The Rising Sun

When the sun rises, those who did not fear the night will be seen, still standing.


Quote and image taken from Steven Charleston

Shadows

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Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.


MAORI PROVERB
PHOTO BY DIRK SCHUMACHER

The heart stirs

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Find the thing that stirs your heart and make room for it. Life is about the development of self to the point of unbridled joy.  Sister Joan Chittister

Sun

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“And the sun and the moon sometimes argue over who will tuck me in at night. If you think I am having more fun than anyone on this planet, you are absolutely correct.”
― Hafiz

photo from Pinterest

As the sun begins to set

The-setting-sun-1I write as the sun is setting. More noted because the sun was visible today! We have had much rain and snow during these past few weeks. The blue sky is turning dark but not before it gives small rainbows to the clouds, revealing colors bright against the winter sky.

Saturday evening has always been a time of preparation. The Sunday schedule for a priest is packed with details often unexpected. Having those things you “think you can control” in place before Sunday morning can be crucial! Things such as locating copies of bulletins, having sermon complete and where it can be found, checking the hymns posted on the boards in the sanctuary. Like preparing for guests in our home, this is a time of preparation to greet the people who will enter the red doors on early Sabbath morning. Perhaps to help with balance or to feel in control, whatever the reason, that last walk-through the sanctuary often brought moments of gratitude and quiet peace.

My Saturday evenings are very different now. Retired, I often find myself a bit unsettled as this day’s sun begins to set. Old habits are hard to break especially when they are an important part of one’s spiritual journey. As life changes so does living and adapting to this change takes time. Finding a way to express one’s vocation as a retired priest, takes discipline and a sense of ‘being-in-place’. The weeks move ahead toward the date marking my first year in Asheville and these mountains. Roots have barely taken, yet my sense of place and home, is certainly more heartfelt.

As I settle into this home and community, I find myself longing for a sanctuary. The past holds my practice and foundation. Opportunities for creativity and growth are before me. Short on patience, I eagerly look to the future and gratefully rely on the past.

The prayer below is meant for the closing of the day. Within, it offers words of comfort and challenge for any time of transition. May it inspire each reader in your own spirit’s journey.(found at Sacred Space )

In God’s loving presence I unwind the past day,

starting from now and looking back,

moment by moment.

I gather in all the goodness and light,

in gratitude.

I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,

seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

a sharing of the heart —

When I began writing a blog I did not realize how many people I might meet along the way. As connections were made it became clear that my words and thoughts would be shared with people in places far from where I call home. The diversity of writers and images have inspired my writing and encouraged me to stretch.

Each of us write with certain people and situations in mind. During these months of unpacking and resettling in a new town and home, I have grown to appreciate the writers who have become a new type of community for me. They are as diverse as the world we live in, sharing their perspectives and thoughts many forms.

Below I share a poem written by one such writer. Millie has appeared on my blog before and probably will again. Her words are honest and creative. She speaks from her heart and stirs the hearts of her readers.

Thank you, Millie.

Moments with Millie (a link to her blog)

I spoke to the sun searching
For the warmth of a mother     to hold
The fears to release                    me.

I cried to the earth
Looking for a father                 to comfort
The empty vessel                       inside.

I stared into the ocean
Hoping for the answers         to secrets
The heart cannot                     subside.

I touched the ground
Caressing its holiness          to give
The spirit inside                     certainty.

I smiled at myself
Knowing I am                       to allow
The wisdom of                      divinity.

I realized that by letting it out
I was finally free                 to be.

Shadow and Light

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Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.
Maori proverb

There is always a choice as to the direction we face. I learned, while living in Colorado, the wisdom of this land’s native people – with feet planted firmly on the earth, turning to face each direction instills honesty, healing and strength.
Shadows play an important role in life and growth. They protect the fragile seed as it prepares to root and stretch toward the sun’s warmth and light. The seed knows when the time has come to move out of darkness otherwise their life may bear no fruit nor beauty.
Shadows may be important during healing and protected growth yet choosing to turn toward the sun’s warmth brings to light all that is possible. Most all of us can encourage another with our own ‘turning’ stories. Can you recall when you faced light’s direction?