Tuning into life is a practice

by anna blaedel

In the recognition of loving lies an answer to despair. (Audre Lorde)

Sorrow is part of the earth’s great cycles, flowing into the night like cool air sinking down a river course. To feel sorrow is to float on the pulse of the earth, the surge from living to dying, from coming into being to ceasing to exist. Maybe this is why the earth has the power over time to wash sorrow into a deeper pool, cold and shadowed. And maybe this is why, even though sorrow never disappears, it can make a deeper connection to the currents of life and so connect, somehow, to sources of wonder and solace. (Kathleen Dean Moore)

Loving is sharing in beauty.
Living is sharing in the earth’s great cycles–life and death, crucifixion and resurrection, germination and bloom, sorrow and wonder and solace.
Our sorrow is deep. Our connection, pulsing too.
Practicing resurrection is recognizing the love that flows through the heart of the world.
Being alive is a gift. Tuning into life is a practice.

Breathe deep. Pull oxygen and Spirit into your lungs. Breathe deep. Again. Inhale. Exhale. Receive. Release.

Listen to birdsong. Hear the birds greet the day. Hear them greet you.

Watch flowers bloom. Feel the slow pace of growth. Mind the difference one day can make.

Find a tree. Touch it. Lean against it. Offer thanks. Remember your roots reach deep, too. You, too, can root down and rise up.

Find softness. Seek it. Wrap it around you. Let it soften you, too. Softness soothes, and strengthens.

Stay up late. Or wake up early. Whatever your rhythm for resting in the dark. Invite its depth to enfold you in mystery and dream.

Light candles. Watch the flame dance. Move toward warmth.

Wrap your arms around yourself. Hold precious you, being held.

Drink water. Make tea. Taste the sweetness, and the grief. Replenish your tears.

List the beauty you encounter within you. List the beauty you encounter around you. Believe in it.

Place seeds in soil. Wait, and watch, patient and expectant, for what is yet becoming.

Listen to the rhythm of your heartbeat. Sing along to your pulse.

Rub lotion into your skin. Linger anywhere that hurts. Gentle, gentle your care.

Say “I love you.” To yourself. To the world. To anything and everyone helping you stay alive, and tuned into life. Listen for love, in all the ways it sings and resounds back to you.

May it be so.

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Rev. Anna Blaedel is theologian-in-residence at enfleshed. They bring an attentiveness to the intersections of academic, activist, and ecclesial engagement. Anna nourishes students through campus ministry for the University of Iowa Wesley Center and is enrolled in a PhD program in Theological and Philosophical Studies at Drew University’s Graduate Division.

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