Garden spaces of Billie Grumblatt
Billie posts the most beautiful garden landscapes on Facebook. I always immediately want to take a stroll into them and then even pause for a rest by the greens and blossoms before I leave. But, alas, I must settle for the vicarious virtual tour and with that, I am somewhat satisfied.
I was at a retreat outside Oregon many years ago, nestled deeply in the tall woods and the rich, raging Columbia river that threads through the area. Suz, a deep in her heart Bluegrass musician, led us into a spiritual experience of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” I have been able to pick up the strength and confidence I got from that anytime since then.
Last week was one of the times I needed it. I just seemed to pick everything apart and ended up in the general category that just everything was a problem. And I was not willing to let go. I stewed. I fumed in rage and anger, I lost my perspective, I was crabby and vindictive. I didn’t think I deserved the pot I had set boiling in my circumstances. I identified immediately with the photo of the chicken that came across my Facebook feed.
In AA’s little black daily reflection book, “Twenty Four Hours a Day”, the meditation opens with “Walk humbly with the Lord.”
I was transported immediately back into the forest in Oregon and once again felt the exercise of “Closer Walk”. Marcia, the facilitator, had us pick a spot where we had walking room anywhere in the room. The first spot represented THE PRESENT TIME AND DAY and we were to absorb and accept all that was happening in our lives at this time, as Suz sang the most uplifting rendition of that song I have yet heard, enhanced by her guitar which represented waves of Spirit to me.
I was struggling, at that time, with some major challenges in my workplace that were causing havoc with the mission I thought was mine to do, actually having felt “called” to do it. It was painful standing in that spot on that floor, which the facilitator even enlarged the unknowns of this time.
Then she had us walk five steps forward and each step represented the movement of one actual year in our own life. From that spot we were to “listen in” and see if we could attune to something that was perfectly all right where we were five years out in the future.
Then we walked backward in time back to our original spot, where all the problems and fears resided. While nothing had changed in the circumstances, the “closer walk” absolutely changed how I felt about the circumstances. A little more accepting, a little less fearful, perhaps just a bit more confident that “this too shall pass” into something better in the same environment or else I’d be moved on to something different, how or when I did not know.
It turned out that it was the latter option with a lot more daily difficulty ahead of me but within it over a long period of time, I received the grace of knowing a little better how to walk humbly with the Lord.
In the Twelve Step Program, there is an acceptance of the word Higher Power to denote that which we surrender to, especially if we have a problem with the word, God.
I don’t have a problem with that word, and so I use Lord and God throughout this story.
In the AA meditation it lists some of the things “walk humbly with thy Lord” means:
practicing the presence of God in my daily affairs; asking God for strength to face each new day; turning to him often during the day in prayer for myself and for others; thanking God at night for the blessings of this day;
I do these things on a regular basis.
The meditation goes so far as to say “nothing can seriously upset you if you are walking with God.”……
OK, I have more humble walking to do…..I have admitted earlier, I still get upset….
There are two images of walking with the Lord on the beachsand; two sets of footprints, and then only one; two sets of footprints and then two long lines where one set of prints had been.
The first is when the Lord carried me; the second is when he DRAGGED me kicking and screaming.
But most of the time, these days there are two sets of footprints and a casual conversation going on as we make our way down the beach listening to the reassuring sounds of the crashing waves of the sea.
photo by Susan Heffron Hajec