Last week I wrote about time, how I track it in small increments and try to capture it’s shape and meaning. I am a marker of time watching the moon, following the seasons, counting the hours and minutes of daylight. This week is the summer solstice, the turning of the earth. This week we mark the longest days this year will see. We begin the turning of Earth towards dark and cool and rest.
This week also marks three months since…well, since things got better.
It feels strange to say it that way. The last time we were involuntarily ousted from a place of worship, it seemed a more catastrophic event had never happened to us. This time, we only feel peace. Peace and release and the most amazing sense of freedom.
I’ve observed time for many reasons: birthdays and cancerversaries, weddings and funerals, travels and trials, events good and bad and those simply unimaginable. I try to take note of the events which change and shape me, even years later, watching for growth and change, noting scars and swimming in grace.
The day I left professional church, whether only for now or for good, is the day my life began turning for the better. The same way the earth tilts to the sun, the way a sunflower tracks the path of light across the sky, my soul is turning to the warmth and light of growing into my nature.
We, my family and I, are getting better. Healing. We are remembering who we were before we crammed our souls into shapes they weren’t created to hold. I tried to uphold a way of thinking and living which directly contradicted the contours of my heart, growing stunted and brittle. I didn’t begin in this distorted form, but as I grew and changed my environment didn’t. I withered and stunted like a flower left too long under a blazing and relentless summer sky.
Life has turned, and our parched, weary souls are remembering what it means to rest and find water in unexpected places. We find ourselves with new relationships and shifting communities whose gentle presence asks no more of us than to be exactly who we are. Mother God can handle the rest, and all will be well.
While I’ve been at odds with the Bible lately, I find myself leaning into the Message translation in moments when I do reflect on a book I hope to connect with again some day. Today, I am meditating on these words:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
‘Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.’ This is a promise I can rest in for awhile.
It is the time of turning seasons, and we are better for it and in it.