Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.
I began my pilgrimage in Rome arriving late at night after my flight was delayed by several hours and I was bumped to a later connection. The first day of the World Congress of Benedictine Oblates was very full. I remember feeling filled with anticipation and also drained from the long travel. The Congress was held at a conference center on the outskirts of Rome, a beautiful setting. That first evening I took a long slow walk around the perimeter of the property. The evening light was illuminating the world around me and with each step I could feel my body more grounded and present. With that walk I felt my whole perspective shifting and opening. I walked for hours and hours during this time away and truth ripened in me with each step.
As I return to Seattle, I again am experiencing the drain of jet lag. With the marvel and speed of modern air travel I wonder if our bodies can be transported faster than our souls can keep up with. Again I walk so that I can become more present to this place I find myself in. It is home, but I see with a new vision, and walking helps me to expand my imagination. Again, with each step I feel myself arrive, I welcome in the radiance of autumn leaves tumbling to the earth beneath my feet.
Walking is one of my primary spiritual practices. For me, it is a way of honoring the seasons of the earth and my spirit. With each walk I listen for the invitation of the world around me. Walking is a way of arriving fully to this place, it helps me to arrive to this moment in time and discover the gifts hidden both within and without. When I find myself feeling stuck for ideas and inspiration or feeling like my perspective has narrowed from fatigue, a walk can change absolutely everything.
(Photo taken on the property of the Salesianum in Rome)
** On Monday, November 2nd the Abbey Poetry Parties return so please come back for some poetic inspiration and community! **
© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts