You will often hear Unitarian Universalists talk about our lives in terms of journeys. We think about them as spiritual journeys with many paths, some direction, and a dash of spontaneity and creativity thrown in to keep things interesting. Journeys involve setting out, perhaps when we feel stuck where we are, when we need something new, when we’re searching for a connection, or some knowledge we cannot find by staying home. This is the work of exploration and experimentation and needs courage and strength. The other piece of this is the coming home again, when we are looking for foundations and roots, love, and care. This is the work of listening, sharing, forgiving, building deep community. This too requires courage and strength, in the ways of persistence and endurance. Throughout all our lives we are going forth and coming home again. May you find some insight this month that brings you strength on your journey.
Sauntering for Unitarian Universalist minister Tom Owen-Towle, “The saunterer is one who strolls in measured manner, with one eye on nature, the other on soul, treating the land, and all therein, as holy. The saunterer is on a sacred quest—not exercise but exploration, not recreation but re–creation. Sauntering is a mystical adventure. It is not the length but the depth of the walk that makes it blessed.” Sauntering is a way of walking that involves mindfulness, of attending to the walk itself, and the environment that surrounds us. We can walk in the city or the country, it does not matter. A walk around the block offers more than enough for our consideration and delight. We saunter by walking slowly enough to pay attention to details, by walking the same route again and again at different times of the day and evening to notice the changes in the details of the environment. To saunter is to walk slowly enough, leisurely enough, long enough to begin to notice details within ourselves and the outer and inner changes of our own lives. As a family, go on a leisurely walk in a place that is beautiful and interesting. Walk slowly and pay attention to what surrounds you. Prompt discussions with your child(ren) about what they see, what they like, and why.
Family Activity: Pilgrimage
Consider what trips you have taken in your life. Were some of them to special places and for which you have special memories? Sometimes going to a home of your childhood can be a pilgrimage. Share some of these experiences with your children. Then invite them to talk about special places they would like to visit and why.
Courtesy of the Rev. Kelly J. Crocker
Let There Be Light by Rev. Andrew Pakula
Let there be light.
The light of joy, the light of happiness, and the light of contentment.
May it illuminate our paths and fill our lives with peace.
And let there be dark.
For it is from our dark places that we are brought forward,
Tried and tested, impelled toward growth.
It is in these places that we realize the deep compassion that lives within us and learn to love.
May we hold hands quietly for a moment
Feeling love flow around us and through us,
Knowing that as we give love away
There is always more within.