Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowshoeing Centering Prayer

submitted by Trish Dick, OSB

I woke up anxious. Why? Who knows! Drank my coffee, had lectio and was amazed at the healing of Jesus, but still I was anxious. I went to morning prayers thinking: I can get this anxiety out of my system. Instead, I was irritated by someone constantly coughing. Skip the centering prayer that would be impossible at this point. So I grabbed my snowshoes and headed out to the woods to snowshoe in the new snow. As I put on my winter gear, I almost talked myself out of it, thinking it was too cold and I didn’t have enough time. With a little self-talk and encouragement, I convinced myself I would benefit from the fresh air, solitude, silence and exercise. So I tromped out to the woods in the new-fallen snow, convincing myself this was worth it.

Soon my soul lifted as the snowshoes eased into the fresh powder. My tracks were fresh and I was alone except for the tracks of deer and rabbit. At last my soul started to find a groove, breathing in the beauty on the trail. On the trail, I was startled by a dead doe. It caught me by surprise and my heart was filled with shock and sadness. It startled any residue of anxiety right out of my soul and filled it wonder and care. Care for the creatures of our woods, for my life and breath, my friends and family. Consciously, I stopped and took some deep breaths to ground myself. I stopped and looked at the beauty of the snow fallen on the trail. I was amazed at the intricate designs of the snow, the color of the reflecting sun and chirping of birds that remind me that all life and breath is a gift. The center of God is all beauty.

As I write this blog, I watch the sunset out my window, grateful for life.

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