Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quieting my Mind, Slowing my Pace...

I need to sit awhile and contemplate where I am going. I have been spinning about, moving my belongings from one house to the next and in the process, losing my sense of self, losing my sense of balance. Mind you, all of this spinning has brought me many riches and I love the community I have landed in. I just am not yet planted here. Inertia, a resting and thinking will bring that. I just need to slow down. Way down.

This morning, as my pup and I made our way to the park to meet up with some other dog owners, I stumbled upon a pocket park with a beautiful mosaic bench tucked into one corner. I love things with character- especially those that have the hand of the artist on them- and I immediately slowed down to take a longer look at the pictures created in the tiles. I was reminded that my art, what I want to create for myself in life, had been put away for too long and needs to be drawn back out and worked on.

I think I need to go on a personal retreat. To use solitude to find myself and collect my thoughts. So that I can begin again anew. To find my balance. To think, to breathe. To create something beautiful which speaks to me in much the same way this bench does.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Journeying With Others...To All Who May Know Me...

Come with me, lets link arms together. Share our lives by upholding the best in each other. Embrace this glorious day and hold it with a smile. To thank you for you and me for me. So joyous to share this journey of life together!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hold Your Stone and Know That You Are Home

Tomorrow at church at our annual Ingathering service to kick off the new year, we are going to bless our stones of joy and sorrow. Everyone is asked to bring a stone picked up from a meaningful place this summer, so that these stones can be used each Sunday morning throughout the year as part of our joy and sorrow ritual. A time in our service when one can come forward, pick a stone from a basket and toss it into a bowl of water, the ripples of water sending your silent joy or sorrow out into the universe.

As I thought about what stone I should bring to the service, I realized I hadn't visited any fancy place this summer in which to bring a stone back from. But suddenly it dawned on me that the most important stone for me to bring would be one which was from the backyard of my new home. Of course I thought. Home. My home. Finally. This stone would represent home for me. Finally finding my home. No longer searching for my place and finally being able to embrace what it meant to be home.

As I stepped out into my back yard, all I saw where some simple rocks, gray in color with mottled black throughout. They really didn't appeal to me or really I should say, none of them spoke to me. I didn't feel any sort of connection or energy coming from the rocks I saw until out of the corner of my eye I spotted a smooth white rock tucked under some dirt, a cockeyed smile of sorts etched upon its face. Immediately I knew this was the stone for me. Smiling up at me, asking to become my special rock, the stone that represented Home.

After bringing my rock inside and giving it a good wash, I turned to a book called "Little Stone, Your Friend for Life" by James Wanless and inside I found myself captivated by the section labeled "Home" It so resonated with me and what I was feeling at the time that I would like to share some of the passage here:

Mother Stone

"As first matter, stone is our MA, our mother. Out of stone we have emerged, so it's true in a way: Little Stone is our mother. Just imagine how many human, animal, and plant births she has supported. As the mother of all mother, the Mother Stone makes us feel secure, at home. She gives of herself with unconditional love, always reliable and dependable. So strong and yet so soft. Through her, we grow our roots and wings...so that we can fly, knowing we can return to her. She is home base, always there for us. Haven't we all felt at times insecure, dislocated, unsure, foreign, maybe even alien? Without a sense of place- home- there can be no peace, no comfort, no security, no rest. Feeling at home is the base, ground zero for happiness and success in life."

Going forward, throughout the church year, when I step forward to express a joy or concern, I will look for my little stone smiling up at me, reminding me that I'm home.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Finding connection in all the wrong/right places.

When my son asked if I would be interested in visiting an amusement park with some friends of ours, I really didn't want to go. To me, amusement parks feel so fake and lack connection with the natural world that I so crave. I have disliked amusement parks so much in fact that my son at age 15 had never visited one. Never felt the thrill of roaring down a hill on a roller coaster or splashing into the water at the bottom of a flume ride.

As much as my son pushed to go, I pushed back with a million reasons why we shouldn't. The heat, the crowds, the bad food, the corrals of people waiting forever to board a ride. Ugh! No, no, no, I exclaimed! I wanted Ryan to see it my way, to understand my thinking and agree that we should just stay home and avoid the whole very bad scene.

But Ryan was not to be dissuaded and after a bit, I came to understand how important the trip was to him. Even though I didn't agree with his thinking and even though I really hated the thought of spending the day at a place that went totally against how I like to spend my time, I relented.

The day before the trip, as I complained to my mom about the amusement park, she offhandedly suggested I take my camera, thinking I might want to shoot something interesting for my blog in one of the many small towns along the way. While I didn't see anything worth photographing along the way I did began to photograph my son and his friends enjoying the rides at the park. After a bit, as I reviewed each shot after I took it, one thing began to stick out in the photos time and time again. Ryan's smile. His big, authentic, full of happiness smile.

In that moment, something shifted within me and suddenly all of Ryan's smiles were worth so much more than anything I could have accomplished by staying home. Making him happy by giving up something of myself felt so good and reminded me of the fact that life isn't about getting what you want but about giving up some of what you want in order to find deep connection with another. That hanging in there and finding your way through a disagreement or tough situation can bring something unexpected and incredibly meaningful.