It was a beautiful spring day – deep blue sky, warm sun shining down and a cool breeze reminding me that winter hadn’t quite given up. Called into nature, I went for a walk in the woods. I lingered along the path, taking in the spring flowers and budding trees while listening to the wind rattle branches and shuffle fallen leaves. Soon I came upon a meadow, a clearing in the woods where someone had thought to tuck a picnic table. Seeing an opportunity for a quiet mindfulness meditation, I climbed on top of the table, settled into my breath and opened my awareness to the sounds and senses all around me. It didn’t take long for the sound of buzzing of flies to distract me so I slowly opened my eyes and noticed a dozen or so of them swirling around the table (probably because of a bag of dog droppings I discovered nearby!) And so I began to watch them. They landed, hopped around a bit, settled for a few seconds then flew off, only to repeat the cycle over and over again. I began to notice that once the fly had hopped around a bit, it positioned itself in the same direction before flying off. Every time. The same direction. All the flies did the same thing. Landed, hopped around, and turned to face the same direction. Intrigued, I noticed they weren’t facing the sun, nor was the sun behind them. They weren’t facing into the wind, nor was the wind at their back. Yet they were orienting themselves, ever so briefly, to something. It occurred to me that these insects must have had some internal draw, an internal orienting toward a common source.
That got me thinking about what oriented me, what orients us as a people? Am I oriented toward the Holy One or something else? Reflecting on the past several years, I realized I’ve been orienting parts of my life more and more to the Holy One. This past year of Covid has really given me the opportunity to re-align parts of me that wasn’t oriented toward the Divine. More and more I’ve shed that which no longer fits the deep desire of my being – oneness with All. While much of this work goes unseen, it has helped me focus on what is most important and who is most important. My hope is that these subtle re-alignments draw me closer and closer to being who I was created to be.
Now that things are returning to some sort of normalcy, the question lingers even more. What is my life oriented toward? As I hop around from task to task, where do I land and what or who do I face? Am I listening for that still, quiet voice? Am I allowing myself to be led, guided, directed? Or am I swirling around trying to find that next best thing? Each day brings its own challenge, for sure. Each day the questions arises anew.