About a year ago, I blogged about walking around RadnorLake. I was, at that time, struggling with being rather than just doing (http://fortylives.com/2011/08/25/radnor-lake/). Today I returned to this peaceful, beautiful place to center my mind and my heart.
I’m learning – ever so slowly – to be mindful of the present moment. On this day, as I walked in solitude, I chose to notice my place in this environment rather than reliving yesterday’s events or deciding what I would do after my walk.
My legs were strong and solid, and my footsteps were sure as I felt the soft path beneath them. The musty smell of damp wood chips found its way to me, and the moss on the water caught my eye. Storms have ravaged these woods lately and left in their wake many fallen trees, their giant roots upended – standing guard around the edges where the woods bump up against the walking trail. I could hear the drone of the cicadas, the rush of water over rocks, and a couple walking behind me arguing passionately over something trivial.
I’ve been experiencing centering prayer lately, and a word that brings me back from my random thoughts into prayer is “surrender”. That word came to me today. Control is my ally, moving me through my days offering me the illusion that all is well as long as I manage the things around me. In surrendering, I am completely letting go of this fantasy – that I can handle the twists and turns of this life on my own.
And so I let go, and let my emotions flow freely as well. I felt the pain of past and present losses that hits us at a certain age, gratitude for a body and soul capable of walking and experiencing this mindfulness, and joy at the blessings my family and friends are to me. I surrendered to the moment and found that – rather than feeling afraid of this loss of control – I was renewed.
I saw a dear friend recently who is re-discovering trust. In the past, she has depended on God because – in the midst of the crises in her life – she had no choice. Today, she chooses to trust because it is her earnest desire, not from a place of fear. Perhaps I am discovering full and complete trust for the first time. When I choose to relinquish control and free-fall into trust, maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn the hands of God are the safest place to be after all.