Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Flight of the Goose

This past week the trees burst forth in color as Autumn flourishes before our eyes. Change is happening and there is nothing we can do to stop it. So much the case through every aspect of life, and yet as the seasons shift the reality always brings about new thoughts.

Autumn is a dramatic experience as we move from green, to many-colored to leafless trees. I spent time praying in our cemetery yesterday while contemplating questions about changes. These questions are daunting at times and this time of year brings about many.  So, I stood before the grave of Mother Agnes who was responsible for bringing us to Fond du Lac and reflected for a bit about changing realities. And, just when I was there for like thirty seconds the same thing that often happens--and is so not about the spiritual journey--happened. Somehow, I became very aware of being in the graveyard visible to potential others. This completely blew the zen moment out of the water. It reminds me of being a candidate and going into a church with one of the sisters to pray the stations together. I was so concerned that somebody would see me walking in there I wanted to turn and run away. It makes me laugh when I get embarrassed about that edgy, silly feeling of exposure. There is a quote that I always mess-up, yet it was on my mind yesterday and Mother Theresa had a similar one so I offer this, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." I may not move mountains, yet the work before me can be done with presence of mind and heart and that will assist in answering the questions that arise with the seasons in life and throughout the year.

Yesterday afternoon I was driving to Milwaukee and was completely taken up by several V-formations of geese flying in what appeared to be slow motion. It was so captivating I almost lost my focus for the road. My eyes were drawn to this scene and it was surreal. For just a moment it was like everything was stopping and it felt like I could experience the stillness at 72 mph in a car. Hard to explain the experience, yet it was amazing, frightening, and illusory. It all slipped by and before you know it I was at my destination and all was forgotten. Today, it came back to me as again I was in the car driving and observing the beauty of the trees along the roads (no birds in slow motion this time). There is great beauty at this time of year. I know that the days are getting shorter, and some do not do well with the darkness. For me it Autumn does bring about chaos with the changes, and it is disconcerting as we move from Summer's activity to this transitional space. Yet, something about the smell of the dying leaves, and the sound of them as I walk in the grass helps me ease through the changes.

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