PHOTO CREDITS: Carol Jorgensen (www.caroljorgensen.com)
The Benedictine Center welcomes stories of encounter that remind us of the nearness of God and that call us to living the way of hospitality Benedict commended in the Rule. This reflection by Carol Jorgensen, Hospitality Specialist for the Benedictine Center, captures the wisdom of one such moment.
The sun is not quite above the horizon, and the alarm has yet to sound, but my pup, Daisy, has had her fill of sleep. I can hear her outside our bedroom door as she makes her presence known with her soft “woofs” and sighs. I know what she wants.
"Ok, Daisy. Time for a walk."
It only takes a few steps out the door to shake my reluctance. It is still quiet and the streets are still empty. My Daisy turns and looks at me with contagious joy. What could be troubling this morning? We have been graced with another day.
We turn right. She knows our morning route as well as I do . . . probably better. I see it; she smells it and feels it beneath her paws. Truth be told, she tastes it. How she immerses herself into her experiences!
At least today, I brought my camera along. It always causes me to slow down, to look - really look - at my world and to see it with new eyes. The thoughts start to tumble through my mind with every press of the shutter.
The sheer beauty of the morning brings light to everything! Weeds, flowers, grass . . . it all radiates and has its time to boast of its intricate design, in its own spotlight for a short time as the sun reveals every detail.
True, the flowers are mixed right in with the weeds. And I sometimes get frustrated that I can’t seem to get the “perfect” only-flowers shot. But that isn’t real.
I need to appreciate the flowers where they are, and to find the beauty in the weeds as well. I dare not wait for a perfectly pristine setting, or I will miss every other opportunity for joy along that path.
And in reality, many of the “flowers” that I love are considered weeds by some. But they remain beautiful and I am richer for having experienced them.
What beauty am I missing along my life’s path, only because I fail to see it in the right light? When the light of Truth shines on my “weeds and flowers,” what details can I then see and appreciate?
We turn left now, onto the path through our little neighborhood park. As we follow the path along its curve, I let Daisy’s leash extend out a bit so she can run ahead. Around the huge pine tree, and I am stopped in my tracks as the sunlight washes over the small field of grasses and wildflowers.
This is truly God just showing a hint of Himself. How is it that I get to receive this gift - if I just turn to see it? I am thankful and humbled and overwhelmed with its unassuming and astounding beauty.
I attempt to capture the experience in pictures as my pup runs among her namesake - daisies. My favorite flowers. Their simplicity and whimsical nature always remind me to appreciate the small things.
We meander our way through the park, and turn again, this time toward home. Daisy is ready to rest and I am ready to enter into my work for the day. There will be flowers as well as weeds through which to walk.
I pray, and might we all, to remember to look for the beauty in both, and to appreciate all as it comes.
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