Over Lent, I went on an online retreat/journey with the Desert Mothers and Fathers. Along the way, I was invited to consider the three virtues or practices in my life right now which feel essential for cultivating my connection to Self and God.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been practising the virtues of Stability, Patience and Presence. As an EdgeDancer and someone who for many years sought Home over the next horizon, these don’t come easily to me. But I am learning to trick my small self and ‘just try them for a moment’ and before I know what has happened, I am in the Eternal Now.
I’m playing with practising one or more of the three virtues, when I remember, at different times of my day. For instance, I can practise Patience if I’m working at a slow computer. Or Stability if I want change just for it’s own sake; rather than begin a new activity, I can relax into what I am already doing and really focus on the task at hand. I find that these small awarenesses give me a different perception of time and a deeper connection to everything.
The apple orchard I walk through from my bike parking spot to my bus stop is a great teacher of many things, including these virtues. It is a grounding Presence in the spiral of changing seasons, embodying them and also remaining constant. In November and December, I stop to count the diamond stars shining through the bare lichen covered branches. Now, I find constellations in the blossom laden boughs.
And I know that in the Autumn, the orchard will give us an abundance of sweet and juicy cider, cooking and eating apples, each with a star in the centre.
And again in the Winter, a beautiful lattice through which to view the deep night sky and shining stars.
So please forgive my silence (not that there aren’t hundreds of other diverting, deep, Muse-inducing blogs and things to keep you occupied!) while I’ve been finding a different point of view and new ground beneath my feet.