(My youngest niece with her companion). Photo by Jill Warden
7) At the four-way stop on the road from our house to our work there is a parade of roosters, chickens, and ducks moving from corner to corner. Often a rooster is leading the flock like a drum major. I laugh out loud every time I see them.
6) I am delighted during a chat with my 9-year-old niece as she tells me of her class report “Facts about Cats.” I’m not a cat person but I ask follow-up questions which she answers with authority and passion.
5) At The Hermitage, the contemplative retreat center where I work, we begin meals for our guests with ”Food is God’s love made edible.” Our meals are fresh and nutritious from ingredients grown at local farms. Who can compare the taste of freshly harvested beets to beets from a can on the grocery shelf?
4) At the beginning of meeting with retreat guests seeking spiritual direction, I light the oil lamp to remind us that God is with us and we do not have to be afraid. I listen with a prayerful, soulful heart as they entrust their stories to me. Sometimes the vibrational energy is strong and it unnerves me when I remember the stories of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross levitating in their conversations. I am not levitating and I don’t have to be afraid.
3) When my husband gazes at me with love and I am reminded of Julian of Norwich: “I look at God and God looks back at me.” I receive those gazes as the loving face of God.
2) Hermitage morning prayers end affirming each other with: “[Name], you are the bearer of God’s infinite life.” Some days I believe I can be a God-bearer and other days, not a chance.
1) What sustains? God. God is in all, through all, is all.