Yesterday I had what has become the rare chance of taking a walk down a nearby trail with our dog Olive. It was just Olive and I, the kids had stayed home with my husband and I was so eager for the solitude! When I parked at the head of the trail I was delighted to see no other cars there and it just so happened that the whole duration of our walk we didn't see one single person. Ok, call me anti-social...but I love when that happens!
As we walked down the trail I began to pray. Oftentimes, with kids tugging at me, asking for their fifth snack of the hour and if they can watch a movie, have a book read to them and a plethora of other requests...well...any parent who might be reading this is most likely quite familiar with this scenario...the daytime with the kids can be a hard time to find moments of prayer. So finally, in the solitude of the moment I opened my heart up to God.
As I walked down the trail, I felt led to say what is known as the Jesus Prayer. It is simply this : Jesus, Son of God, Have mercy on me, a sinner.
To repeat it, again and again, has a centering effect.
Each word is pregnant with truth, meaning and beauty and it causes all other rambling thoughts of my wayward mind to dissipate. As I stumbled through the uneasy trail of unstable, somewhat condensed layers of snow that measured about eighteen inches and would randomly cause my feet to sink in up to nearly my knees at some parts, my heart called out to God. And God is never silent to a heart calling out to Him.
I love birds. I never used to give them much thought until I began meditating and then, it's like life comes alive with birds! You don't realize how many there are until you take the time to actually listen! That's what I've found anyways and in one moment I heard my voice saying the Jesus Prayer and in the next it was as if I was in the center of all creation, it was exploding around me with senses and sounds and I stopped abruptly causing my dog, after a moment glance in my direction to lay down a few measures from my feet. How well she knows me! It was going to be a moment before we moved on and she knew.
It was then the most beautiful of prey bird swooped over the trail. Breaking a bit of my focus, for I'm quite obsessive with taking pictures, I reached into my pocket and managed to take one of the bird, in it's beauty, full of life, that captured all of my attention for the few moments it graced me with its presence.
When she had drifted like a dream out of sight through the trees I stayed for quite awhile, allowing myself to have the chance to be fully present in the moment. How often I wish I could do that more in nature! It's a gift and a blessing :)
Well...this morning, just about an hour ago I woke up with words dancing through my head. Words that just seemed to be strung together, making sense and I couldn't ignore them so I came downstairs and just wrote them all out. I shared my above story about my walk in the woods because I think it was what gave birth to this poem. My moment of mindfulness in the woods, experiencing God deep in my heart and rejoicing with the creation that poured out its song all around me.
Hope you enjoy it. I'm not claiming to be much of a poet but the way this poem came to me, it just compelled me to share it with others. I have not edited yet so please have a little mercy! ;) I also would love suggestions for the title, I'm not sure the one I put down really fits, I'm horrible at making titles! Some of the words and perhaps ideas! aren't entirely orthodox, but if anyone has any questions, or such, please ask in the comments section. Many blessings to you on this new day God has given us all. May you all walk in His light and love.
In The Fullness of His Presence
Living, breathing, my heart is beating,
The wind blows, my faith grows,
all around life is teeming,
Lessons...beckon, the Present is my teacher
centered, in the stillness, my soul opens up to greet her,
Poised at the pinnacle of revelation
rejoicing with all of creation
nestled in the bosom of reality
I find God inside of Me.
Laughing, dancing, weeping, kneeling
I thank God for the senses of feeling.
Perched on the point between joy and despair
I breathe God in, He's everywhere.
Drunk on the ecstasy of my senses swallowing me
Every sound, every movement leaps alive from life's mural
Every moment a living mandala, impermanent and fertile.
God, living and breathing and sustaining it all,
I just rest, centered, hearing His steady call.
Draw near, draw near, enter in and find your rest,
Draw near, kneel at my throne and you will be blessed.
His throne, eternal, having no beginning or end,
Centered in our hearts, beckoning our knees to bend.