It rained over the weekend, the first time in 49 days, the second longest stretch without rain on record. To some of you who live in places where drought is a way of life, this may not seem very significant, but here in Seattle we have greeted the rain and the changes it has brought, with deep gratitude and thanksgiving.
Since the rain there has been a new stillness in the air, a sense that the earth is slowing down and starting to prepare for the autumn and winter seasons. Perhaps it is just that I too am in a season of slowing down.
Tom and I have had a very busy summer celebrating at Wild Goose East and West, joining our Canadian friends at Creative World Festival, conducting our annual Celtic Prayer retreat, and entertaining a steady flow of visitors, friends and potential MSA supporters. As as that I have completed the first draft of my new book Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray, and sent it off to readers for input.
It is certainly time for stillness in my own spirit and I find that the changing season outside is a wonderful affirmation of that. Learning to hear to the promptings of my spirit calling me to slow down, sit still in the presence of God and listen is not always easy. But it is essential.
The stillness of the earth speaks of stability and constancy. It speaks of the enduring faithfulness of God who sends the seasons in their due time, who waters the earth with the spring and the autumn rains, who brings forth the harvest to nourish our bodies.
The prayer above is part of a Native American prayer that I first posted here. It reminds me to take time to listen to the wonder of God’s creation. It reminds me to take notice not just of the majestic mountains outside my window but also of the small and seemingly insignificant creatures that are so vital to the healthy thriving of our world. It also reminds me to sit quietly in the presence of the One who has created all things and whose great love is revealed in every dimension of that creation.
So sit still with me this morning. Drink in the wonder of God. Quieten your spirit and allow God to refresh and renew you.