And then, for the first (of many) profoundly healing moments of the weekend, I realized that I was temporarily untethered. But not untethered in the Sandra-Bullock-out-in-space sort of way. Instead of feeling distress or loneliness, I felt an unfamiliar sensation that it was just me here. I remembered that I exist. Not only that, but I felt relieved and surrounded by the acceptance of God. Nobody calling. Nobody for me to check on or take care of. No Twitter feed. No e-mails waiting with exclamation points.
But Summer Lake offers me something neither of those places ever can — the expanse of wilderness. Every day we surround ourselves with manmade structures and agendas and priorities set by us, the human beings. When you venture into those wetlands you are reminded again that an entire world happens out there without you, every day, every season of the year. Staggering, beautiful, abundant life. The peace of wild things.
My involvement is about being the guy behind the thing that says, “Pay attention to this.”
If I can be the person that directs others to a special thing, I’m perfectly fine and I like that anonymity. That’s my own job well done.
Sabbath-keeping is a sturdy axis when the storms of life threaten spring’s hope. The choice of rest when responsibilities pile up seems counterintuitive, yet carving out routine time periods with the Creator provides a steady center while life continues spinning.
It is when we cannot control outcomes that the depth and breath of trust becomes revelation.
It was in rereading the poems, though, that the poetry got left behind. I started reading these poems as prayers. And not prayers of the animals, but prayers for myself. These are prayers I would never know how to say, for the creature-like movements inside of me are intrinsically inarticulate. These poems are prayers for the animals inside of us — the heavy, slow, frightful, instinctive — those parts of us that fly and plod and bury down.