Life Outside is what you see, or is it?

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What do you see? A tree, water, a sailboat, some waves, some white caps. Can you feel the temperature? Or, the wind? Is life outside what we see or is it how we feel? Or, both?

I grew up hearing that things are often not as they appear. What does that mean? Maybe it means there is more of a 3 dimensional aspect to life than we know or allow. Often we block what we do not understand. We do not recognise vocabulary unless we are familiar with the words. If we are not, it is no different from experiencing a foreign language. It means nothing to us. If we are not aware of customs or cultural differences then we also dismiss the actions as trivial or of no value until we are made aware of the meaning behind the actions.

Unless we move outside our comfort zone we will not learn to our full potential. Our growth will be stunted. The wisdom of words from the bible frome Matthew 18:2-4

2Jesus called a little child to stand among them. 3“Truly I tell you, He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter thekingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…”

The little children remain in a state of always learning and growing and sometimes frustrated by the constant changes taking place. Change humbles us. We lack control. Our adult minds want sameness, control, predictability. But, our spirit was meant to fly, to experience, to grow and learn and be frustrated by change. We may do it gracefully and humbleness of heart, or we can be brought to new experiences kicking and screaming. It is my personal experience when I practice a humble heart new experiences do not seem as daunting, but when I go kicking and screaming it may take much time, energy and resources to find a new normal. The “kicking and screaming” route is more of a norm for me. It is my true nature to resist that which will be better for me simply because it is different.

When and if we allow ourselves to trust what we see and feel at the same time we can become like little children. We can fully experience God’s care for us in dimensions we cannot easily describe. What richness, what flavor, what rest we can experience when we lean into his love and care. Like children in the arms of a parent or loved one, we can not only know and see, but feel loved. Our path will be made straight and our air purified and our food made to nourish our body and soul and mind.

Now, I am encouraged by the thought of these words but I hope tomorrow when I get to choir at church, and there are not enough music stands on the front row, I don’t freak out and head to the back row to hide. That is my nature, but most of the time I have friends and guardians that encourage me to be patient and stay engaged. But mostly, I hope I will rest in the knowledge that whether I’m in the front row or back I will be fine and sing my heart out with no care of being comfortable in my skin. For that, I think, is a place of misconception for those like me. Life outside is not always what you see. Or, is it?

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Sacred Spaces

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Sacred is the space where people go to observe the element bigger than themselves. The water, wind, and air at the lake where I walk seem to know. This is sacred ground. The body of water at our lake cleanses the heart of the city. The air over it provides the playground for the birds and fowl here. I’ve seen many of those birds on the sidelines returning to the ground. It is the circle of life. Appreciation for this species is given as I pass by each bird that has passed. The wind sends the cotton wood seeds scooting across the ground and water. The sailboats drift by giving ripples as cause and effect to the movement of particles.

People pass by either on boat or fishing along the rocks ready to receive the flesh of the fish as their right to energy from the sun. They jog and ride and skate and board, and sail or wind sail. They ride waves attached to kites. They ride carts powered by the wind in the kite sail over the ground. All around the earth gives and gives and gives. Some walk dogs, others feed the cats, and babies ride as parents push strollers so they can jog.

The trees offer shade. The water offers a cool breeze. The shine of the ripples allude to energy as does the wind whipping through the tree leaves. Ducks and geese parade on the edges of the water. Some camp out in the park near the overloaded dumpsters. People food provides the goods they have become accustomed to in this place. The wind can be heard and seen flowing through the flag at the Stars and Stripes park. Thirteen to Eighteen miles per hour is the velocity of the wind and blowing mostly from the south. On the days that it shifts from the north a slight jacket remains a good friend. The colors paint exquisite backdrops. Deep blues to shades of grey, gold to deep green and tree bark, sticks, dirt and gravel all give a distinctive aroma. On the times I have walked while it is sprinkling salt and pepper spray, nature offers a baptism of water washing away the dirt and grime and offering back to God its very best…a Sacred Space.

And now for April Showers!

This is such a great time for our sun-baked plains. Rain, rain, and more rain. Can’t get enough of it. I really do hope to see the lakes rise to crazy levels, but will settle for any addition of liquid life as it will benefit us all come summer. April is such a great time, but as a teacher it represents a get it all done, rush-rush-rush time to the finish of the school year. No time to sit back and enjoy the cool breezes, watch the leaves bud, and grass turn green. That is sad to think that English projects, and Prom, and enrollment, and May Day Flower Fundraisers are of such importance that there is NO time to sit and ponder and visit, and just enjoy being with our peeps. No, we must wait for summer and JUNE to get here for that.

I refuse to do that anymore. I refuse to go so fast that the fast lane is even a blur. I will make some mad and have already made good people scowl at my turtles pace. I am not panicked by the haste of the “get ‘er done” front office. It is a bad day for me when a report is required that takes me away from relating to the people we call students in the classroom. But the days are way too filled with exactly that. If you do not do the reports while students are present you have to give up your personal time and rarely see your family, much less the light of day outside the school building. I live an hour and a half from where I teach which adds “insult to injury.” Don’t mind the cliché’. It paints the picture so well.  Where does the time go? It will pass with or without our blessing, participation or plain old good horse sense. Mark my words though, that if we do not make choices to slow it down and do the important, like spending quality time with our peeps, we will end up not important to anyone.

What does all this have to do with rain, April showers, WalkTalkTime? Well, my walk talk time have been inside the hallways at school, on my mini trampoline at home late at night, and the thousands of hours listening to instructional audio on my commute to school. It will slow down. I will get a reprieve from my drive to work and I will return to the lake where I so desire to Walk and Talk,but for now the April showers remind me that the water is rising. My next WalkTalkTime will undoubtedly be amazing! Can hardly wait!