nature,  spirituality


Earlier this week I spent a few days in a giant old barn that two cool hippies run for people who need some space in life and want to be more present to God. The Hermitage is bordered by two other retreat centers sharing 82 acres of land which means there are is a whole lot of space to walk, pray, listen to birds and see the uncluttered sky. 
Spending time there was a little like being unraveled. Even when the daily noise of life was absent, I still had the noise in my own head; song lyrics, to do lists, replays of conversations with people, scenes from movies, worries about friends, scripts of conversations I should have but don’t want to……it never really stops. One thing I know for sure- I will NEVER again listen to Duffy before going on a retreat- I couldn’t get ‘Mercy’ out of my head for the life of me!
One of the places I spent each day was in their labyrinth, a two mile swirl of garden & path created for contemplative walks. It looked kind of like this.
Walking the labyrinth was a little like entering as a giant, tangled ball of string that was gradually unraveled into a long, smoother strand. I entered the labyrinth on the first day with the question- “God, how do you want me to honor you this year?” Man, God had a lot to say. 
It’s strange how the simple practice of walking can elicit the ability to slow down and listen even while moving. Even taking walks when I’m back in my neighborhood where I often see things like pieces of hair weaves in the gutter, walking seems to clear the mental air to gain perspective during the day. Friedrich Nietzsche once said that “all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” I don’t know that I had any truly great thoughts while walking the labyrinth, but I did feel like I was able to gain a better sense of how to slow down to listen to how God was encouraging me to care for others, use the resources he’s given me and be thankful. Plus, I also enjoyed taking pictures of dead plants while walking the labyrinth.

One Comment

  • jopan

    ooo. i’m excited that i found your new blog. can’t wait to read more of your thoughts! thanks again for coming out to cleveland.

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