When I was seven I had a conversation with God.

We sat in a white room, nothing fancy, and it perched near a cloud that drifted at the speed of our family car.

“God,” I said, “please tell me what’s going to happen when I grow up?” Would the shrub of curls on my head grow longer? Would I have two children or three? Would I be pretty?

God sat quietly on his throne, his features blurred.

“Please?” I clasped my hands together in desperation, trying to coax the glittering future out of him. “I really want to know.”

“I will tell you,” God said, chuckling. “But what’s the point? You’re going to forget it the minute you get out of this room.”

“That’s okay, still tell me please!” You see I was going to trick God by retaining clues. A few words that would act as signposts, a feature of my future husband, an image of long locks. I was devising ways to recognise the clues when the wail of a Turkish folk song plonked me back into the scorching car. The room disappeared behind a cloud with my prophecy.

It’s been twenty-three years since then and I’ve tried relentlessly to get back into that room. I acquired a taste for Turkish coffee and learned the murky language of the coffee cup. Fish, seahorses, giraffes, kangaroos delivered auspicious messages from above regarding my future. ‘See the bird’s beak? Yes, the good news you’ve been waiting for is nearly at your door step!’ When the brown symbols blurred, the birds froze midflight and these conversations became a repetitive mantra, oracles took over. Fairies, angels, the Major Arcana encouraged me to follow my dream to become a writer, to travel, to apply for that course.

But my impatience to know, that eager need to fill in the unknown with the promising contents of the future grew along with my hair.

I wanted evidence. I wanted another rendezvous in that white room.

It wasn’t until I took a day trip to Sydney’s Red Gum Forest to attend my first alternative lifestyle festival that God showed up. I was slightly overdressed for the occasion. A black maxi dress, black suede flats, a grey tie up jacket on a drizzling day in the wilderness. Tents were set up randomly providing reiki and other healing practices. People were walking around barefoot, others sat in groups near their tents. This was no picnic. I followed the scent of burning wood, fighting off the leeches that were sucking my ankles and found myself at a tantric workshop. I was assigned a partner. I was ready to run.

“Stand a hand’s length away from your partner and close your eyes,” said the facilitator. “Do not touch them. Today we are working with each other’s energy.”

Ahem, right.

I took off my shoes, scouting for leeches. Confident that they couldn’t possibly crawl onto the tarp, I closed my eyes, raised my hands in front of me palms up, waved them slowly, careful not to poke my partner’s face.

“Take deep breaths,” said the facilitator. “Take note of your breathing, feel the ground underneath your feet.”

Ah. Yep. Okay, the ground full of leeches.

“You may feel a tingle in your hands…”

Someone was playing the flute and it had started to rain.

I focused on my palms, on the facilitator’s soothing voice until my thoughts drowned in the enchanting melody of the flute. I waved my hands up and down, over my partner’s torso, his face and they felt warmer and warmer. I took careful steps, circled my partner in a blind dance.

Until my right hand was burning.

I froze, still sceptical about this energy realm. I pried my eyes open to see the cause of the heat and there a few centimetres away from my right palm was his heart.

And in that moment, that presence, I felt God on solid ground.

And I didn’t have a single question. On a grey day in the NSW wilderness I found my answer. I’d been so busy chasing the future that I was chasing away the present. I was so engrossed in wanting to know, to grow up, get my writing published, “start” my career that I was living in the shadow of a future. I didn’t realise that the future was being created with each moment.

So I stopped searching.

And today I have conversations with god without words.

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