Dear Friends ~ We are walking our daily forested loop, my dog and I, this softly gray afternoon. We crunch through the colorful patchwork blanket of autumn foliage so recently laid down. The leaves obscure our well-worn footpaths each November, so I'm bushwacking my best approximation of a trail, checking for familiar markers to keep me from wandering off the route I usually traipse without a second thought. I find myself smiling—at the playful leaf riot kicking up with each step—and at the unexpected thrill of entering a well-known space with fresh eyes and curiosity.
Much like the forest floor, often our inner landscapes are marked by habitual patterns of thinking and emotional rumination that we tend to follow because...well...that's the way we've always gone. Sometimes what we really need is a crisp November gale to shake loose old habits and map out new possibilities for the journey.
Back on the trail, my dog (he's called Gary) stops with his broom of tail pointed and a single golden paw lifted in anticipation. Then he's off: weaving in the underbrush and bouncing over the stream. Gary's a furry little trailblazer, and for the moment I am his student. I trundle off behind him, eager for the unexpected contours and unforeseen turns that lie uncharted ahead. ~ Joy
A poem is a passionate prayer of song
with blessings from and for the faithful All,
an innocent, sacramental creation
remembering ancient tradition,
a gift of praise at an invisible altar,
and a lone priestly vision embraced
by sacred silence,
seeking forever the eternal unknown.