Tomorrow I travel back to Houston. Flying, not walking.
While on retreat, August became September, and in the Georgia mountains I saw the first tiny glimpses of fall. Today Hurricaine Hermine brought cloudy skies and cooler temperatures, and I wore longer pants and an extra layer when I walked.
The gift of delicious food prepared for me from local ingredients in a beautiful setting has been spiritually nourishing. The meals with friends always included good conversation and laughter.
Sitting amidst the trees on the porch to write, to read, to pray, and to knit (and eat those meals with my friends) has been a place of peace. I've felt creative ideas bubble up; the good ones will remain, and perhaps bear fruit.
On the morning walk along the Tallulah River today, we played In My Heart is the Road and did our prayer dance. This afternoon, after a stop at Osage Market for peaches, we walked a labyrinth at the bottom of the ridge at yet another Presbyterian Church, this one in Wylie, Georgia.
This labyrinth overlooks the highway, and I walked the moss--covered path as trucks and cars raced by down below. This path has surprises of rocks and crosses and acorns and green plants and strange mosses. The labyrinth is built on the slant of the earth, and my steps were a series of ups and downs.
When I got to the center, I created a cross from twigs that scattered the pathway. As I placed my simple cross on the center rock, I prayed. I was reminded that what the cross means for me is to offer my whole self to God. That's what Jesus did: offer every bit of himself to God. Our lives, and how we choose to give them to God, are the cross.
As I walked back from the center, each step was a prayer for all the other cross walkers in my life. When I returned to the entrance to the labyrinth, a brisk breeze began to blow. My head told me it was the very edges of the hurricaine. My heart told me it was a blessing from God.