Happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a lovely weekend of practice – intentional and not quite so. Frank and I lead an all day silent retreat on Saturday and, perhaps for the first time, I found myself wondering whether all this effort is making any difference. I don’t mean a difference in the world; just a difference in the people who come, who sit, who share their reflections. It’s that old need to have evidence that things will work and while that’s very appropriate when we’re dealing with some things in life, maybe that’s not the paradigm for an individual craving for reassurance.
It’s a matter of faith, I suppose. Cultivate the land, sow the seeds, nourish the ground. Then let go. Taking a walk one day last week, I noticed this. In the soft Autumn light, there was so much dying and regeneration happening. The wild apple trees had released their leaves and the spurs which will carry next year’s fruit were cuddled against the branches. The oak that self-seeded in the lane had let the ochre leaves fly and around its base were the beginnings of future oak trees. The milkweed preened in the breeze sending out trails of gossamer strands as their green nubby pouches curled back in a pose of gift-giving.
It’s a beautiful realization until, of course, mind grabs it and makes it into something. And in the sowing of that seed, practice begins anew.
I hope on this day, wherever you may be, your life opens itself to all that is already there. Ripe. Full. Ready. Giving.