I mentioned in last week's blog that I've tended to expend quite a bit of energy 'letting' myself have these retreat mornings, justifying them to myself, telling myself they are necessary and OK.
This week, I simplified it a bit. I began them in the first place because I felt called to do so - called to allow more space for prayer and simply 'being' in my life. I continue with them because that sense of call has not fundamentally changed. So, this is just another practice - like meditation - which I commit to whether it seems productive or not, whether I feel like it or not. It's just practice ...
So off I went to the Botanic Gardens to practise. As soon as I arrived, I felt as you do when you enter a sacred space - immediately drawn in, immediately calmed and quieted. I thought later that maybe it's because, like cathedrals in some other cities, the Botanic Gardens have for years been a place prayed in, reflected in, wandered through and loved at a deep level by the people of Canberra.
This was the first flower that captured my attention.
After that, I took quite a few photos ... and sought simply to be there. The word in the Hebrew bible is 'henini', 'here I am'. I was attentive and inattentive, present and not fully present. Hanging out, trusting that if a bush were burning somewhere, I might notice it despite everything.
And that even if a bush was not burning today, the practice of availability is what ultimately matters, what ultimately serves.
I hope you enjoy these images of the life I encountered this day.