A Waterfall Hike in Norway
After a summer spent mostly away from my home in Nashville, I returned to see my surroundings and the activities in which I participate newly. It was a slow return as I stopped in Kansas to spend time in the area where my novel is set, and made a quick one-day stop in Missouri before heading home from three weeks in Colorado. After a delightful cruise, I had spent time with dear friends, was feted with a lovely party, and had several wonderful hikes. I visited with and saw grandson Sam perform in two productions, and in the Lion King, he was Scar, a great role for him! Since I'd been away for so much of the summer, I was ready to be back in my apartment but knew the return to ordinary life would have its jolts.
I was welcomed by those friends in my apartment building and quickly attended a 70th birthday party for a casual friend. My oldest--in terms of friendship--friends were glad I was back, and I was happy to see them. And I welcomed my son and daughter-in-law for a delightful evening as quickly as I recovered from my travels enough to put a nice dinner together. It was great to see all of them!
I was welcomed by my Pilates teacher with a big hug and a hearty welcome back, also by the two or three other class participants with whom I exchange greetings, though this is not a "community" class. My young dynamite CORE teacher, in whose class I had just started before leaving was delighted that I came back to the class.
The staff members with whom I volunteer at Cheekwood were very appreciative that I helped with the Eclipse party though I will attend my first docent meeting this Thursday.
I got to stay with an old friend and visit another in Estes Park and take favorite hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. I had a delightful easy hike/walk with a couple I enjoy and two rain enlivened hikes with my long-time hiking friend who was visiting from California. And I joined the more robust contingent of St. John's hikers for two favorite hikes, though only one hiker was an old friend, disappointing though I enjoyed those with whom I hiked. When I returned and vowed to get up early and make the 7 am hike at my favorite Radnor Lake, I didn't expect a particular welcome as I'm not a regular, and one woman was coming off months on the Appalachian trail. However, two or three noticed that I had returned and asked about my summer.
Returning to services at St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder is both heart-warming and emotional. Likely that will always feel like my church home, though there are many new members in the two years since I left. However, my clergy friends, the healing prayer team, who graciously invited me to join them in a training session for new members, my Daughters of the King friends and others, made me very welcome. I wondered that first Sunday, if I would feel badly when I returned to the Cathedral here, but realized the second Sunday I visited that I would be all right. That was true, as I was one of the chalice bearers my first Sunday morning service back, and served again this past week. Those with whom we serve are always gracious and I meet new people each time. Returning to Christ Church Cathedral had a bit of a feel of coming home!
My return to the centering prayer group, a group I've considered "my home group" was different than expected. The overall centering prayer leader had been away three weeks and was welcomed heartily. I was barely noticed, except for my one closer friend, with whom I had already communicated. I was facilitating that day, but a couple of nods at the beginning and a "good to see you" from the welcomed one afterward was it. I'm left with the sense that I must not contribute much to that group, and while it is the place where I am acquainted with those who attend regularly and we on occasion have lunch, it isn't a "heart" centering group, and I'm not aware of which members have a regular practice of centering other than when with the group. I'm in the rotation for facilitating--but with four of us, my next month will be November. I've attended regularly for over a year, rarely missing when in town. Now I'm wondering. . .. Centering weekly with a group is good practice, but I don't leave inspired or with new insights often.
My friend, Donald, at the prison was delighted to have me return, and it was good to visit with him--my most committed listener these days.
Yesterday afternoon I attended a meeting of the Nashville Jung Society where they focused on our shadow selves. While many in that group are therapists, I found the discussion heartening, others who are doing their own deep work. It meets only once a month, not enough to form relationships, but I've marked the October meeting on my calendar and will take a dream to work with--the topic next month. I long for a regular place to share with others who are going deep in their spiritual journey. Perhaps that will be found in one-on-one friendships rather than a group. I'll continue to discern about the centering prayer group.
Next, I will share about the cruise, as it was a lovely trip.