Monday, March 2, 2009

not for those who don't believe in God

I lay on a big rock in a river yesterday.
soaking in bright sunlight, the chill of the rock meeting my warm body and neutralizing itself to just a pleasant reminder of winter beneath my shoulder blades.
for a while I was queen of my hill, free of any cares or concerns, one with nature, filled with the simple pleasure of just being.
water rushing around me, the splash and thunder in my ears, I imagined myself in the midst of a great crashing river on the hottest day of summer.

actually, it was a huge rock on the edge of an end-of-winter sluggish creek, frozen edges and slow moving water limping lazily down the slight slope. the rock was huge and old and bumpy, with enough toeholds along one edge to allow me an easy climb up. the water may have gurgled a time or two, but the crashes and splashes were all in my imagination.

what it truly was, was quiet, and peaceful, and it reminded me of a phrase from the Bible, be still and know that I am God (psalm 46). the be still part is the important part: the latter comes along once you accomplish the former.
that is, if you are outside.
how can you not feel and know God when surrounded by trees and brooks and rocks and sagebrush? by shelves of snow that cling to roots and sucking mud that grabs your shoes, by pebbles and boulders the everything in between that have adjusted their positions atop this living planet for thousands and thousands of years?

I do not have all the answers. in fact, I am often baffled by life and the way it sometimes presents itself to me.
but when I can rest with my spine flattened against a massive boulder, the sun pouring over my body, the air calm and filled with the minute sounds of continued life, I can accept that I don't need to have all the answers.
that they will come when it's time.
that they may come in unexpected ways and in unlikely looking packages.
that they may dance into my life, may wander in slowly, or may come bearing down like a freight train.
but lying on a rock in the sun is the surest way I know to be still, and to know, and to connect again with my inner river of patience.

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