There is a hunger, a yearning within each of us, a kind of itch that can’t be scratched reminding us there is something more calling for our attention. We are stretched these days by life itself in all its manifold forms. It seems the pace of life is moving with such intensity that we get caught up in its speed seemingly going round and round in circles. (I wonder if F1 coming to Austin is a symbol of this pace!) In each of our lives, there are more invitations, expectations, or obligations than any 24 hour day can hold. We have more people employed – or so we are told – but so many have to work longer hours, receive less pay, fewer benefits or often don’t have a position that calls for the skills they spent years developing. And we ache. From deep within the core of our identity we know there is more to who we are called to be than the busyness that consumes our lives.
Recently nine women stepped back from their busy lives to let the silence of a contemplative morning wash over them. There were no expectations of anyone or any need to be other that who and how they were at that moment. In three short hours these women experienced their pain soothed by the sound of a rippling stream, their lives of work massaged by the embrace of stillness, their mental and emotional clutter bathed by the spaciousness of unstructured time. Women who spend so much time and energy nurturing others were nurtured by the silent gentleness of a contemplative morning together and as one woman said “Ahhh!”
I know for many of us November is filled with even more invitations, expectations, obligations and celebrations. And I also know that for others, the lack of invitations and expectations or celebrations creates a sense of loss and isolation. This is a season of stress for many of us. Yet within this time, I hope and pray there will be moments for each of us to pause and let silence sooth our souls, gratitude fill our hearts and conscious presence to each moment bathe our awareness with light and love. May your contemplative moments open to a contemplative way of life so that you know the touch of God in and through each moment.