I walked at the river yesterday. It is only the second time I have walked there since Ellie, the Wonder Pooch, passed away. I walked along the escarpment, sat at the spot where we used to sit on the edge of the cliff overlooking the river. I travelled down into the river valley, a trip made much easier without Ellie urging me to go faster, faster. I walked along the path that skirts the edge of the river, deep into the forest, back along the river. And then, I sat in the warm autumn sun at the edge of the water and breathed in. Deeply.
I have started a twelve week online course The Way of the Monk. The Path of the Artist at Abbey of the Arts. The course offers an invitation to explore the two powerful archetypes of the monk and artist. As the course outline explains, “Our “inner monk” is the part of ourselves that seeks the ground of all being and a mystical connection to the divine source, longing for what is most essential in life and cultivates this through a commitment to spiritual practice. The “inner artist” is the part of ourselves that engages the world through our senses, and is passionate about beauty, seeking to give it outward form and expression through a variety of media (including visual art, poetry, movement, song, gardening, cooking, relationships, etc.). Both the monk and artist are edge-dwellers, ones who commit to living in fertile border-spaces and who call the wider community beyond the status quo to alternative ways of being.”
I am standing in the liminal space where the path of the monk meets the artist. It is unknown territory for me, hallowed ground where I honour what is present and release what is not needed at this time.
I don’t know what walking into the mystery of this course will offer. I do know it will serve me well.
The invitation in yesterday’s course email was to slip into the meditation, open to the invitation of a word or phrase shimmering at the edge of my awareness.
The word that came to me was ‘roots’. The phrase that rose up to embrace me was, “her roots are as deep as the mountains grow high”. I live along the plains at the foot of the Rockies, north of the 49th parallel. I have always wondered what it means to have roots — believing that roots are physical, that we must be of one place to know them.This past weekend, celebrating my mother’s 92nd birthday, it struck me that while my roots are not deep in Canadian soil, relatively speaking, they are deep in the spiritual essence of family.
As I sat in the silence, the thought arose that roots are metaphorical. They are not what grounds me. It is family. Life. Love that holds me steady.
In the meditation, I found myself breathing into my heart space — the invitation to release all that was not needed at this time gave me space to be present with all that is needed at this time — and that was Love and the knowing that my presence here on earth is not, as I recently read in an article by Peter Rengel, to transcend my humanness, but to revere myself exactly as I am right now.
And in that space, my heart embrace the truth at the root of all I am — Love.
It is all I need in this moment right now to know, I am safe. I am free. I am One with the essence of life flowing all around me.
I have roots and my roots are grounded deeply in the nourishing soils of Love.