Growing Still

May you grow still enough to hear
the small noises earth makes
in preparing for the long sleep of winter,
so that you yourself may grow calm and grounded
deep within.


Quote: Br. David Steindel-Rast
Photo: Fabrice Villard

 

Morning flight

IMG_0195You too can fly. But that cocoon must go! Anonymous

Good morning all! 

The air is crisp. It is certain that Fall has arrived.  

In formation birds fly toward their winter homes. Their direction only understood by an internal compass. No worry, no fear – only the feel of air under their wings and the pleasure of sharing the journey with others. 

This is also true for butterflies. As the season brings cooler days they begin their own journey toward more temperate climates. Beginning their lives with only the ability to crawl, these beautiful creatures weave their own protective covering to experience a transformation filled with mystery and miracle. 

With wings strong enough to carry them hundreds of miles, never could there be flight if butterflies held onto their cocoons. 

Let today be a day to fly. Inspired by the butterfly’s transformation – may we find courage to leave the cocoon behind. May we stretch our wings finding them strong enough to carry us over the miles of our hopes and dreams. 

As the sun begins to set

The-setting-sun-1I write as the sun is setting. More noted because the sun was visible today! We have had much rain and snow during these past few weeks. The blue sky is turning dark but not before it gives small rainbows to the clouds, revealing colors bright against the winter sky.

Saturday evening has always been a time of preparation. The Sunday schedule for a priest is packed with details often unexpected. Having those things you “think you can control” in place before Sunday morning can be crucial! Things such as locating copies of bulletins, having sermon complete and where it can be found, checking the hymns posted on the boards in the sanctuary. Like preparing for guests in our home, this is a time of preparation to greet the people who will enter the red doors on early Sabbath morning. Perhaps to help with balance or to feel in control, whatever the reason, that last walk-through the sanctuary often brought moments of gratitude and quiet peace.

My Saturday evenings are very different now. Retired, I often find myself a bit unsettled as this day’s sun begins to set. Old habits are hard to break especially when they are an important part of one’s spiritual journey. As life changes so does living and adapting to this change takes time. Finding a way to express one’s vocation as a retired priest, takes discipline and a sense of ‘being-in-place’. The weeks move ahead toward the date marking my first year in Asheville and these mountains. Roots have barely taken, yet my sense of place and home, is certainly more heartfelt.

As I settle into this home and community, I find myself longing for a sanctuary. The past holds my practice and foundation. Opportunities for creativity and growth are before me. Short on patience, I eagerly look to the future and gratefully rely on the past.

The prayer below is meant for the closing of the day. Within, it offers words of comfort and challenge for any time of transition. May it inspire each reader in your own spirit’s journey.(found at Sacred Space )

In God’s loving presence I unwind the past day,

starting from now and looking back,

moment by moment.

I gather in all the goodness and light,

in gratitude.

I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,

seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.