Monday, October 19, 2015

Fleeting thoughts

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, 
through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in."
 George Washington Carver

I won’t speak for anyone else
but I usually seem to have several ‘channels’ of communication 
going on at once – 
the crazy monkeys of opinions and judgements
driving around the clown car
in my head, 
music or TV in the background, 
the sound of planes above, 
leaf blowers from the neighbors yard several houses down, 
my phone pinging new messages and posts, 
my dogs playing,
tousling and demanding attention
from each other if not from me,

 I suspect I design my time and awareness that way … 
heaven forbid I ‘be still’
and acknowledge how overwhelmed
(and frequently unhappy) I feel at work, 
how much I miss my sons and the phase of life
when I was a more active player in their lives; 
how different I thought my life would be at this age …

you know …
all those thoughts that instantly turn me into Scarlett O’Hara, 
declaring defiantly,
 “I’ll think about it tomorrow at Tara!”

Riverwoods wasn’t Tara and, 
while I didn’t dwell on the backlog of issues I probably should have,
the time spent there was enough time
to entertain thoughts I give short shrift to
during my 'regular' life.

There is a way that nature speaks,
 that land speaks - 
in silence and stillness - 
which paradoxically shouts for your attention 
while allowing the space for silence -
space to sink back in
to more natural rhythms
of being and moving.

I repeatedly allow myself to forget how much
I need “boots on the ground”; 
to re-connect,
in figurative and literal ways,
to the earth
and creation;

to feel ‘grounded’.

Walking with intention in nature 
is one way for me to achieve the connection again

and worship is the other …
the combination of both in one setting was very potent!

(I especially loved finding these natural 'crosses' which appeared momentarily on my path -
only to be blown apart with the next gust of wind),
Wonderful reminders of what’s timeless and enduring
and what is fleeting.

The chapel at Riverwoods is tangible evidence of the power of being re-claimed; 
its logs ‘de-constructed’ on one site, 
transported and reassembled for a new purpose
on its present site.

The works of artisans represented inside 
speak to the innate creative spark dwelling in all of us 
but given expression by select 'talented' ones
in exquisite fashion. 

Their beauty enhanced, 
not marred,
by imperfections
and the aging process.

This weekend,
surrounded by things that are dying, 
there were still signs of new life

and seeds of hope for a future.

Fuel for thought which will sustain and inform me
in the weeks ahead.
A successful retreat indeed.

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