I walked twice today. Once because that’s what I do (it was chilly and dark and stormy) and twice because just after 1 p.m. the rain cleared and it was warm and sunny and sometimes one longs not for the hermitage but for the glorious light of God itself and seeing it right there, steps into it. Why not?
Chickadees and crows watched the dog and I go, singing a warning to those for whom two-feet and canines almost always mean danger. The trails were muddy and slick, still running with rain, and I slipped and fell more than once. The dog kept looking back as if to be sure I was okay. She is not used to unsteadiness in our walking. Nor am I really, but I am getting better at remembering to laugh.
As we went, I thought about inner peace – a phrase that has been echoing and reechoing in my mind lately, alternately annoying and delightful. Annoying because I used those words cheaply for far too long – long after I knew better – and delightful because there are no consequences and so it doesn’t matter if I used them cheaply or not. When we are ready to accept God, God is there – peace is there – and what went before is let go because it no longer serves. It is so simple and so liberating and so beautiful.
We truly are talking about a decision – a brief fold of the mind in the direction of love, or water assuming the shape of the doe’s print into which it falls. And we make it – we leap into the light like energetic monks, like love returning to love – and then . . . we fall back, slowly or quickly. It’s because we’re trying to fly on our own merit, not realizing that the sky was given to us in Creation, and we are already there. We are wings and sky and that mind that holds them both.
And yet how slowly we learn! And yet how lovely and spacious and embracing the world in which we learn! As if our happiness really were God’s will, and the chickadees and the rivers and the the pine trees God’s chorus, singing us the way home, one stumbling step after another.