A seed pod from our morning run. Milkweed. A gigantic Asclepias.
Creation making me know holy truth. That God is reaching out to me.
The prayer book says the creation itself is sacramental. It is God reaching out to us through material things, and that the church simply makes patterns of this with material things of choice, like bread and wine and water and oil, to celebrate that God does this all the time ~ reaches out to us through the material of creation.
Like with my pod. The visible manifesting the invisible, the way the featherweight tuft lifts the seed from it’s tiny sarcophagus. White silk wings for the wind to convince me of invisible holy presence and unimaginable promises and evidence of God’s reaching. The Holy One breathing, playing, creating, resurrecting, and sweeping through, but because this is all invisible, I collected this pod. To help me know.
Looking at the pod makes me hear my grandmother’s singsong voice reciting Wynken Blynken and Nod when I, like the three in the shoe, was a wee one. The first whimsical notion of peregrination, introduced with ease and matter-of-factness, at nursery age.
This beautiful pod, shaped like a coracle for setting out on pilgrimage with the Holy One. Every Celtic peregrini, just thrilled at the notion that the journey is worth it, simply, for the love of God. To be out and about in the world, anywhere at all, for the joy and company of the Divine.
That’s the journey of the day. Of any day. Of this day. To greet the rising of the sun and set out with jubilation because, wherever my little pod takes me, it is the Holy Spirit in wind on water that puts me out to sea for a sacred journey and holy adventure.
That’s the journey of this day. Today was a good day, filled with beautiful, holy presence.
Our guide, an African warrior.
He said we could ask for something
First he said that he had a gift for us. I wanted this gift, whatever it was. Maybe he looked at everyone but I felt and look at me when he said it. Maybe because I was staring.
We went to this water called “the last bath“ where the captives were scrubbed before their purchase.
It turned out that we could ask for something of the river and the ancients.
I want something from Africa. From the heavy earth there and the bloodshed and sweat that seeps into the earth and makes it human. Alive. Life producing and fertile.
I told the river and the heavy sodden earth of Africa, “I want what you have“.
What he said you have.
What I know you have.
You have a song and a dance in the drum beat in your soul you have joy and love. It’s what makes you able to live in community. He said that slavery takes that away.
He said you were hunters and farmers and artisans. And you can sing and you can dance.
But slavery makes you run and hide and enter the caves in deep forest Because when you go to carry water and do your chores, you were ambushed and carried into captivity.
Africa. African ancestors of humanity. I want your song and dance and drum beat in my soul so that I can live in community with joy. Trust without fear of ambush.
Reverend Ruth Pattison
Rev. Pattison serves the people of Highpoint Episcopal Community Church as the Parson, exercising her gifts for collaborative leadership through preaching, liturgy, and the pastoral arts.