I end this year with a blessing in my heart for all of you, my friends.
I trust that you are ending this year with a sense of completion, of time well spent, a year of learning. Life is learning and growth. In my best estimation, that is what we are here to do!
I end this year in a continuing time of transition. Life is transition! I continue to learn what “retirement” will be for me. I continue to make sense of this new time of life, a time when I am no longer young, and yet, not yet really old. I hope I have gleaned some wisdom from my years of service and the way I grew as I served. When I think of service now, I am certain that we are called to service not because we have so much to give, but because we have so much to receive in our own growth as human beings. God is good, that is for certain, and when we choose to turn toward God in any circumstance, something changes. We change – maybe that’s it. And maybe that is enough.
It is my hope that as we change, the world will become more kind and just – that is my hope.
I end this year, also, at the end of another adventure, since I have the luxury of being able to travel and to explore other places. As I write, I am enjoying the way the light changes from moment to moment in the mountains that surround Unalaska, AK, on every side. I have tried to capture their beauty for you in a few pictures, but the beauty is in the moment, when I can be present to it. I have started every morning here with a time of prayer and a time of meditation, while it is still dark. Then, when the sky begins to lighten at nearly 10 AM, I move to sit in the chair that faces windows that look out over the Bering Sea, and to the moments as the light changes and daylight arrives. I wait for the new light to come, to see the sparkle of the lights on the barge and crane in the distance soften, as the light commands the day.
To be on retreat is to enter a time of silence, although that silence is broken by conversations, texts, and books. Over Christmas, the silence was often broken by the sound of Christmas carols which I carried with me to this place on an iPad. Now, I have more quiet, as the days grow longer. To be on retreat is to remember to be grateful, to have a time to be able to say: “thank you, God!” To be on retreat is to take notice of the changing moods that inhabit my body, to notice what song is playing in my head, and to have this moment to watch the light change over the sea. God is in all these things, God is in me, God is in this moment, God, the one I like to call All That Is.
While I’ve been here, internet access has been unreliable, and so I have taken this time to be away from the chatter of podcasts. Is 2016, the coming year, really an election year? I will be back to the thoughts and opinions that crowd my mind soon enough. I will re-enter the pace of another place, and hopefully, I will take some of this silence, this blessed, rich silence, with me. I hope there is more space within me for – nothing.
Happy New Year, all!