sunday morning

This morning I woke up and cracked my bedroom door to feel the crisp air of fall flow in. It was early, the sun was up but the clouds hadn’t burned out of the valley below me yet. I decided to take my dogs out for a walk on a lake close to my house. We loaded up in the van with my thermos of hot tea, the windows down, and country music playing on the radio. The walk was a mix of chilly breezes and warm sun patches on the dry dirt path around the water. The puppies bounded in and out of the tall grass getting covered with burrs. I was happy to let them come in and out of my sight as I breathed in the new fall air. It feels somehow nostalgic even though this is the second day of cool weather (the first being yesterday). The dogs found a path down to the lake and jumped it, looking at me to throw them rocks and wood chips to dive for.

These are the most filling moments–being outside with no one but the dogs. I always feel something big expand in and around me. I think it is just the open landscape pulling me up and out of myself. I find that I talk a lot, presumably to the dogs or to myself or to the things around me. I close my eyes and listen to the bug sounds and the leaves-on-wood sounds, the wind in the grass, the birds, and little fishing boats on the water.


Usually, I am surrounded by people and even if I am alone I have some thing to focus on–a book I am reading, a tv show I am watching, food I am eating, etc. But when I am out on a walk there is nothing but thoughts and feelings inside of me…and finally there is nothing for me to do but attend to them, examine them, give each one its moment to speak to me and tell me about myself and the world around me. Feelings like, “I am so stressed” come up. And for once I don’t just stop there but can actually take the time to ask, “Why are you feeling stress.” There’s just a level of attention I reach when I am out in nature that I don’t think I reach too often otherwise.

All my life I went to church every Sunday with my family. A few years ago I stopped going to church very consciously because it wasn’t a place that was resonating spiritually for me. The decision to stop going was very good for me, but over time I have come to realize that I do miss the time and space routinely inhabited for focused worship of that which guides your life and body and soul.


Maybe it is because I was walking on a Sunday morning, but it occurred to me that maybe I have found a productive way to practice that focused gratitude and reflection that I truly did relate to in the Christian tradition. But here I get to do it in a way that feels very meaningful to me.


{Kuntsrule stories are written by our readers. Share your own at Kuntsrule Submission.}
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