I’ve recently started a new practice of walking down to the water every morning before breakfast. Growing up in Ontario, lakes are my home – the places where I feel safe, relaxed and free. And now each morning I walk down the steps, past the prayer rooms to the beach. The pebbles crunch under my feet, the waves lap against the shore and my world opens up as I reach the edge of the lake and suddenly I can see for miles in each direction.
I live in the mountains now, far away from rolling hills of my Ontario home, but nature does not mind what side of the country it is on. The fall still passes into winter, the dawn lifts into morning. As I stand beside the shore I connect to the rhythms that I know well. The waves lap, the wind blows, the sky opens up and I remember that I am a part of life.
I pause to take it all in and then turn to walk back towards my community where I face the responsibilities, joys, and challenges of working with others towards a shared vision that I care deeply for.
These precious morning moments are brief but they are not lost when I enter into our main building or sit down at a community meeting. The remembering stays and helps me to navigate my life.
O’Donohue writes, “No day belongs to us. Each day is a gift.”