I’m putting my soul onto the page for the first time in almost two years. The much needed cocoon has been a sacred and nurturing space amidst the goings on of the world, both internally and externally.
But now it’s time to come out, it’s time to be back in the world, with richer, more colorful wings, ready to fly.
I’ll tell you more about the last two years at another time, as they have deeply shaped my being – the darkness and turmoil, along with the incredible grace and love.
A little snippet of the cocoon time though: I learned that I’d rather not sleep in my Subaru for 8 months at 50 years of age, that a mid-life crisis really exists, that there are a thousand kind words and actions for every one of hatred in the world, that God is always present, that my mom and I living together in my one bedroom house has been one of the most precious times of my life, and more…
I can’t describe how filled with joy I am to write again. I realized over these two years, while I needed to not write, it is a really important part of how I connect with life, with vitality, with you, with God. It is a passionate, creative process that feeds my soul.
My heart wants the world to be at peace, but it’s not. My heart wants senseless violence to stop, but it doesn’t. My heart wants to relieve the suffering of my 89 year old friend, but I can’t. My heart wants the vaccine – anti-vaccine civil war to end, but it’s sluggishly slow to. My heart breaks for all that and more while I realize I can’t change any of it.
What I can do is love, I can pray, I can be kind, I can forgive and I can be present. I realize that my body isn’t made to hold ALL of the worlds suffering. We were made to hold some…the grief of a friend, the death of a loved one…but the access of worldwide news is too much for our system – our heart, our mind, our soul. So I take in a little bit at a time and then focus on what brings me back to love.
Last summer I did a week long silent meditation retreat in my home. I didn’t think it would be possible, but it totally worked. I started the day with meditation and each afternoon I’d ride my leopard print cruiser bicycle (it really is) to a favorite local in-town trail following a creek.
I’d lock up my bike and walk gently along the gravel path noticing all the graces I hadn’t noticed before when I was out for exercise – the deep green of the moss on the trees, the fish I never knew existed in the creek, and the way the robins bathed themselves, fluttering their wings back and forth.
Since then, I take that same walk every week. It’s a walk of noticing, a walk of being, a walk of breathing, a walk with God. It’s different from when I go skiing or running. It’s slower, it’s deliberate, it’s grounding, it reminds me of the love that is everywhere.
Yesterday on my walk the wind was blowing wildly. I stopped in a wetland, the sound of the red-winged blackbirds filling my ears with absolute delight.
The tall cattails were swaying back and forth, the perching black birds were nested on top, calling and singing to each other, because that’s their song. A song of spring, a song of joy. My smile was broad and deep. I felt connected, my soul singing along with them.
There is a stand of aspens I walk through toward the end of the trail that lean to the east, reaching for the sunrise. They remind me of devotion. Devotion to that which created us and gives us life.
As I pass through, I think of what Kent Nerburn writes in his book Simple Graces,
“An oak will teach you about strength, a cottonwood about endurance, a willow about grace, an apple or a cherry about abundance. A pine will show you humility before God in the way it takes the shape of praise. A palm will teach you about celebration. These are not metaphors. They are lessons from the very earth itself.”
Yes, the earth itself brings us back to what’s important, what to nurture within ourselves. With the coming of spring, so is the coming of renewal and rejoicing for life returning.
We are emerging from the pandemic (hopefully) with more wisdom and care within and for each other. Notice the simple joys around you and within you.
As said so profoundly by a Jesuit Priest from his garden:
“If I cannot see the face of God in a flower or a shaft of light, why should I expect to see God in ideas or books?”
In this way we can feel for the pain of the world, while also being connected to the sacred.
To start reading the journey of my two year cocoon with Part One: My Will vs. God’s Will click here.
Categories: Gratitude, Heart Centered Living, Meditation & Mindfulness