These words from Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ became alive for me and so real in a deeply profound way, during my recent stay at the St Lucia Retreat Centre. Whenever, I return to the
Retreat Centre and St Lucia, I feel like I am stepping through that magical wardrobe and into Narnia. A new adventure each time!
On this visit, unlike other times, I had no expectations or goals, spiritual or otherwise that I felt a need to aspire to. I was ready to receive and embrace whatever came my way. A baby step in the rehabilitation of a control freak!!!
I reminiscence about a few magical moments….
One day, sneaking through some thick undergrowth into the forest, far from the path, I stepped into a clearing prepared especially for me! Soft green grass, to sit or lie down upon; a log to lean against; graceful trees gently fanning me and the most tantalising music from a variety of feathered artists, who seemed to be competing for my attention. A scene out of a fairy tale! Amidst, all this opulent beauty, I spied this tiny unassuming weed. It was a fragile, little thing. My gaze kept returning to it. I gave it my full attention. Under my admiring gaze, it blushed and danced. The more I gazed, the more I fell in love with it and the more alive it became. Tears filled my eyes, as I wondered reverently whether anyone had ever paid it this homage. I had searched for the unusual, like hoping to spy hippos or other animals, but instead found, in the simple, usual and so overlooked ordinary, untold treasure. When we are truly attentive to what we perceive as the ‘ordinary’ it becomes extra..ordinary! Suddenly everything, from a little leaf that falls, to a broken twig, to a stranger passing by, to the reflections in a puddle of rainwater.…becomes a delight to behold.
I had another God encounter of love that moved me to poetry, amidst my Tarzan antics! Come….Be
It beckons me. I shy away.
You are too big. Too tall
‘Come’, it whispers….
How I moan? It
is so enticing; its call is so seductive.
Can I go? Dare I go? How?
Then I spy its arm. Hanging. Waiting. Hoping…
I clasp it doubtfully. Distrustfully, I hesitate.
It waits, patiently, silently.
Catch me, I cry!
‘I already have you’, it whispers. ‘You are safe.’
I rest in its embrace.
Its fingers caress my face. I blush at its gentle
Lying in my lofty perch, I gaze around in wonder.
Finally, I behold it that holds me. I
gaze in spellbound awe.
It sighs with delight.
A tingle with joy, it begins to dance!
As I step out of its embrace, I lean against it. I pay homage.
Heartbeat against heartbeat.
It breathes. I breathe. We breathe together.
We are one. We are. One.
Rosemary Govender, October 2020