There is a lingering gentle curl of vinegar in the air as I write this… It remains from a satisfying supper of brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and shallots sautéed together in a cast iron pan. With a film of olive oil over the bottom of a hot pan, I put the ingredients in and did nothing for 3 minutes or so. Flipped everything, and did nothing for another couple of minutes.. Added a grind of pepper and a pinch of coarse salt over the top and just a splash of red wine vinegar. So healthy, so delicious, so pleasing. I enjoyed it with pen, paper, and a book for company, looking out into a late winter sunset that bloomed upon the university buildings across the street.
There was a program at Barat Spirituality Centre yesterday called Spirituality and Healing. Ten or eleven people came out on a weekend morning beset with weather that made Mother Nature seem as though she’d had enough and was simply going to throw everything up in the air and have a bit of a tantrum. Inside the Centre, there was the most beautiful calm quiet as we engaged in a morning of meditation and “common silence.” At one point there was an opportunity to share and I was confessing that I might well remember nothing that the facilitator said but was entirely grateful for the created space to simply stare out a window and Be. Grateful for the common-quiet held together by our intention to allow others to be where the stillness took them. We spoke too about relaxing as a way to be open to the compassion of God. And, how that compassion looks and feels like different things to different people at different moments.
Having been to Mass on Saturday, this morning I was at Saint Andrew’s United. As I have often done, I went early to listen to the band and choir practice. It feels like I am in the midst of the conversation being played on the organ…like there is room there for me to wander, stepping over and around and within the beautiful bands of colour produced by the sound.And I sat in the midst of a community where I hear and witness over and again that people of all faiths and spiritual expressions, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, are welcome, and beyond welcomed, valued. It is apparent in all I have experienced in my time here that this place stands in the fracture of our world. The fracture, the crack, where the light comes in. The light that welcomes all who seek it, all who add their lens, their prism, so that light can shine in new ways, in new places. I do not pretend that this is easy, though I can say that the glimpses I catch are rather spectacular.
And maybe taken together, some version of this is as much of a glimpse as we all get…the letting-go into quiet compassion, the sigh of welcome, of something hopeful…the light filled resonance of sound…what the air holds onto after a heart-nourishing meal.
Maybe it’s about sharing those glimpses with each other and building a new vision of what is possible because through receiving, honouring, the stories of others we learn what it is seen, felt, heard, experienced, cultivated, needed…We learn what is, come to know what is missing, and work together to see what could be…for the good of all, for the good of the world.
My prayer is simple: I am grateful to be a part of that.