That six years seemed like forever. And the three since have vanished too quickly. However, I can count the many blessing in between:
• The luxury of space and quiet to listen to God regularly.
• Using that gift to create an arts exploration for then unknown children, though Jordan, Alivia and Jihad had infiltrated my heart and were the target to which I was drawing closer. I had met them as an art-room volunteer and they melted my heart and planted the seed for a program, where other kids from their complex could shine.
• Having an empty classroom as a blank canvas in which to create a sacred studio.
• Actually hosting Artsy Fartsy here initially with six girls and now with 21 on the roster, including boys.
• Dreaming up a series of classes or single, creative workshops and having the perfect space to pull them off.
• Finding a place to hold all of my ministry.
• Being at the heart of the community and my neighborhood.
• Sharing in the patina of wonderful things that have happened here since 1912.
• Making art here.
• Writing blogs and books here.
• Sharing this section with other artists, including my husband.
• Feeling community.
• Always knowing my stay was tenuous, but planting roots anyway.
• Inviting others here to find a way to save this building.
• Knowing I have been faithful.
I have come to realize that what I believed to be impatient waiting for the next step has actually been grief named by two wise ministers.
I have known this place with the young-adult loss of my best friend, a miscarriage and the passing of in-laws, grandparents, beloved aunts and uncles, even family pets. I had not equated it to a space or my work. I have come and gone from many jobs over the years, but never mourned them quite like this. This wasn't a job, it was ministry and emanated from my heart.
|How it began|
With this new insight, I spent yesterday relishing being in the quiet space and carefully packing what can go to storage. It wasn't a chore, but a ritual. Packing away the wonderful presence of Spirit here that has witnessed and facilitated so much transformation in me, the kids and others here to volunteer or participate in a workshop or class.
Room 102, a former math room, is totally infused with God and it will remain even if the last brick is yanked out.
|Where it is ending|
Yesterday, I was sad and the ritual helped. That is one important lesson I learned working for a casket company. Rituals are there for the times, like grief, when we don't know what to do and we must do something. Rituals are comforting and offer meaning. Even my own, by myself.
Writing this blog seems part of the letting-go ritual. I am savoring this task more than normal, not skipping through to get it finished, edited, recorded and posted.
I sense God between the words, on the keyboard, in my heart and head. She knows this is a bittersweet time. Yet, today, I am growing more toward deep, quiet joy, calm and peace as I move from one known thing into one unknown – at the direction of Spirit.
My prayer two days ago was for spiritual companionship and I received it abundantly. I also asked for simplicity (taking the time to pack) and abundance (the richness of companionship and empathy from so many).
I don't know where I am going. And, today, that's just fine.
An hour ago I was speaking with one of my current spiritual companions. His church has promised me space to do Artsy Fartsy. That may be the simplicity that I am seeking. Just knowing they are there, supportive and available makes all of the difference.
So does what my pastoral counselor told me Wednesday. He looked me dead in the eye and said: "You have made a difference ... in the lives of those kids. Whether or not you continue, their live shave been changed for the better."
As has mine.
• When have I found ritual a comfort?
• How have I learned to surrender to Spirit?
• What practices, companions or experience help me trust?
• When can I walk one step at a time?
the cool, soothing
air drifts in the
for the first time
as if a finger
it is time
to move on
Listen to this post: