A friend recently gifted me a book that has called me to the precipice of soul-flight, the author ensnaring my heart so deeply that I’ve yet to emerge from his web.
“Walking on the Pastures of Wonder–John O’Donohue in conversation with John Quinn” will not win awards for its title, but the depths and heights to which it plunges and soars have re-opened doors I thought shut forever. Its comely words have found a home and strengthened me at a time of introspection, examen of conscience and feeling my way through to the next step in life’s journey with quiet joy.
“One of the lovely ways to pray is to take your body out into the landscape and to be still in it…If you go out for several hours into a place that is wild, your mind begins to slow down, down, down. What is happening is that the clay of your body is retrieving its own sense of sisterhood with the great clay of the landscape…So I think landscape is an incredible, mystical teacher, and when you begin to tune into its sacred presence, something shifts inside you…landscape is always at prayer, and its prayer is seamless… ” John O’Donohue
Taking early morning walks to greet the dawn these past summer months have been my saving grace. The beat and thrum of insects in tall grass, spidy webs sparkling levitra 20mg uk online like diamonds in the morning dew, emerging sunbeams racing across tree and meadow teaming with life, singing tadalafil 20 mg how long does it last of growth—renewal, all these have beckoned me forward into new beginnings, into a new sense of self.
Quiet now permeates the crisp fall air as a belated morning sun cracks open the darkened landscape of deep purples and ground fog, setting loose pale streaks of color to spread slowly across an impossibly blue sky–rosy pinks and yellows, a new day laughing its way into my heart.
A challenge at any age, reinventing one’s self in middle age presents unique difficulties in today’s break-neck trendy world. The body is suddenly no longer as young or supple, requiring more effort and less food to maintain. And as your dearest friends, parents, mentors and family drift one by one over that invisible line into infinity, you are left to explore this world more each year as a solitary adventurer—discovering freedoms you never thought to have again after half a lifetime with others.
And yet it is still heady and challenging and wonder-filled. Beyond the sense of loss, of letting go, there is a slow-growing sense of excitement, an anticipation of what lies ahead, of the discovery, mischief and smiles to be found in each day, of offering a new home to that illusive spark that fills the mind and heart with creative endeavors—and wondering what is left to give back to this world–as a single entity, which you always were, but that is now reawakening itself and moving beyond the ‘we’ to a new wholeness of ‘I’ and the ‘we–Universal’. My life is landscape building itself anew. Choices
“I know many lives worth living.” Mary Oliver
Each day, I soar a bit higher. And to soar, I think, in prayer, work, play or among the clouds, is life at its most beautiful. Be well.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.