look around from beneath my lashes, afraid the circle of tourists will make some kind of fuss – but they are milling off to continue their own explorations now. I help my friend to her feet, and steady her on the slick cobble stones as we head back to the bus.
Later, tall trees flashing by as we drive a winding narrow road, I see her rubbing her head. My palms begin to tingle. I glance around nervously; sure others can tell, expecting some sort of judgment about this odd new behavior.
Next to me my good friend asks, “Are they tingling?”
“Well, say your prayer,” he says, nudging me to turn over my hands.
Opening the proper file drawer, I let the glowing page instruct me.
I casually walk up the bus aisle and slip into the empty seat behind her. “Can I just hold your head for a second?”
I expect her to think me odd, to react in some discouraging way. Instead she says, “Oh, that would be so nice.”
Placing my now burning hands as instructed, I feel a powerful flow of searing white energy move from my right palm through her head, to be caught with my left, then cleared, cleaned and drained away.
Now her head feels calm to me, cool. She sighs softly. She closes her eyes. I lift my hands and walk back toward my seat.
My dad gently tugs on my arm, pulling me down for a hug. “My San Francina” he whispers in my ear.