A Walk In The Woods


“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least–and it is commonly more than that–sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”  Henry David Thoreau.

Today I walk towards the west.  Not my usual starting-out direction.  But the west seems to be calling me today—a subtle magnetism.  My heart compass follows.

I leave the road and venture into the woods and the meadows and the fields.  A yellow-marked trail points the way.  Whether I follow the trail, God only knows.  My needle trumps yellow-marked trails.  Always seeming to settle on my true north.

In the walking, I ascend deep into the heights of communion with God.  (The beauty of nature is always meant to be a means of connection.)   Minutes turn into quarter hours; half hours into hours.  I am lost in prayerful thought—a comfortable place for me.

I descend.  No yellow-marked trail.  In fact, no trail at all.  I had come to an intersection at some point in my prayer journey.  A one-road crossroad—the trail before me and the wild to the left and right of me.  Needle took me off the trail.  Go figure.

Peering through the trees, a paved road appears at a distance.  I make my way to it.  Surely, I can’t be too far from home.  I must have been on this road before.  Yet, the familiar things I search for to give me my bearings are not there.  I left the path and now I am lost.  And I am not good with lost.

No choice but to start walking.  Just keep walking.

Faith—the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead—whispers into my fears.

All those who wander are not lost.  There is a purpose in your wanderings.  Trust God.  He is with you on your sojourn. 

Sometimes you must wander but soon enough, you will discover that you are on your destiny path.  Just keep wandering, one step at a time, until your path becomes clear.

And then … I see it up ahead.

The familiar in the midst of the unfamiliar. 

I am almost home.

One more destiny path blazed in the untamed wild of my soul.

 

 

 

It All Becomes Clear on the Mountain

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You are a prophet of caves, rocks and deserts”, she states wittingly—my poetic, thought-provoking teacher of all things spiritual.  The one who uses extraordinary words like “coruscate” and “obfuscate” and “mercurial” in our ordinary, every-day chats.

Standing still inside myself, I reckon, “It takes one to know one”.

Wilderness wanderers eating the locust and wild honey of life—the revelation of creation that declares the Majesty of God.  We give thanks and eat.  Our spirits strengthened with each taste.

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We reach the top of Maine’s Little Kineo Mountain.  Spectacular scene.  Bathed in the glorious sunlight above the treetops.  Free of a shadowed view.  We eat the vision.

And then…something happens.

Although the air is still, a thunderous roar comes from the sky.  An intense sound—like that of a jumbo jet engine.  Like the sound of a mighty rushing wind.  We stand motionless in holy fear as what can only be described as the very presence of God moves upon the mountaintop.  Both feel it.  Both experience it.  Both awe-struck.

Next morning, I search, and He reveals.  Kineo, a Greek word meaning to move; to set in motion.  Where we get our English word kinetics. 

“For in Him we live, and move (kineo) and have our being… “.  I recall the Apostle’s words.

Something moved upon us on Mount Kineo that day.   Someone moved upon us and within us, and we were moved.

A mountaintop experience–not meant to teach but to transform.

It all becomes clear on the mountain.

Standing still inside myself, I know who I am.  Yes, I am a prophet of caves, rocks and deserts.   And the mountains.  

My iPhone signals.   A text message awaits.  It’s her.  “Have you been to the mountains lately?”

The mountains call and I run.

 

From A Daughter’s Perspective

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Growing up, our dad had four special ladies in his life.  Mom, his childhood sweetheart and wife of 67 years.  And his three daughters…

Linda, his first born, our oldest sister. The one who made him a dad.  The one who first showed him the love of a father for his child.  The one whom he cherished and adored.

Leslie, his baby, our youngest sister.  The light of his life who could do no wrong.  And even if she could, it wouldn’t matter at all, because she was daddy’s little girl and the apple of his eye.

And Me, the proverbial middle daughter, the Jan of our Brady Bunch.  The one Dad could never quite figure out, but quite liked it that way, and loved me all the more because of it.  (A very middle-daughter perspective, I know, as we middles always feel misunderstood.)

Dad was a simple, soft spoken man.  A man of very few words.  Yet, somehow … and I honestly don’t know how … he made each of his daughters feel as though surely we must be his favorite.

In fact, we didn’t just feel it—we knew it without a doubt.  And I think that made our dad the wisest man upon the face of the earth.

