Our lives continue to change here on Gabriola. According to Buddhist consciousness, “change is constant”.
We are creating a new paradigm as we transition into a world where we all have had worldwide pandemic as part of our history. We are changing the way we are thinking about how we live in the world. No one anywhere in the world remains unscathed by the last 16 months.
What might that look like for each of us as individuals, for our friends and communities, and for all of nature? As most of us have been vaccinated, things are beginning to open up, restaurants are welcoming diners, our Cultivate Festival is actually happening on a smaller scale, and we are beginning to gather in larger groups even sometimes without masks. We are encouraged to see our home, our world with different eyes, and we are invited to create an alternative understanding of what we need/want/desire in this new world.
For those of us who have been participating in the Pilgrimage journey created by Reverend Karen Hollis, each of us experiences the journey uniquely. Through meditation, Nature Bathing, references to several spiritual writings, music and sharing of experiences each of us, in our own way, seeks a deeper understanding of our selves. Some people might call it ‘Seeking God’ (the God of your own understanding). Or put another way, finding the love in your heart. Once we find that love as an individual, we can begin to grow the love to share with others. And slowly, gradually, we can gather together in “love” and start to change our world. There is cause for celebration!
This month we embark on the third Pilgrimage, “Coming Home”. Just as each of us travels the path of life in different ways, perhaps seeking different things, where we find “home” and how we find “home” is an individual pursuit. Thomas Moore has written that “Home is an emotional state.” John O’Donohue has titled a poem “To Come Home to Yourself”. It has been said that “Home Is Where the Heart Is”.
Living on Gabriola gives us the advantage of having access to all the wonders of nature. Coming home then, invites us to seek out those wonders that surround all of us. Our ancient trees, moving beaches and vibrant wildlife welcome us daily. We are coming home soon, changed.
The angel in the garden advises
by Patricia Ludwig
On a spring day
when you are in the garden
with the light pouring through
the green world that surrounds you
let it all in
even with your eyes closed
the spring sun beams through
the thin membrane of your eyelids
invite it into every cell of your body
into all the chambers of your heart
hold still while it fills you to the brim
when you open your eyes
the whole world is a dazzle –
a golden tulip, a blazing dandelion
an iridescent fly who lands on your hand
the hum of bees nuzzling their way inside blossoms
let it inhabit you
the birds trilling high among the branches
the rustle in a nest hidden in a nearby bush
the whole garden fluttering as if it might fly off
into that wild patch of blue sky that matches exactly
the hue of a small blue butterfly that zigzags by
be the silence that holds this radiance
these luminous colours, these fragrances
this sheen on the skin of the world
let it illuminate your understanding
then when the shadows return –
and they will, as surely as night arrives
with its various darknesses –
it will shine out of you
you will become the light
by which we behold
the growing splendour
of another spring
As we transition into our new reality, and as Covid moves towards becoming history for us all, hopeful signs appear. Gradually, we move into a world that again welcomes friendly physical embrace, listening to music and dancing together, meeting with friends at the beach and generally playing together. We move into a world with less fear of connecting, more spontaneity and less nervousness. May we embrace it all.
We invite you to join us on our next Pilgrimage session.
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