St. Francis was visited during the night by an angel to receive the stigmata, the wounds of the crucified Jesus on his hands and feet. He was in the forest with his small band of followers and the animals, the same animals that would become his companions in compassion and kindness throughout the rest of his life.
This image of St. Francis painted by Caravaggio is one of my favorites, for its chiaroscuro lightening and drama, and for the collapsed St. Francis, abandoned to the arms of the angel. His load was so heavy. He was so weary. And his ecstasy came at the same moment he abandoned himself to the forest, to the animals, to silence.
All I want to do is listen to birds and waves and the wind. All I want to do for the rest of my life now that I can is lay down in nature.