A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed.”
Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day“
the very nature
Nature is healing, and filled with energy and spirit. It’s awesome and inspiring ~ It’s where wild and beautiful go hand in hand, and about the only place where being untamed is accepted, and revered. It’s where life itself unfolds, naturally, offering us lessons and wisdom that we can observe… or ignore.
Mary Oliver writes of a childhood where she was found in the woods. This notion hits home for me as enough time was spent there to earn me my favorite childhood nickname of ‘Pocahontas.’
In “The Summer Day” she writes of the grasshopper- oh how i agonized over Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper, singing in grass all summer long. I loved the pages of his carefree strumming, enjoying nature and life and making music. The hopper was a cool dude, one a 7 year old wanted to know. And then those ants- no mercy- rejected him- left him for dead , denying him food and shelter… God, did I have empathy for the hopper, still do, and disdain for the ants.
Mary Oliver’s observance resonates. And the grasshopper’s for that matter. Whatever the case, there is much to learn from wilderness and its very nature. Perhaps why the mystics retreated there, and poets and musicians find their best reflections there too.
The animal kingdom, the human experience, the nature of things- they each have a rhythm. Have you found yours? Or as Mary Oliver asks at the end of a well spent summer’s day;
“What are you going to do with this one wild and precious life?”
A Meditation from The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25:
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows.
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.
Therefore, “Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The human being is also great.”
These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the king is one of them.
The human being follows the earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.
* * *