Steering our Boat

Yesterday’s writing was prompted by my spirituality writing group in an assignment to write about the coming of the full moon, giving time to ponder its different cultural names; Worm Moon, Fish Moon,  Moon when Eyes are Sore From Bright Snow (!).  I struggled with the assignment not feeling much connection to the moon in general or its varied cultural names.

Yet today following group it did put me in deeper thought of the moons of my past.  I’m struck by a deep visual in my memory of boating on Norris Lake in Tennessee when my kids were younger.  We were out exploring, just the 4 of us; Joe, I and the kids:  Eric was probably around 4, making  Jess 2 ½.  In our exploration, we’d lost track of time and found ourselves navigating ourselves home in pitch darkness.  However, growing brighter in contrast to the blackness around us was this brilliant white orb in the sky, shining a great wide crysalized pathway along the waters.

As typical, the kids were clamoring for a chance to help Daddy steer, so they’d climb high upon his leg in the hope of being able to take the wheel.  There would always be an argument over turns, but typically Eric, our oldest (and male?!), usually won his spot as first in line. It turned out in Jessi’s favor this night however as the blackness gathered around us.  With there being such a lack of other boaters in the lateness of the evening and such a clear wide pathway on the water, she was given the high honor of basically steering the boat independently.  My husband adjusted himself to sit on the back of the captain’s chair so he could remain close, but giving her full rein.  So, this deep memory of the moon for me is seeing this wee child, her tanned knees on the seat, tight curls blowing back from her face as her chubby dimpled fists clutched the steering wheel, bearing down on the beam of moonlight in front of her.   “Just follow the path, Jessi and we’ll make it home!”

What draws you home?  Centers you to focus on the Divine?  I’m sometimes bothered that as much as I love nature, feeling God’s presence amongst the great outdoors, I don’t find my pathway in centeredness there.  Is there something wrong with me that I can’t find connection in the moon?  That I’m rarely stirred by a bird’s nest or the plight of the endangered?   How can I be so awed by the magnificence in the colorful hues and texture of a mountain, or the serenity of the placid stillness of a lake and not also find some internal connection there?

I mentioned this on one of my earlier blog entries – sometimes, given how fully I’ve thrown myself into this transformative time of my life, I feel that there are spiritual lessons bombarding me at every turn.  So much that I can’t take it all in.  Whether it’s nature or something else, I’m likely missing something in the array of avenues in which the Divine can be observed.  How can I possibly manage it all?

  Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone.  As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions.  To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.  Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice.  You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

 Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation.  The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last.  All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves.  Everything is waiting for you.

                     ~David Whyte

Easing into the conversation doesn’t mean I have to juggle it all like the clown at the fair.  It just means to take NOTICE of what I acknowledge today.  What draws you in?  What steers your boat?  What aligns your course?  JUST in this moment.   But stay awake!         I believe Jesus’ admonishment to the disciples to “Stay awake! – Be alert” is about staying awake to those moments that connect you to God.  There are messages in those fleeting moments.  As Neil Donald Walsh says, “Heaven talks in snippets, not in speeches.  Angels whisper fast.”

Pay attention.  Be amazed.

In whatever media or form it takes to bring you there.  Don’t judge where it comes from or what you may be missing.  Grasp hold tightly.  Put down a few words.  Paint a picture or do a finger painting.  Push your fingers in some clay.  Close your eyes and say a few words.  Just stop and honor it.  It’s the connection to Our Creator; the dialogue shared in those moments unspoken is the moonlight beaming our way home.

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One thought on “Steering our Boat

  1. Hello there! This blog
    post couldn’t be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I’ll send this information
    to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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