Bags of food and supplies gather in the kitchen as I pack up for the spring retreat. There is a gathering energy in me also. Visions of entering a sacred space with a handful of women fill me. I wonder, “What are they feeling as they ready themselves for this journey?” We will move deeper into the center of our souls. We’ll travel under busyness, under ” to do’s and must do’s” and find a subtle sustaining energy.
Of course, first we will settle into Saugatuck our new home, complete with its own distractions. Still there is that tug at the core of our being that will pull us inside as we sit with other women. Strangers who are also willing to make this trip in miles and moments. Silent hours increase awareness of what’s stirs just under the surface of our everyday schedules
Silent places are disappearing at an alarming rate. Much like our attitude about rainforests, we don’t realize the service they provide until they have all but disappeared. Both make us more human. Who can spend even a few minutes in a forest and not feel the hand of God at work and see that we are part of an exquisite network that holds and feeds us.
So often I miss the beauty that surrounds me. My mind races so fast that I am leaving a place before I have fully arrived. My suitcase is packing itself before I have begun to unfold in my new location. What will it take for me to settle down? What will it take for me to root into the present moment? These are questions we face every day not just retreat questions.
There is an underlying agitation that keeps us running as we look out there for solace. But our restlessness is not to be avoided. If we engage it, if we become curious about it, we’ll be brought deeper into the moment. Remembering that is at the heart of our spiritual practices.
What seems to be in the way is often the way.
The hard work starts when I return home Sunday. Leftovers and supplies will be put away. The scent of sage, and sweet grass will still be in my hair and on my clothing. I will be left with this important question; What will nourish my soul today? A question I will return to again and again. It’s the question we all must ask, if we wish to remember that we are part of an exquisite network that holds and feeds us. I offer this contemplation to you also.
What will nourish your soul today?
Photo Credit: I took this photo in the Saugatuck garden at the corner of Mason and Butler. We had just finished a silent yoga class and were walking back to the Retreat House. It’s easy to notice what I notice when I slow down. Spring 2014
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