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In 2006, the Unitarian Universalist Beacon Press published Thirst, a volume of Mary Oliver’s poetry in which the poem, “The Place I Want to Get Back To,” appeared. The poem tells the story of the day that Oliver sat in perfect stillness in the pine woods, and two deer approached her. Silently sizing her up, one of the deer, in an almost impossibly compelling moment, nuzzles her hand.
While the magic of the wild deer’s soft, warm muzzle is the big surprise, it was made possible because Oliver was practiced–even very skilled–at being still. In the poem, the place Oliver wants to get back to is that perfect oneness found through stillness; stillness is both the path and the destination.
And this is a good way for us UUs to think about stillness, too. This month, we practice and play with stillness together both for its intrinsic value, and for its usefulness for the work ahead. In stillness is where our courage grows; check out the On the Message Board section for more on this.
We’re hoping you might be up for choosing-your-own-adventure in the Around the Neighborhood section this month. We’re using our list as something of an adaptable, customizable “advent” calendar. We’ll all be celebrating and experiencing different things in December, so one idea is to pick a relevant number of items from our treasure hunt, search for one each day, and then come together as a family for a still moment in the afternoon or evening to share what you found. The section itself has some specific ideas.
We’ve been through a lot together this year, Soul Matters families, and while lessons and opportunities will certainly emerge in the coming months, right now, like silent seeds tucked into rich soil, we pause in dynamic stillness together.
On December 28th at 8:00 pm we’ll meet live on Zoom to talk about what we’ve learned and discovered. Can’t wait to see you then!
Join Zoom Meeting HERE