There is a hidden spot on the edge of our river, encircled by a few hemlocks and pines, the floor soft with needles. No one would notice this spot. I cleaned out old tree debris last year and this year have begun to visit it most days, sometimes staying
to meditate. Just standing there, even for a minute or two when it's raining, connects me with the silence of the trees and the water. It surrounds me like a welcoming cloak.
I have brought a small sitting bench for meditation. (The photo here
is what I see from my sitting bench.) When I sit there in stillness, chipmunks and squirrels appear, checking me out. If I don't look directly at them, they come closer. I have taken to bringing a palmful of peanuts or sunflower seeds as an offering whenever
I go, leaving them at the base of one of the trees near where I sit. They will come and take them even while I'm there.
Meanwhile, the river is moving at its slow or fast pace, depending on the amount of water from the lakes above. Everything,
everything is connected. I am not separate from any of it. Sometimes I actually hear my heart beating, so still is the place. Sometimes I sense the membrane that unites everything; air, water, earth, light, dark, actually feeling it, not just believing it
or reading about it.
A quote from Richard Rohr gives me words for what is happening for me here: "We must live into a new way of thinking; we cannot think into a new way of living." This is a principle of his Center
for Action and Contemplation. I am becoming increasingly aware that this is exactly what I am doing, have been doing, for many years now.