“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 18 October 2013

Coming Alive

A while ago, somebody asked me this question: "What makes you come alive?" and I have been thinking about the answers ever since. My first response was that it is interaction with the natural world - walking by the sea or in the mountains, making a garden, walking a regular route and noticing the day-to-day changes in the nature around me, being awed by natural beauty - all these play an important part in re-connecting me with the numinous presence of God, with making me "come alive." To which I would add, interacting with family, friends and fellow Unitarians and f/Friendly Quakers - being in spiritual community.

An appreciation of our world in its beauty and diversity is definitely something that makes me come alive. When I go for a run, it is wonderful to be out in the changing seasons - to see and savour and appreciate the blossom in Spring, the mass of wildflowers in Summer, the first conkers and the changing leaves in Autumn, and the elegant sparseness of the trees in Winter. this connectedness with the natural world is something that I have learned to nurture and treasure. It so often gets lost in Western society - we are so busy doing the job in hand, rushing to the next appointment, that we don't take time out to appreciate the world around us. My husband and I have, in the past few months, taken to having a half-hour walk when he gets home from work, and it has been lovely and enriching, It has not only re-connected us with the world around us, but also enabled us to re-connect more deeply with each other. What a blessing.

John O'Donohue has a beautiful blessing For Beauty:

As stillness in stone to silence is wed,
May solitude foster your truth in word.
As a river flows in ideal sequence,
May your soul reveal where time is presence.
As the moon absolves the dark of distance,
May your style of thought bridge the difference.
As the breath of light awakens colour,
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.
As Spring rain softens the earth with surprise,
May your winter places be kissed by light.
As the ocean dreams to the joy of dance,
May the grace of change bring you elegance.
As clay anchors a tree in light and wind,
May your outer life grow from peace within.
 As twilight pervades the belief of night,
May beauty sleep lightly within your heart.
What a blessing.



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