One day last week I reread Paula D’Arcy’s moving spiritual memoir, Gift of the Redbird, in which she shares her lost-and-found relationships with the Holy over the course of many years, and how her sacred encounters, whether prompted by the utter depths of grief, illness, or yearning, always led to her willingness to notice, attend, and surrender images of the Holy that no longer held meaning for her. The gifts yielded by these journeys—hard-won, as the best gifts often are—seemed to be greater expansiveness and deeper evolution regarding her capacity to love and to perceive connection with all creation.
And so I’ve been traveling with the book’s wisdom in the time since closing its covers. (All art, for me, requires this time to be with my atoms and energy, rearranging my understanding of life’s big questions before I can even begin to speak about its effects on my spirit. And, of course, these alterations change when I revisit a work of art, even a book that’s slim and a deceptively quick read.)
I’ve been thinking about all the significant relationships in my life, from the openness and intimacy shared with my own spirit and sense of the Holy, and then rippling out from there to include my connections with my husband, family, friends, 4-leggeds, and even my home. It seems all of them have followed the pattern described by D’Arcy’s relationship with her God, in that the connections are at times deeply intimate and lively, and at other times, somewhat flat and stagnant
It’s good to be reminded that ongoing discernment and faithful checking-in can help us recognize the degree of effort and attention we’re offering these relationships and how well we’re tending them. But there is also the need for the field of each relationship to have its fallow time for deepening; what may, at first, feel stagnant may more truthfully be the sacred period of stillness necessary for the rigors of the relationship’s evolution, its next stage, requiring re-commitment and patience as this unfolds.
The dark nights our spirits experience, as do each of our relationships, may be accepted and unpacked as gifts, although at times they feel so antithetical to anything desired, supportive, or helpful. But traveling the circle as many times as I have, I’ve begun to see these places of dark blessing are like the silent depths beneath the earth where seeds are loved into growth.
And to realize that my partners in relationship, perhaps even the Holy, have their own steps to dance, their own needs to withdraw, to be renewed, and to evolve.
And how lovely when we waltz together once more, embrace, and fall in love again, not only with our past adventures and the relationship we have shared, but with the shining place we now find ourselves in and all the steps we have yet to dance together.
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6 thoughts on “Falling in Love Again”
Wonderful depth Kitty…..and yes, wonderful photos as well. These journeys you speak to are what make life have meaning if we are wise enough to take notice and interact with them. Humanity has lost its way because of autopilot where we no longer take note of these sacred moments in time. It is a wonderful place for folks to begin reconnecting so they can grasp the value of their experiences. Thanks for the meaningful insights. I hope the new four legged occupant of the cottage is now happily ensconced in his new digs…Have a happy…..VK
Thanks for visiting and sharing, VK. Fergus is safely and securely in all of our hearts, and everyone is getting along so well…we’re really happy he’s here! 🙂
What a wonderful post, I enjoyed it so much I read it a few times. You will be pleased to know I am now feeling beautifully calm and contented!!!
And what BEAUTIFUL birds, they got several viewings too I can tell you!!!
Their colours are amazing, are they a type of finch? And is that a birch tree they are snuggling in?xxxxx
Thanks so much, Snowbird; I’m grateful that you’re always so affirming! These are a pair of male and female cardinals, very lovely and welcome against the whites and greys of winter. Several families have been visiting the feeders. And yes, you’re right; there’s a beautiful birch just beyond the window in front of my desk. (That’s why I get so little work completed: the birds and squirrels entertain nonstop! My story and I’m sticking to it 🙂 )
Oh Kitty, what a thoughtful and powerful post, the value of the “dark night of the soul” in preparing the way for new perceptions. “I’ve begun to see these places of dark blessing are like the silent depths beneath the earth where seeds are loved into growth.” That is a beautiful way to put it and a thought that I will carry within me for a while. The cardinals are lovely – you have captured something very special about them in your photos. Thank you for sharing such beauty and insight; it is so deeply appreciated.
Thank you, Lynn; I always appreciate your comments. You delve and mine my words and surface with riches I didn’t know were there…I think this is due to the deep art and perceptions of the prospector more than the creator of the mine. 🙂
Those two cardinals surely visited and spoke to my spirit; I’m happy you enjoyed their visit.