My friend Gail stopped me at the check-out at Wegman’s Grocery a few weeks ago. She beamed love at me and told me she’d just bought another copy of my book to give as a gift. Of course, this makes a writer happy, but it was her warm hug and loving smile that stayed with me.
We said the things we say when we’re in a hurry and see an old friend. “We’ll be in touch. Call me. I hope to see you soon.”
You know what happens to those promises? Nothing.
I’ve known Gail since the 1970s. We had the same spiritual teacher and were part of the same meditation and philosophy group. Her kids were a little younger than mine. I admire her work with women’s health and the support she gives to those in need. We just don’t make time to see each other.
“Contact her, you hermit,” I said to myself that night as I remembered our interaction. I sent an email and she replied with an immediate yes.
We met at Gail’s home on Friday evening and put on our walking shoes. It was cool, under 70. I left Willow in the car under a shade tree with the windows open wide at the top. I wanted to focus on my friend, not my dog.
Gail was tired from a long day at work, but ready to lead the way. We headed for Cascadilla Gorge and entered the ravine. Beauty enveloped us as we walked the stone steps up the rushing creek from waterfall to waterfall, moving deeper into one of Ithaca’s famous gorges.
The roar of the water silenced our words and my busy mind. We paused in flat places on the trail and asked about each other’s lives and children. Gail told me about a recent Sufi retreat. I told her I’ll be teaching a workshop on mythology and grief this coming winter. We asked about each other’s health, a new part of conversations with friends in recent years.
Late evening Solstice sun entered the gorge from the west at a perfect angle and sparkled off the water. The steep rock walls were green with moss and plants, barely hanging on. I was flooded with gratitude for the preciousness of life and the gift of friendship. The Sacred Feminine permeated everything in the deep moist ravine.
When I take time for an unhurried walk in Nature, when I open my heart to a woman friend, when I stop rushing around with my to-do list, the Sacred Feminine shows up.
The question is: Why do I imagine other things are more important?
How do you create sacred space in your life? Does the sacred feel feminine to you? Does Nature feel sacred to you? For a post about the teachings of Marion Woodman, my closest woman teacher of the Sacred Feminine, see Let the Warm Love Flow: Messages from Marion Woodman. To read more about finding the sacred in Nature, see Blessing the Water, Blessing Our Life.