Red Hill Resurrection

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Red Hill Summit: Lake Winnipesaukee in the distance

 

Morning broke with sunrise Alleluias at The Rock

Acoustic accompaniments to the voices of

altos, sopranos and those out of tune

Weary pilgrims shivering in the cold Easter dawn

Reflecting and reciting in the woods’ spring hush

Midday brings a bolder journey still

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The steep brilliant hike up a slush covered hill

Mother and sons make the 2000 foot ascent

Breathing deep

Each step more steep

The oldest using his powerful speed

The feast at the summit consumed in near silence

The youngest reminding us as we view the tranquil vastness

of why we do this:

We can’t let life pass us

The gang of three leave this sacred place

Hearts full, feet moving at a dancer’s graceful pace

 

Day 5. A little late after a great day with my sons.

 

 

The Inner Voice

The only tyrant I accept is my inner voice

                                                                ~Mahatma Ghandi

 

How often do you act on your instincts?  Pay attention to messages from the universe? Rely on some form of faith?

 As many of you know, I am in the midst of a life-changing transition. The first in seven years. The latter was devastating, not only for me but for my then teenage sons as well. It forever put our lives into a BEFORE/AFTER demarcation. We spent years healing, moving forward, readjusting and creating. Breathing out, breathing in and building an entirely different existence. Growing up and getting stronger.
 
I have spent more time away from my home this summer than I have been there. My job has allowed me the “luxury”, if you will. Leaving and then coming back has provided me with a fresher perspective and perception of my hometown of 25 years. I came back ready to let go. So for this season, I am sowing the seeds for a new life in a new location. A totally different climate and landscape.  A bit more crowded.  Dotted with big box stores in places instead of pine trees and oaks and maples. But the tiny backyard has a view of  a verdant city park with bike and running trails and the warm gulf beach is just 2 miles away. And the street is amazingly quiet.  I am having fun “exploring”  even though I have been traveling here regularly for over 5 years. Now I am setting down the routes and roots for a simpler life.

 

Yes.  A simpler life was the first message I heard. The first sentence I said out loud when my man and I decided to get married. Since then, I have been shedding reminders and responsibilities that only served to crowd and complicate my everyday existence. Boxes and boxes of items donated or tossed and even set aflame. Decisions about the house.  Rent? Sell? In the coming months, the shelter will be the focus of some very serious discussions and resolutions. Changes to the neighborhood have brought this to bear. In this regard, I have patiently waited for cosmic messages and definitely relied on my gut. Because of this, I have been able to think clearly, protect myself and rely on the expertise of others. I feel prepared and not blind-sided-so unlike seven years ago when  I was an emotional wreck. However, I am not going to pretend that it is going to be an easy process; I just know that I won’t be or feel alone.

After a period of contemplation and turning over, I have decided to change my career path as well. Still exploring what that might be but I am well certain that I will NOT be in the same field or in the same setting. I see this decision as another means to simplify my life and pursue opportunities that may bring forth the as yet unknown gifts that I hold in store. One thing I do know is that I want and still need to work ( I am a WICKED people person!) but not in a job that can suck away so much of my mental energy.

This interlude is a favorable time.  A wide open space in which to develop a new niche, new friends. A place for myself as well as for my partner. The former is essential. I have honed my new found skills of independence and a solid inner life that is sure to serve me well in the coming years.

When my work day life resumes shortly, I hope to hold onto to this state of mind and heart.  I’ll tend to the seeds of my summer sojourn and continue to bring forth the bounty in my last remaining year as a native of the north.

 

 

A State of Grace

“God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”   Micah 6:8

I love my faith community. It is a place that has provided me comfort in times of great sorrow. It is a place that healed my broken spirit. Mostly, it is a place of great joy where everyone is happy to see you and accepts you for who you are. We are an open and affirming community that is intellectually and spiritually stimulating. We are an action orientated organization that continuously is performing service work in our local region as well as in our country.

My church and the people who belong to it have helped my sons and I become better people. For me specifically, it has helped me become a more prayerful and mindful person.

When I think about prayer or the act of praying, I think about it in two ways: first as a conversation with God and second as an intention. I have a vague memory of praying on my knees beside my bed when I was a little girl and also of reciting the Lord’s Prayer as I lay in bed before I went to sleep. I’d like to think of those times as a sort of  introductory training on getting familiar with God in a more private way.

Now that I am further along in my faith journey, my prayers are more eclectic in nature. Sometimes, I find a prayer in a song. Marc Cohn’s “One Safe Place” is especially meaningful to me.  Other times, I will enjoy a moving meditation with God while I am running. Usually, this involves an actual plea or praise that I recite out loud. I often ask for help for others, especially the boys. I always ask God to watch over those that I know that are going through a challenge in their life. When I pray like this, I feel centered and closer to the Great Mystery.

But I have also had some powerful prayerful experiences in moments of stillness. This usually happens during yoga and is more spontaneous. I have had divine experiences during some of my practices that need no words; it is like an energy flow that goes directly to God. When this happens I feel as if my soul has been cleansed and renewed.

It is through yoga that I learned to set an intention either for the moment, the day, or the week. Intentions help me to stay present. They ease my worries. They give me strength and help me stay positive and put good vibes into the universe. Intentions remind me that I need to live my life purposefully. They maintain my connection to the Light. Right now my intentions are to live my life with grace and to let go of reminders of past hurts. I believe that I may have been doing this for a while; but now-every day-I say it out loud. These intentions have helped me get through some uncomfortable encounters lately and have allowed me to come out of situations feeling like a better person.

I think prayer has allowed for some amazing things to happen in my life. And I thank God for that!

I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear~Jewel