”In those moments I sometimes catch a glimpse of my true life, a life hidden like the river beneath the ice.” – Parker Palmer from Let Your Life Speak
Have you ever found a writer, a performer, a thinker of all times, or perhaps just another person that makes both your face and soul smile at the same time?
It may be in the way they live their lives. It may be in some act of kindness that they have done. It may be in what they have written. Or it may be just because they sang something that just reached inside you.
Parker Palmer is one of those individuals for me. He speaks with such depth and clarity, yet with the simplest of ways.
In moments that I need to re-find my way, I go to some of the writing sources that always seem to inspire me. Yes, I find refuge in the Jewish Proverbs. I find meaning in the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh. I revisit my calling in the writings of Parker Palmer and Henri Nouwen.
We just left a winter season of introspection. That period of time when we can pause to discover how we can live life.
I think that we take the seasons for granted. In winter, we move through them mindlessly and always looking for the warmer seasons to come. In the spring, we seem to be thinking about the family “vacations” that need to be planned out. In the summer, we are outdoors and moving about going from one event to another, all the while making plans for the fall events and holiday seasons. We just do not seem to give the seasons a place where they can guide us in looking at ourselves.
Hopefully, during this winter season of reflection, we had the opportunity to glimpse through the icy cold exterior of the day to day into a warmed life that flows inside of us. Just as the trees had shed their leaves… a symbol of their external beauty… its life moved inside of itself to develop a greater strength in the roots, which anchor the tree into the soil of the earth. We, too, have gone through a season of moving inside of our own souls to take a moment from the busyness of life to develop the roots inside of ourselves to anchor us for the impending seasons.
Now in the spring season, we move into a period of renewal and rebirth. Just as we see the flowers and the buds on the trees start to peek their colorful heads from the dark depth of their birthing place of protection, we, too, are moving into a new season of life.
If we have caught a “glimpse of (our) true life” during the season of introspection, we have discovered what path we are designed to travel on. Hopefully, we have looked at our sense of being a little differently than before. Many times we get caught up into a cultural movement which pushes us into competing more… into earning more… into consuming more… and yet our life, that is uniquely individual, yearns for more than just moving in the same direction as everyone else. We are reluctant… dare we say… afraid… to step outside of our environment that we live in to be different. We have learned to live from the outside in and then wonder why we are never satisfied. Instead, we need to pause long enough not to say how we want to live life but to listen long enough for our life to tell us how we should live it. We are becoming deaf to the beating of our soul because the noise of the world has been turned up too loudly.
Nature has a way of teaching us so much more on how we should walk in our own present life. We have become the consumers of the earth more than the caretakers. A caretaker will do just that…. “take care”. They will know the dangers and the possibilities in the land and the creatures that reside in the habitat. It may be possible that we no longer listen to our own inner self because we are just thinking about how we can consume life not care for it.
Parker Palmer writes, “Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.”
We all go through a season of what is seemingly lost. Is it possible that the loss is not really a loss but a lesson? Is it possible that the lesson is meant to be a positive teaching of how to live and love? Perhaps the loss is showing us what we truly value and therefore giving us a chance to live those values out in a richer sense.
We see the streams of water… the current is flowing and carrying with it what needs to be taken away… perhaps the only thing the separates us from that Living Water is the icy barrier of being something that we are truly not meant to be.
Breaking script… Namaste