“Begin your wandering by finding a threshold (perhaps an arched branch overhead or a narrow passage between rocks). Here offer a voiced prayer of your intention and desire for this time. Step across the threshold quite deliberately and, on this side of your sacred boundary, speak no words, but watch and listen for God’s presence.
Let the land, plants, and creatures lead your feet and eyes. Let yourself be drawn, rather than walking with a destination or purpose in mind. If you are called to a particular place or thing, stop and be still, letting yourself be known and know, through silent communion with the Other. Before you leave, offer some gesture or token of gratitude for the gift nature has given you. "
I read that particular selection from Fr. Richard's daily meditation and was inspired to walk. Packing up my youngest in the car, we made our way to MB Johnson Park in Moorhead and crossed the threshold.
We began walking with the usual chatter. She noticed everything, asked questions, and made general statements about the day like "It's a sunny day!"
As we continued down the path, a rhythm developed. She insisted on being first and I had no objections. The noise in my mind slowly died down, replaced by the crunching sounds of snow, a light breeze dancing through the branches, or the occasional deer sighting. I noticed her mind quiet too, as we continued on the journey.
Suddenly, without saying a word, both of us stopped. We paused for what must have been five minutes but it felt like 20. I can only describe it as an immense moment of clarity and peace. It was like my mind was standing in a place like the echo spot at Concordia College. (By the way, if you don't know about the echo spot, ask me and I'll give you the details).
Since that day I've been more aware of these moments, and I now call them "Eternal Moments". Moments where time stands still and peace rings. I had one the other day while picking raspberries in the morning. I was outside, barefoot, my feet damp from the morning dew.
You don't force or create eternal moments, you slip into them without effort. The trick is to pause, discern, and enjoy them once you find yourself there.