Anybody who knows me would probably start laughing when I say, “Finding words is hard to do.” My pilgrimage journey in Ireland has brought me so many extraordinary experiences beyond words. However, I will try to offer a meager reflection.
I came with the intention “to see and be seen,” hoping Mother Earth would offer me a glimpse of Her wisdom enfolding from the depths within me. I gathered stones and rose petals and leaves and an acorn from an ancient tree who wanted to talk with me.
I offered them words of thanksgiving for their gifts of remembrance.
For the stones, remembering how ancient Mother Earth is and what beauty is revealed as we walk her paths. I was reminded that She needs our help to care for her with renewed reverence.
For the rose petals, remembering my Grandmother Chapin’s garden, which always had rose bushes. When I was an elementary school student, I would pick some of her roses to take to my teacher. Grandmother would help me wrap a wet paper towel around them and then some saran wrap to carry them to school. I think it helped me become the “teacher’s pet.” I’m going to ask my beloved daughter-in-law to help me plant some rose bushes in my garden. Maybe I could help Cole and Zane to offer a gift of beauty to their teachers.
For the leaves, remembering that life is fleeting and every moment counts because one day we have to let go and die… yet, every leaf I picked up had changed into some beautiful new color and offered nourishment for the forest floor. I was reminded I have a choice in how I live these final years, changing into beautiful new colors and offering nourishment to souls all around me… offering the abundant love I have so richly been given in my life.
For the acorn and the words of the ancient tree, remembering the wisdom within me like the deep roots of the great tree. As I keep seeing and feeling and imagining and listening, I grow my roots down into the rich depths of the soil’s moisture and expand my branches creating safe space for others and send out new leaves reaching for the sunshine of new life. The ancient tree has been battered by the storms, scarred and wounded, yet this sculpting has created a new face of rugged beauty within the tree, and so may it be for me.
Ah yes, I am seeing and being seen… I am called to love… with deep gratitude for pilgrimage as a way of life…
What is the ancient tree saying to you?