The Tree That You Are

I started year 2 of my Spiritual Direction cohort last weekend; it couldn’t have come at a better time! I went into the weekend with a heavy heart and as we checked in with one another after four months off, I barely got into my first sentence before the tears came to the surface. The best description I could give for how I was “coming in” to the weekend was that of a bare branch with a teeny bud of hope, but not much else. Thankfully, I was received with open arms and no need for pretense or pretending everything was ok.

This past week in New England we had a beautiful taste of Spring, a sense that “Aslan’s on the move“. By Thursday, however, the bitter cold had returned and Friday’s impending snow storm did not disappoint (or did, depending on your perspective). This Sunday morning, as I sit in a coffee shop and look out the window, the mounds of snow and salted parking lot remind me that winter is not over yet. Alas…

After going hard and strong all week, I am giving myself permission to slow down today.

I left my husband and kids to deal with the messy house and treated myself to breakfast at my fave cafe.

I let the heaviness in my heart surface over the war in Ukraine as I reflected on this poem. (Thanks, Philip Yancey, for introducing me to the work of Ann Weems!)

I wonder how you are? Maybe this would be a good time to check in with yourself. I adapted the following exercise Imagine the Tree That You Are from one we did last year in our Spiritual Direction cohort. It was based on an exercise in Susan Phillips’ book Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction (Morehouse Pub., Harrisburg, PA, 2008, p. 153). May it serve as fodder for your soul!

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