Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars

Often when we are invited to “come away” for a time of prayer and contemplation, we are drawn into the greater dimensions of our reality.  We experience ourselves once again as earlier humans did, as members of a living Universe, a vibrant, nourishing community of life.

It is June.  I arrived at Christ in the Wilderness, a Center for Solitude, on a very hot afternoon and settled into my hermitage.  That evening I sat on the porch, feet up, slowing down, stopping, enjoying a sweet breeze.  Suddenly I felt myself gathered into in the life going on all around me, the living trees, brush, animals, the birds delightfully active at the feeder.  Presence and energy was palpable, embracing and welcoming me back “home”.

Now it is the middle of the night.  I look out of the window as I turn over, and am stunned by brilliant lights, too large some of them, and too bright to be stars.  Some of them are moving!  I slip into my clogs to investigate, and stand now among them, the biggest brightest juiciest stars I’ve EVER seen!   There is so much movement!  Living lights are darting here and there, high and low, skittering, dashing, blinking off and on, some on rapid flash, every one of them a surprise, a joy, a wonder!  What are these beings?  They’re too bright to be fireflies! Too fast!

Stunned by the stars and caught up in the electric night, I no longer distinguish the stars from the fireflies. I surrender to amazement, to beauty.  Am I in the stars?  Or am I held in a close, cosmic embrace.  I don’t know.   I stand another long while and gratitude wells up to fullness within me.  When I am ready, I return to my bed, smiling, humming a thank you to the Love who has drawn me close, once again, in this visitation.

God is not a noun, an object, or even an adjective.  God cannot be named.  God is beyond all “names”, beyond anything we can say.  God is more like a VERB—active, alive, loving, companioning, co-creating the world and ourselves, alluring, inviting, romancing us, caring for, indwelling us.

Perhaps this is what we recognize when we step across the threshold into the real world of  Nature.

Mary Southard CSJ

June 2015