Sunday, April 24, 2011

finding spirit

There are many days I could sit quietly and think…

about what spirit is, for me.

So many holy days to spark contemplation, so many people pausing.

Today, Easter Sunday, is one such day. A deeply important day, in this part of the world and others.

If I lived in Morocco,



or the Sudan,

the days to pause, the holy moments, might be different.

Perhaps I'd find people dancing and calling out their name for God,

or kneeling towards Mecca,

or praying in a synagogue,

or quietly meditating in a room, high in the mountains.

(I know I'd find this happening here in Australia too, if I looked.) 

All of these people would be resonating. Finding their spirit. Their song. The path that feels truest to them. 

All these ways, these days, this kaleidoscope of faith,


beautiful to me. 

We were watching the sunset the other day, looking over a lake that I loved as a child.

We stood high, high on a sand dune, the sea behind us, the lake before us. The sun dipped lower and lower over faraway hills.

Out of the blue, I said to my husband, "Who decides when Easter is? The date is always different."

He didn't have an answer straight away. I turned back and watched how the falling sun changed the light. The hills waited, infinite layers of blue. Tiny birds darted through the bushes. Called to each other, nestled into the trees. Larger birds coasted the twilight wind, their wings out like palms of the hand, held upward.

And then I said, "I wonder what those hills are." 
Thinking to myself, Are they part of the National Park? They are so beautiful. They seem to go on and on.

And my husband said, "Perhaps the Church?"

In that moment, I thought he meant the hills. I had already forgotten my question a minute earlier. 

In that moment, I thought, Yes

It felt so true to me. 

Of course. The hills are the church. 
And the sky all around. 
And the birds calling, the sun dipping, the light changing, 
the water in the distance, so still, and fading into blue grey. 
And the sound of the surf behind me, purring, holding me up with its hand warm on my back. 

This, here, is my church. This is where my spirit feels truest. 

My feet on the sand, rooted into the Now, into this moment. This view. These sounds. These trees, this life, this sky, this sea. The living, breathing, vibrating, resonating natural world. 

My spirit is here. This is my worshipful space. 

And I felt such peace. 

Such connection.

Such joy

On this day, and on others, where the spirit rises and holds you, 

wherever you are, 

however your spirit sings,

I wish you beauty, peace, and love. 


  1. Very well put. Nature speaks to me as well, although I am exploring some other venues as well. The ocean is so vast and impressive at sunset, it is hard to not feel something deep in your soul. The pause. The peace. Somthing bigger.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. I find it all outside as well. But I loved this post, because many people find it somewhere different, and it's all good and wonderful. Happy Easter!

  3. Beautiful post Helena..your words are always a gift to me.

    I find it outside too...among other places, but always outside. O

    Happy Easter

  4. Thank you all so much! I find it elsewhere too—I have found it sitting in a whitewashed church in Italy, during a Quaker meeting in New Mexico, on a street in Lake Tahoe and during a meditation in Wollongong! But I always feel such incredible peace outside, surrounded by nature. Always connected to spirit. And I wanted to share that with you all, with love.

  5. I am so with you ;). Nature is where I go for all my relief, awareness, peace, inspiration, serenity--well you know, you've already said it. Much peace and love to you

  6. Helena -
    Firs thing this morning I was able (for the first time) to wander and to gather flowers, and I was soooo... happy. And fulfilled.
    And I thought, This. THis is my church. :)
    And unbelievably (and perfectly) the day continued on just so.
    So I understand perfectly.

  7. Well, that was SO beautiful! Nature is definitely where we can all turn for acceptance and peace. I've yet to find that in any building created by men.

  8. As usual, a beautiful post Helena - I totally agree with you! Nature is my church too. Loved your photographs too.

  9. Yes a beautiful reflection for last week-- sheer poetry and sounds and pictures-- and for today on the 25th which has been celebrated for Easter and also remembered for the people who lost their lives in non-peaceful ways in 1915 and whose surviving friends said on their return from Gallipoli that forever more there must be NO MORE war, but ONLY peace.
    I can't think of a better spiritual place than where you went camping with your beautiful family.

  10. I do believe I am a member of your church! Beautiful post lovely, mwah xoxoxox


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.