It has been an emotional week here at First United for some. Gayle’s sudden death has sent many of us reeling and I am certainly among those. It was with this reality resting in my being that I headed off to Tatamagouche Center on Monday afternoon. Part of me was regretting having registered for the event as I was not really in a head space to enter into deep theological discussion or to process much learning. Nevertheless, with notebook in hand, I made my way to the center and, as the Spirit often does, I was gifted with just what I needed.
A Connection with Something Within and Beyond
With Stan McKay and Bob Haverluck as our guides we entered into a time of storytelling, re-imagining the sacred story, listening to creation, and exploring the concept that the potential to be fully human is to be in relationship with all our relations.
There were many points of confirmation, insight, pauses for reflection and a nurturing that happens when one sits in community. However there are two in particular that I would share with you today. For me, these were points that provided context, hope, peace and a connection with something within and beyond. They spoke what my soul needed to hear .
The first took place on Monday as we began our time together.
Sitting in a circle we were welcomed by the smell of sage. Each person enveloped by the sacred smoke – a prayer to open our eyes, ears, mouths and hearts to spirit and whatever would be gifted to us in our time. The drum breaks the silence and we are welcomed to this space. As Hannah sang and the drum sounded, the presence of spirit was tangible and there was a moment of deep connection with something as ancient as time itself. Thus the stage was set for our time of rediscovering the Great Peace Treaty, a connection with all creation and the bond that binds us each to each.
The second took place on Tuesday in the early morning hours as the sun was gently rising in the east.
Gathered again in a circle, this time around the sacred fire. The drum reminds us of the heartbeat of mother earth and the reality that we are cradled in creation. The ancestors join us to give thanks for the day and the gift of the sun. The sweetgrass is shared and tobacco offered. As the ceremony ends, one by one each person leaves to begin the day. I sit a few more minutes in the holiness of this place and the veil is very thin. I feel connected to the creatures that surround, the earth beneath my feet and the core of my being. Refreshed and renewed I am ready to embrace whatever the day has to offer.
My prayer for each of you is that
you might find the place where you are connected with all that surrounds you;
you might listen to the earth as it gives rise to healing and embrace the possibilities that come when we learn to live in right relationship with all creation.
© 2019 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved.