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Long ago,
a spiritual mentor—
the dear, outrageously loving
Father Denis, too early departed—
taught me the value
of a “prayer place:”
a place to go each day
for meditation,
prayer, quiet reflection.
Ever since,
I have always had a little chest
in a corner of a room
where I go.
It is so familiar,
that simply walking up to it
or sitting in front of it,
I enter an interior space
as well—
a centering,
a calming,
a coming home.
A few years ago,
I learned from naturalist Jon Young
(whom I have never met,
but who I’ve learned from through his books and courses)
about a Sit Spot
in nature.
It’s a place to go each day,
or regularly,
to sit and be still
and observe life.
I have more than one Sit Spot,
but the one I go to daily
is the easiest to get to;
it is on the corner of my front porch,
under the big Hackberry Tree.
As I walk across the porch
to sit in the wicker chair
I come into that deep inner space
of centeredness,
of stillness.
As I settle in,
stilled,
the birds
and insects
return to their daily habits
and I watch.
Last week,
I realized that a sit spot
and a prayer place
are one-and-the-same—
except that in the Sit Spot
I have more company.
The Woodpecker couple,
the Bluejay couple,
the Eurasian-Collared Dove couples,
the lone Mockingbird,
the lone Chickadee…
are friends
I enjoy seeing.
The familiarity of their presence
is a coming home.

I was astonished
a few days ago
when a bright red male Cardinal
flew under the branches of the Hackberry,
and landed on the ground
where I scatter seeds.
Beside him,
was a small, youngster Cardinal
its wings not red yet.
I had never seen a newly-flying Cardinal,
evidently out with Pappa
exploring the neighborhood.

I prefer
the Sit Spot now,
for it is the kind of prayer place
where I experience
the Force of Goodness,
the Milieu of Love
that is our home.

 

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