|Buffalo Lake, Buffalo, MN|
I went on a quick morning walk today. The lake waters were calmer today than yesterday and I played a few different instruments along the musical instrument trail than I did yesterday. What struck me most this morning was this flower. It wasn't until morning prayer, however, that I put words to why it captured my attention.
Hmmm.... great food for thought.
Then, the Act of Praise begins: "Come, O Holy Spirit. Come as holy fire and burn in us. Come as holy wind and cleanse us within. Come holy light and lead us in the darkness. [...]"
Uh huh. Yeah.
Then a Contemporary Reading-- "Fire" by Judy Brown. This is where the flower I had seen during my morning walk connected with the words I was hearing. The red doesn't quite show up in the picture above, but "fire" is what resonated within. Beyond that connection, this reading about fire spoke into the depth of my spirit. A phrase that I landed on was "practice building open spaces". But, there was (and is) so much more within here that speaks as I sit with it and allow it to sit with me. Such as "leaps and plays", "unexpected", "breathe", "energy", "beauty", "find its way".
I invite you to read the poem "Fire" by Judy Brown. What word or phrase settles in your heart, mind, and soul as you read it?
The teachings from Terry Hershey have continued to impact me and I thoroughly enjoyed my walk/talk with my walking partner after the hour of reflection of "listening to the music" which was a paradigm shift of thinking differently that focusing on the "notes".
There were many things bubbling up throughout this time.... so much so that after we finished prayers prior to noon lunch and I walked out the chapel doors to see the sprinklers watering the lawn, well..... a thought struck me. I hesitated for a brief second. Then, I took out my camera/phone, set down my notebook and glasses. And I began. I ran and jumped through the first one, then over the second, third, fourth, fifth, and maybe sixth. I lost count of the sprinklers flowing into the lawn. All I knew is that I was running around the lawn as if there were bases, jumping over the water streams, and having a BLAST! The joy inside me was overflowing and it had to come out! And it did!
What explains this action? I guess you could say I'm living into my year of jubilee coming up here in a couple of months... my year of freedom, so that's my excuse. Or, you could say that I'm living into who I have been created to be all along. In many ways, it has been who I have been all along. Yet, there is something more freeing as I learn to live into my true self identity and let go of expectations (from self and others) and accept me for the unique me that I am. Living life to the fullest, with childlike wonder and abandonment, able to go with the flow, taking time to be still and know, learning to listen, yet knowing when to speak and move and do..... this is the me that is emerging from within the prepared soil. This is my passion-- to live life such as this and to allow my life to be a light for others as they navigate the journey.
We unpacked the word "integrity" some this afternoon, we had sharing times with partners in the session and with our listening circles. Then, we closed out the evening with Evening Prayer, going into the Grand Silence.
This retreat has brought me back into a rhythm I came to know and love in the Academy. It's a little different, but similar in many ways. Plus, the location has a lake. But, alas, no alligators.
Tomorrow is an entire day of silence. And, I look forward to it with excitement and anticipation. Why? Because I sense that the Gardener started preparing my soil for me at SOULfeast and that preparation prepared me for this week. So, the things that I have sensed this week are things that are sending me forward into new territories, new life. There has been some resistance and a tad of fear of going deeper, but those have diminished quickly. I attribute my prepared soil/soul to last week and I'm super grateful and blessed for that...
My soul continues to "sing" of magnifying the Lord.
Tomorrow, I am looking forward to allowing my soul the space and grace to hear and respond to whatever it is that it needs most.
Part of what I plan to do tomorrow? Play! The musical instruments on the river walk.... and play on the playground. Walk with God.
Another part? Respond to an inner calling that has beckoned to me and embedded itself within my soul. I hope to connect with this calling tomorrow as I seek to pray the music within. (More about this later.)
May you find the right amount of space so that the fire within you may burn.
May passion ignite your soul.
May water refresh your thirsty spirit.
And may joy strengthen you for whatever path you travel.
Blessings on your journey,