Dear Loved Ones,
Do you have a place that is one where God meets you, where you meet yourself?
I am staying at my friends home for a couple of nights while she is away. It’s a place I stayed often before I moved to Minnesota, but now mostly come for an afternoon, not overnight. My times of staying here before were usually tagged on to our monastic retreat, either before or after our monastery gathered in person, and was an extension of this retreat time. The home is a small cabin on the banks of a lake, the water visible through the trees, a dock to sit and pray on in the mornings, a shady lawn to be on if the bugs are not biting, a screen porch with recliners and a lake view. And while other houses are around and kids are playing, it feels like a sacred space for me.
When I arrived here this trip I had left some things undone at home, and my mind was playing the guilt vs. need to stop record. I should have finished painting the garage before I came, I still didn’t write that email that needed to go out, I have thank you cards to write, my carpet needs shampooing and the bathroom needs cleaning. What gives me the right to leave all that behind and escape for two nights? And, since starting at Clearwater UMC at the beginning of the month and just finishing up 4 weeks of intensive healing sessions with a client, (all really good), I was tired, and had only had one day of absolutely no work in a few weeks.
So I arrived at the cabin, unpacked some groceries and a swim suit and the dog, and sat on the porch to breathe. Within a few minutes I felt my body begin to open, to relax, my breathing got deeper, my mind slowed down, and peace washed over me. It was as though God was saying, “Welcome, have a drink of water, sit and relax. I’m here with you!” And it was as though the land itself were saying, “Welcome! You know how to do this place. Slow. Relax. Retreat. Be.”
I love that this land and God know how to welcome me into this physical place in such a tangible and grounding way. My body remembers all the summers when I spent time here and falls back into that space easily. The dock draws me for morning prayers, the water for afternoon floats, the porch to just sit and be and sit and be some more, the bed calls for naps and the nearby woods are becoming a place to walk Gibbs before the heat catches up with us.
I am filled with gratitude for the space, and for the prayers that have been prayed here over the decades, the people who have made this a sacred space…. As well as a space to gather and laugh and enjoy one another. I am grateful for Sue’s hospitality and care of her home, this little piece of land on the edge of a lake! And I am grateful for the lake and the land and God, for the fireflies, loons and a great blue heron, and for who all meet me there with arms and wings wide open!
Where are some of your sacred spaces? Where are those lands and waters where your body remembers to slow down, where God meets you with open arms?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.