Spending time outside reminds me of my human-ness and has become essential to my life as much as the water and food that sustain me. I think a lot of us want and deserve a life more intertwined with our natural environment.
Rumi’s “The Guest House” is an invitation to be present to whatever season of life you are in, and to entertain the moment to moment experience of it. As someone who is still learning to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate all emotions, I find Rumi’s words both comforting and challenging.
“They Say” is a poem Meg O’Neill wrote while working in Ritsona refugee camp in central Greece.
My senior year of college, I stopped attending Mass regularly. I have not yet replaced the rituals which were such a crucial aspect in determining the essence of who I am, but I am beginning to redefine the sense of joy which was so foundational to my Mass ritual growing up. This joy was not simply elation at this thing or that, but a spiritual wellspring at the possibilities inherent in being alive.
I woke up to the sad news that Mary Oliver, poet of the natural world, had passed away. That day I took a few moments of silence to read a few of her poems and it suddenly dawned on me that her text, in many ways, could be considered sacred and spiritual. Reverting to the Catholic practices I am familiar with, I decided to apply the tools of Lectio Divina to a few different Mary Oliver poems, treating them as texts open to spiritual contemplation and personal reflection.
By the end of our JVC year, my housemates and I were a community because we stuck together through the endless flux of not always liking each other while trying to love one another.