Like the Tide…

Friday, November 29

11-29By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted… a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together…

—Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 5

I love this time of year. November is my favorite month. Where I live it’s cool, damp, and dark—somber, cloudy and gray. In the Pacific Northwest the day darkens into night early in the afternoon. At three o’clock in the afternoon, it is dark enough to put one in the mindset of evening. For me there’s something restful and peaceful about evening. That’s the attraction autumn has for me. It is a time for rest. It seems the demand to do something, anything, is reduced.

My reaction to increased sunlight is a feeling of needing to do. Of course the dark, cool, clouds only come to certain geographical areas in this cycle of the year. Hooray! This is my time.

My wife, Pat, and I conducted a memorial service for a distant relative on Sunday afternoon, followed by a meal together. We carried the bulk of the planning and officiating. We met with the family that evening. They cremated his body. A cycle completed.

That Sunday I introduced myself to a new baby. At the time he was about 100 hours old. His mother and grandmother both call him by a nickname already. They didn’t say how they got from his given name to the nickname, other than the baby’s grandfather died a few years before, and his name was the baby’s nickname. So it is with memories, we continue the cycle.

Interestingly, here was this tiny newborn baby, just beginning life, still trailing wisps of living in Creative Presence. The one we honored at the memorial service had finished the race and moved on. He passed through the portal of life fewer than 100 hours before. One goes out and one comes in. And so it goes. Praise God for the awesome cycle.

Prayer for Peace
We pray, God, our sharing will take us past the time for weeping and bring about a time for peace.

Spiritual Practice: Breathing with the Ocean
Sit or lie in a relaxed posture. Pay attention to your breathing. Let the rhythm become calm and even. Imagine sitting or lying on a warm, sandy beach with ocean waves rolling in and out near your feet. Listen to the waves as they “exhale” and “inhale.” Begin to breathe in time with the waves. Become aware of the ocean as the presence of God washing onto the shore to touch your body and spirit. With each breath receive what the ocean of God brings you. Let go of what is carried into the sea of God’s presence. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Ask how you can share God’s healing and peace today.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will not question your timing. I will look for what matters most under heaven, and I will respond.

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  1. Susan Gregory

     /  1 December 2013

    I am always touched by your writing. I particularly love your phrase “still trailing wisps of living in Creative Presence” – how absolutely beautiful, poetic, and visual!!!

  2. Adele Fielding

     /  29 November 2013

    “That’s the attraction autumn has for me. It is a time for rest. It seems the demand to do something, anything, is reduced.” I know what you mean. A few years after we moved to a tropical climate, we were exhausted and were looking to clues. We realized it was because we hadn’t had any “slowing down” seasons. No winter nights to sit by the fire and relax. Our bodies need the slower/cooler seasons to give ourselves the “excuse” to stop “doing” all the time.


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