A Feast for Body and Soul

So many conversations I have
had in recent weeks centered on connecting with people, avoiding the
online attractions and wall posts and tweets and just being in the same
room with friends and loved ones.  This winter the extreme cold has kept many of us from participating in this kind of gathering…making for some true cabin fever. 

Yesterday, in spite of additional snow here, I had the privilege to gather with friends I had not been able to see since mid December. We agreed to meet in one person’s home and share some time together…and a delicious meal.  

It was, as we said then, a feast for body and soul.

Each of us had brought food to share, creating a “pot-luck” meal.  Each and every dish was yummy.  There were lots of comments about please-share-the-recipe. There was good wine, lighted candles, this cozy home so graciously opened up to us, a warm fire to sit by, and lots of good conversation.  It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

During our meal there was a brief conversation at the table that I think will always stay with me. My friend made a remark along the lines that it was always interesting that what people bring to the table for a pot-luck meal all seems to fit together.  Another friend had commented about fretting over how a certain dish would go with the meat, but then decided to just ‘go with it’, and how that always ended up okay.  The flavors work together, just as they are.

In the midst of all the other little conversations happening at the same time, this stood out for me.  Because in that moment, hearing what my friends said, I understood.  I looked at my friend and said,  

“And that is what communion really is.”

In it’s simplest definition, communion is an act of sharing.  (Like me, you may automatically think about Communion as a sacrament in a religious setting.  That’s okay.  But I’m not referring to any religious ceremony here, nor am I trying to deny the importance of those rituals.) 

This intimate act of sharing a meal, coming just as we are to the gathering of friends, this is communion to me. 

What we bring to the table always works.  When we bring the best we can offer in that moment, and celebrate that others have done the same.  We nourished our bodies with good food made by the hands of many.  Our souls were nourished by the act of this fellowship, safe inside a welcoming home on a cold winter day.
 

come to the table

Finding our sacred space

House of Joy

I have been to a sacred place. A place that a group of women created together.  Where we shared our stories, some tears, some laughter, and loving friendship. This is the front porch of the old house, fittingly called “House of Joy”, where we stayed.

Oak trees

The old house is surrounded by mature trees that are changing to fall colors almost as we watch.  Though the weather was cool, it was such a treasure for me to be out among all this and just drink it in.  To learn more about this location, click here.

the bell

I looked at this bell and thought of how it has been used to summon people, to signal a time for meals or perhaps for other things.  And I also thought of how each of us was drawn to this place at this time with this particular group of women…as though our inner compass compelled us to be there.  

our sacred place

It may only look like a room, but it will always be a place where healing began.  There was no big formula, no fancy technique.  We simply shared our stories, and carefully listened to each other. 

Whenever we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open up and share who we really are, and when we can do that with friends we really trust….I think all of that together becomes something sacred, no matter where it occurs.  

Have you had that opportunity to meet with friends and say what is on your heart?  How have you created that kind of sacred space in your own life?

(More images from the weekend will be shared over the next few days.)

Renewed and refreshed

rose

I can not put into words how lovely the weekend retreat truly was.

But I can show you this little rose, reaching toward the light, and touched by a spider’s web. She was there…

And maybe it is next to impossible for me to describe what it was like to share with kindred spirits, to laugh and to listen deeply, to hear the stories, to share delicious meals.  

But can you see that light on the edge of those petals? Can you see how she leans into it? Then maybe you’ll get a glimpse of how lovely the retreat was.  Maybe.

I’m still sorting out how this has changed me, how fully alive I felt while taking early morning walks, camera in hand, and looking closely at what was all around me.  

My perspective has changed.  

So now I see that connected to that same stem, attached to the very roots, are all these little buds in various stages of bloom.  

Just as we are. 

 
 
 
 

Spring

new growth

That great awakening when nature seems to stretch and yawn, sometimes pulling the covers over her head and staying asleep for just a few more moments….

I’m sharing my thoughts about Spring today at Vision and Verb!  
Click on the button below to read my full  post there.

Vision and Verb