“The world cannot ruffle the dignity of a soul that dwells in its own tranquility”. – John O’Donohue
No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.
The mind of the day draws no attention;
It dwells within the silence with elegance
To create a space for all our words,
Drawing us to listen inward and outward.
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.
So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.
Discovering a new path is always exciting if not a little scary.
I pulled into the parking lot at Lorne Henderson Conservation Area (#SCRCA) at the same time the park ranger was finishing her rounds. I started out on my normal walking route and then noticed fresh footsteps in the snow so I thought I’d follow those instead. I must have followed her footsteps.
Winter walking is different than summer walking. You aren’t quite sure where the danger lies, where the unfrozen water is, where the holes are. I never would have found this new path in the snow if there had not been footprints to follow.
Snow lets you see the one who has gone before. This path took me to a place in the park I’d never been to before; one I’ve always wanted to go to but just didn’t know where the path was to get there.
It was the perfect day for a walk in the snow. Mild and bright sun peaking through the deep woods. With a touch of powdery snow drifting off the branches creating a mist-like eeriness. Standing perfectly still in the woods I could hear the snow engaging with the bark. Today’s majesty all 3 minutes from my house.
Are you waiting for a new path? Perhaps someone has gone before you. Perhaps you don’t have to create something from scratch but only keep your eyes open to the new possibilities which are already prepared for you. Prepared so beautifully that there are no dangers waiting, only joy and majesty.
“In my father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” John 14:2-4 New American Standard Bible
When we let go of our desire to be clever or successful or to create beautiful things, we may begin to be open to the sacred truth of our experience as it is, not how we want it to be.
Christine Valters Paintner in The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom