Sunday, November 27, 2005

So Long of A Journey

Despite my disdain for the Church and its various assorted rules, regulations, and behaviors, there are two periods during the year in which I find some comfort. Those are Advent, and Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday).

Anything I ever found truly valuable about the Church -- and as I grow older I realize I can still have these things without the dictatorial trappings of the Vatican -- is contained in these two celebrations. I have always found ways to make these times instructive, if for no other reason that I take the time to focus especially on some inner work through these weeks, taking some advantage of the meditations offered.

Despite my outward manifestation of confusion and sometimes, just plain silliness -- last night in a game of Trouble I couldn't even recall the direction the pieces were supposed to go! -- I have a deep commitment to growing my inner guide, to better understanding my place in the world and the lives of the people around me. I'm not as hungry for the ultimate truth as some of my dear friends may be, although I am excited and engaged by the debates. Mostly, I just want to give love, live in right action, and make a difference one way or another before my time is up.

Advent has always been a time of settling in. While many families are focusing on running around or pulling out their creches so Baby Jesus can magically pop into position on Dec. 25, my ancient roots call me to dig a little deeper, get in rhythm with the season, to burrow and prepare my home for winter. The ancient Celts did not live a life separate from prayer; like the buddhist monk, they interwove their mindfulness into every daily task, recognizing the passing of one life season into the next, living and accepting life, fearful of little that comes after the final season.

This is a time I try to remind myself to pay attention to what really matters, to ask myself whether in the past year I've done all I could to be the best person I could be, and what I need to change to achieve that in the coming year. It's a little like climbing up a mountain; sometimes when I reach a good stopping place, I turn around and take in where I've been, and what I need to do to get to the top. The journey is long and challenging but I'm on it and I figure I might as well give it my best. As mother would have said, it beats the alternative.

Climbing Up A Mountain
From Rock in My Shoe
(Tim O'Brien (Howdy Skies Music/Forerunner Music, Inc., ASCAP))Climbin Up A Mountain ©1995 Tim O'Brien

I been climbin up a mountain since the day that I was born
It's been so long of a journey and I'm feelin kinda tired and worn
Tired and worn, tired and worn
So long of a journey and I feel kinda tired and worn

There's a picture in my memory like it's etched in a wall of stone
If I close my eyes I can see her, even though those days are gone
Those days are gone, those days are gone
I still close my eyes even though those days are gone

Now I always had what I needed, always had me a place to go
If I listened to what my heart said, I always knew what I needed to know What you need to know, what you need to know
Just listen to your heart and you'll hear what you need to know

I'm walkin all alone now, I'm up high above the pines
I can turn and look all around me, and see what I left behind
What I left behind, what I left behind
They're all around me, all the things that I left behind

Now my steps keep gettin shorter, as I get closer to the top
I'm slowin way, way down now, cause I don't want to have to stop
I have to stop, someday I have to stop
I get closer and closer but I don't want to have to stop

I been climbin up a mountain since the day that I was born
It's been so long of a journey and I'm feelin kinda tired and worn
Tired and worn, tired and worn
So long of a journey and I feel kinda tired and worn


At November 29, 2005 5:18 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Maybe you were a Shaker in a prevous life.

At November 29, 2005 5:28 PM, Blogger Just Some Gal said...

You leave such caring comments on my blog. I wish I could say the right words in response to this. Christmas and Easter are truly 2 of my favorite holidays of the years. The birth and re birth.


Maybe Shannon is right.

BTW, I love you how end all of your posts with a song. I'm a very musically inclined person so I really can find a song to match each mood. *which means a LOT, hehe*


At November 29, 2005 5:57 PM, Blogger DrDon said...

Nicely put Mando. My wife and I have felt pretty stressed lately and one of the things that's bothering me is feeling so busy that I haven't been able to get into the spirit of the season yet. This post is s good reminder.

At November 29, 2005 7:15 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Shan, good point. Perhaps I should check in the graveyard down the street from my office in Shaker, to see if my old self is in there.

R/Blondie, that's kind of how I see those times, too. Kind of a renewal time. We both know we can always get more of that! LOL. Thanks for your sweet comments on the song part of the blog. Audio is a goal. I know you like a wide variety of music, but I often envision you as a fiddle player, long blonde curls flailing to your fiddlin'. At least you get it honest, bein' down there in Texas!

Dr. Don, glad to see you again. No matter what we believe, we'd agree that it's always good to make room for a little contemplation. Perhaps that, and some pineapple tarts. ;-) (They are in the baking rotation!)

Love y'all.


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