Fathers have an extraordinary ability to influence the lives of their daughters. We never doubted dad’s love for us—it was consistent, it was unconditional, it was Dad.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children”, the wisdom of King Solomon reveals.  There is no greater inheritance left to a daughter than the unconditional love of her father.

And that is the legacy our dad left for us that we get to pass on to our daughters. The imperfect love of a father on earth–a mere reflection of the perfect love of God, the Father of us all.

Tribute to My Dad

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My dear father crossed the gossamer veil into eternity on Saturday.  The day after I posted “The Wings of the Dawn“.

Somehow I believe the penning of the words, inspired by a sunrise the day before, was my divine preparation for his final bow.  Prophetic catharsis.

With every sunrise, a sunset; with every sunset, a sunrise.  I swap out the photo and change the words slightly, and re-post in his memory.

Love you, dad.  Rest in peace and rise in glory.  Until we meet again …

Harvest moon emerges center stage

As daylight ebbs out of sight

Caught up in a twilight moment in time

He peers through the gossamer veil.

Sun departs into the west with fiery passion

His body surrounded by Light’s embrace

God breathes into him His tender compassions

Carried home upon the wings of the night.

The Sounds of Silence

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Have you ever experienced the sounds of silence?

So much pain in the world.  We ask the hard questions and … silence.

The silent wilderness seasons of life are hard, but do I make those times harder…than they are meant to be?

During my most troubled times, I am most often without words.  I lean hard into my husband’s strong, full-body embrace.  And love whispers softly in the silence.

Could the silent answers to life’s hard questions be a means to a greater capacity to lean hard…into Him?  And in the leaning, to learn to listen for the all-encompassing whispers of Love?

The ’70’s child in me remembers the song.

And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.  And the sign said,

“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”

And whispered in the sounds of silence.

Soft whispers; the sounds of silence are all around us…if we would just listen with our eyes.

The sound of soft chimes dancing upon life’s hard winter’s winds.  A full-body love embrace in the wilderness stillness.

And in the silence, I begin to reflect His nature and become still.  In the silence, I gain a knowing, if only a glimpse, that He is God and I am not.

The tide of the prophet’s words ebbs and flows…

Be still and know that I Am God.  

Be still and know that I Am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

I think maybe I am ready To Be.  Entrusted with the sounds of His silence.

Inspirare: To Breathe

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The word inspire inspires me.  I breathe in its meaning…

“From the Latin inspirare, meaning to breathe or blow into. Originally used of a divine or supernatural being in the sense of imparting a truth or idea.”

“Fascinating”, pipes the voice of the flutist within me.

In a moment, I am back on the White Mountain reservation—an invited guest of a friend known and loved by this Apache tribe.

The former Chairman speaks, “Dagot’ee”.  Welcome.  He continues in his native language, a word in English here and there for my benefit, I imagine, as he addresses his people.

He invites me to speak.  I don’t speak Apache.  They don’t speak English.  Curious Apache faces gazing hard into my uncertainty.

Deep breath.

Inspiration comes…I pick up my flute and blow.

And the Ruach of God translates. And His people are inspired.

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Ruach, a Hebrew word for the Spirit of God, translated spirit, breath, or wind by the Hebrew sages.

Air put into motion by divine breath, the sage in me translates.  Poetic and creative.  Life-giving Spirit breath that speaks.

Aslan, the great lion king of Narnia and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea in the storybook knows the Ruach.

What an extraordinary place!” cried Lucy.  “All those stone animals–and people too! It’s–it’s like a museum.”

“Hush”, said Susan, “Aslan’s doing something.”

Aslan breathes the breath of life upon the creatures turned to stone by the evil witch. And something wonderful happens.  “Everywhere the statues were coming to life”.

Breath that brings life into the extraordinary museums of our lives—those hidden places where nothing is really lost, only waiting to be rediscovered.

On the branches of the willow trees, we hung our harps and hid our hearts from the enemy”, pens the psalmist.   Yet, we can rest assured that the breath of life will  blow again upon life’s willows.  And when it does, we rediscover what has never really been lost, as we take up our harps and play, born again unto a living hope.

Now, hush…for the Ruach of God is doing something. His breath is ever-moving; breathing life in you and through you.  And by the divine breath of His Spirit, He moves.  He imparts.  He speaks.  He inspires.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Genesis 2:7 (KJV)