Sacred and Intimate

by Christopher Lovejoy on December 11, 2011

When I returned, she appeared to be sleeping soundly. I put the water bottle within her reach and placed the fruit further away from her, near the edge of the towel.

Crinkling my nose, I peeled away her feces-filled bikini bottom and dropped it on the sand behind me.

I soaked a washcloth in fresh water and washed those parts of her body where it was most needed, taking care to use a separate cloth to gently cleanse any open sores, which were few in number.

I reached into my first-aid kit and retrieved an eReader that carried a comprehensive draft of a survival guide that a friend had compiled and composed before I was stranded on this island.

After consulting entries on dehydration and staph infections, I located a tub of restorative skin cream with a high lipid content inside the kit and gently applied the cream to her sunburn. I opened a tube of anti-bacterial ointment and carefully dabbed where necessary.

Afterwards, I washed and rinsed her bikini bottom in the sea before hanging it up to dry.

I took the liberty of applying reiki to much of her body, but mostly to her face, neck, and shoulders – to relax her body, to soothe her mind, to boost her immune response, to ease her recovery.

Playing the role of healer is something I had done only on a few previous occasions, but I invariably found it strangely fulfilling – as deeply relaxing for me as it was for the people I attended.

Consummate healers do more than skim the surface of the body. They approach healing opportunities with intentions to heal holistically. They know from experience that the sacred attention they give to their willing subjects affects not only their health, but their dignity, integrity, and peace of mind. 

Following through on the intention to heal someone is a profoundly intimate exercise and requires a sacred trust, which I experienced viscerally with this young woman from beyond.

I stayed with her for most of the day, through the morning into the late afternoon, reading selected entries from the survival guide that I thought might prove useful later on.

Whenever she appeared restless, I would give her more water, or apply more healing touch, which she did not resist, and even welcomed, judging from the depth of her breathing.

It was clear to me that she was exhausted. I could only imagine what she had been through.

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