finding for free

When I stepped away from the bible and church for a bit I wondered if I was leaving god behind along with them... Then I planted a garden and I found the divine in the dirt under my feet and fingernails and in the sprouts and buds and blooms.

I went to yoga and I found god in my breath and tears and sweat and the movement of my body.

I gave away over half of my stuff to explore minimalism and I found god in the empty spaces created by living without as much excess.

I visited a shaman and I found god in her wisdom and healing words and affirmations.

I made a date with the sunrise and found god in the orange and yellow and pink streaked across the sky.

I grew and birthed a baby and found goddess in my body with all her gentle strength and fierceness and wisdom.

I put parts of my heart that were feeling the growing pains out on a page for the world to see and I found god in those lines of black and white and in messages from strangers and new stories from old friends.

I listened, really listened, to music again for the first time in a long while and found god in my quickened pulse and hot tears and anger and hope - even in my sock feet dance moves in my kitchen.

I picked up a paint brush and I found god all over the canvas in every brushstroke and texture and color variation.

I met a new friend and found god in the steam rising up from our hot chocolate and in her voice as she invited me into her also broken story.

I sat in the rocking chair on my porch while a storm became and I found god in the gusts of wind and thunder and sheets of rain.

I wrote a letter of letting go and found god in every word across that tear stained page and again in the flames as practiced open hands, and in the full moon that watched it all.

I saw a therapist and I found god on that blue sofa and in her honest eyes and the kindness in her voice.

I took a walk and I found god in the changing leaves falling and crunching under my feet.

I went to a meeting and I found god thick in every vulnerable story and knowing smile and validating reading.

I snuggled my baby close and found god in his milky breath and fuzzy head and velvet skin and dreaming sighs.

I talked with a person who was homeless and found god in his sky blue eyes and the creases around them when he smiled and the childlike way they sparkled when he talked about himself as a young thing.

I stood where the earth meets the sea and I found god in the breeze rummaging through my hair and the sea spray on my face and cold sand under my feet and the mighty of the waves and the delicate of the lingering salty foam.

I chased squirrels with E and I found god in the grassy carpet under my bare feet and in the sun dancing in the trees and pouring through the gaps in their leafy tops and in his squeal-giggle-squat and the innocent joy in his eyes.

I visited my granny and found god in her brave truth telling and charmingly out of tune piano and every bloom and butterfly in her garden.

And that's roughly when I decided it was time to stop listening to the folks claiming to have the corner on the god thing. Why jump through those hoops - contort and tame and prune away the wildness in my soul - to get something that it keeps finding for free all on its own? What if the wildness itself is god essence? If I'm really honest, I like that the divine I keep finding is the type that does side deals. While some art and literature would try to define what god is or isn't right down to approved and disapproved places, vocabulary, theologies, ethnicities - while they put stipulations on what folks have to do and be and think to get on the god list and where to go to find "him"- I like that the divine disrespectfully side steps the rules and shows up in sunrises and hiphop and the homeless. And even more, that whatever divine is inside me, it recognizes and draws me to the divine outside of me... I only have to listen to my soul, because it's already old friends with the truths I've just met.

It reminds me of one of my favorites by Mary Oliver..

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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