Metta Practice at the River

The changing of the seasons is upon us...

For the first time since last winter/early spring, I made my way down to the river in a fleece and mittens and my Grover flannels, and pumpkin spice coffee. I only ran into a couple of people briefly. Do you suppose they had any inkling that I slept in those flannels?

The colors here, down by river, have been resistant to changing - perhaps because of the long drought we experienced this year. I watched leaves slowly fall off the river birches and maples hugging the river bank...

This truly is a season of change. It seems that everyone I speak to is undergoing change of some magnitude or other.

I hold my cup of coffee, taking in the expanse of the river before me - stopping to respond to a few texts - having only assimilated into the iPhone brigade barely less than twenty-four hours ago. For someone who always embraced all aspects of technology wholeheartedly, it is ironic I am the last one to come on board with this. I just couldn't see the point when I primarily work out of my home. After all, I have a land line and the internet for God's sake! And a nine year old Motorola Razr for emergencies. And, I was also wary of adopting one more intrusion into the simple domesticity and more contemplative dimensions of my life...

But, like so many things that I have done in the last few months - this was one more change waiting to be embraced and added to my routine and my way of communicating with the external world. I know my sister's irritations with me because I did not text will now subside. She is, after all, nearly 10 years younger!

I breathed in the cool air of this nascent fall season, and did my Metta - or LovingKindness meditations, performing what I have come to call, my river ablutions. As often as I can, when my schedule is more open-ended, I come down to these river banks, baptizing my soul anew, over and over again...

The river always speaks to me. It never fails to graciously impart its wisdom. It has been a constant companion traveling with me - where others have chosen not to  tread or go. It does not matter. I felt surrounded by Divine Love and every blessed soul that had gone before me and crossed over to the Other Side. Someday, I know I will be reunited again with them in an exquisite homecoming...

As I drove into the park this morning, I thought of how fleeting life is. We become so immersed in all its daily dramas - but in the end - this life does not define our soul. Still, what we do, matters. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta was so fond of saying - "it's how much love we put in the doing that matters."

And so, I leave you with this poem by Rilke that I read this morning. May you draw inspiration and comfort from it as you navigate your own season of change:

"I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~


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