Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Praying at the River

  
I set intentions, review my days, ask for guidance, send love to those I'm thinking of. All things that are prayer. I recognize I am not alone here in my world, and I rely upon that faith. I lean on it when I feel unable to stand on my own two feet. I rely on it to shoulder worries I have no time to nurture (worrying rarely helps, right?). I talk to God, I leave a lot at His feet: Gratitude, hope, wishes, intentions.

It happens all the time. This morning, I felt warm sun during our first morning walk in weeks (it wasn't -30, hooray!), so I turned my face to the sun and offered up a quick prayer of gratitude. I lie in bed at night and before sleep takes over, I try to make sure my last thoughts are spent giving thanks for what happened that day, good and bad. I send prayers for those suffering: fervent, pleading ones, hoping that when things spin out of our control that there is someone else at the helm. I say them during yoga, when I feel immense admiration for the physical body I've been given, thankful for what it allows me to do. I say them when I tuck my sleeping girls into bed, giving them back over to God's watch while I sleep at night.

I also have come to find a few special places where I can sit and feel even closer to God, and it is in these places I ask the hard questions. I rarely get answers, of course, but being in these places gives me peace. In Whitehorse, this place was a clearing on a trail behind my house with a view of the mountains. In this place, I felt small and humble. I asked a lot of tough questions in this spot. Walking with Skylar by my side, I would cry and pray for things that I didn't have the courage to face anywhere else.


Here, that place is the river. I go to it when I need clarity, or at least the peace that comes with surrender. It is especially beautiful in winter, moving water alongside frozen banks in a grayscale landscape. I feel things here that I can cling to when the going gets rough. I celebrate here, and feel assured that small joys are absolutely worth treasuring. I come here to my church, and though the soundtrack is limited to the songs in my head, the sermon is always inspiring. I bring the messages and feelings of peace home with me into my days. 



4 comments:

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/06/27/should-atheists-pray/prayer-is-useless-and-has-a-downside

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    1. Anonymous, I wish you had the courage to leave a name, I love these kinds of conversations! Instead, I'll leave you with 2 thoughts (not my own): "Life is a series of a thousand tiny miracles. Notice them." (and if you call that prayer, cool. If not, call it whatever makes you comfortable). and Robert J. Sawyer wrote, "Learning to ignore things is one of the greatest paths to inner peace." Namaste! (which means, in Sanskrit, my soul salutes your soul as it passes by)

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    2. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I enjoy reading your blog and posted the link to the NY Times article because I thought it offered another interesting perspective on prayer.

      I agree that learning to ignore things can be a path to inner peace, although deciding what to ignore can be difficult!

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