Wednesday, October 06, 2010

spirituality of spring as a season of random magpie attacks

Parker Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, educator, and activist, called spring the season of surprise. Reflecting on his life journey, including seasons of depression and failure, he recognised his need to be both grateful for the dormancy of winter, and open to the surprise of spring.  So today I invited the students into the following:

Go for a walk.
Reflect on the outdoors.
Walk a bit slower.
Enjoy the outdoors.
Reflect on the questions:
In this period – whether spring or study or candidacy – in what ways is God surprising you?
What words (or colours) would describe your response to that surprise?
Return, to share and pray for each in our formational journey.

I met a magpie. Black and officious and strutting. I hate magpies. Especially in spring, when they get aggressive and dive bomb-ey.

Focus Steve. What is surprising you.

Oh. I grin wryily. This is. And what words (or colours) would describe my response. The orange of fear and the mud of anxiety.

Which, when I gain some distance, is actually a bit, well, over the top.

So this is becoming quite fruitful. I begin to wonder what in my life is “magpie” like? What causes emotions that are like a bit, well, over the top? I mean, a magpie attack has never hurt me. Surprised me, sure. But never hurt me. And they only swoop one season in four.

So this is now a question worth pondering. What in my life is “magpie” like? What is causing emotions that are a little bit, well, over the top? And suddenly I’m facing an invitation to take a longer view of my life. To put spring magpies in yearly perspective.

The spirituality of spring.

Posted by steve at 04:10 PM