Lessons from the Lake
There is great power in expansive stillness. There is great power in the depths.
Lately, I’ve been meditating on the powers of the Lake. This is one facet of the Norse rune Laguz, but mostly, it is what I need in this time, right now. Those who are familiar with me know that I am an instigator, a mover, a goer, a will activator. I tend toward the yang rather than the yin, often quipping that I have one nurturing bone in my body, pointing to the tip of a pinky finger. We all have our tendencies, and our lessons to learn.
For me, so often the holder of the torch of impatience – enjoining all my friends to “Come on! This way!” – to learn the lessons of the Lake is requiring the trust of opening, of softening, a word I barely even know how to write. Each morning I return to these watery practices: slow strengthening stretches in the sun rather than the hard push of lifting weights. Sinking into meditation from there. Allowing myself to float, as though I was resting in a still body of fresh water. To float requires a trust in the stillness within. To float requires both strength and opening.
I have cultivated this stillness, but only as a core for decisive movement. Now I return to it to teach me other lessons.
This week, while cleaning the old sixteen burner stove at the house of hospitality, pressing the rough green scrubber against the tough metal “I love you” rose unbidden to my thoughts. This was not some practice of connecting to the stove, this was connection to the stove. The divine presence was there. I moved with it, continuing to clean. I moved with it, in every interaction. Later, while cleaning the compost bins, I practiced saying “I love you” as I poured the food-filled water through a sieve. Happiness was there, despite the connection to the newer green plastic bins not feeling as immediate as the connection to the stove that had cooked meals for hungry thousands.
Having written and spoken about the presence of divinity in all things, the teaching is finally striking home. It has taken noticing, practicing, returning, and finally, being ready to float upon this water instead of always seeking the more volatile fire and air. I feel grateful, and will keep returning to these spaces, waiting for the lessons yet to come.
What are you learning these days?