@ the right and left hand of god

esterotrail_dleffectFraming The Sacred Along Drakes Estero Trail

We sleep in late the day after Christmas, lounging in bed until afternoon, reading and talking about our shared beliefs. I read aloud Lesson 49 from the ACIM work and we share our experiences of feeling in the presence of the sacred. We have long ago fallen away from original paths in Catholic and Lutheran catechism. For both of us religion and church buildings pale in comparison with our deep emotional connections to Nature and experiences of being on the land or at sea. We lie in bed and do a breathing meditation on when and where we hear the voice of god. Both of us are easily distracted by demands of work and compulsions to clean up and do chores around the house. Both find inner peace in memories of being outdoors: the crunch of winter snow beneath childhood boots in upstate New York, bird paradise with playmates in Texas woodlots. We decide to shift our priority to doing the fun stuff first each day – to go hiking to listen for that sacred voice. We hear it clearly and often on Drakes Estero trailhead. Whisper of wind in winter trees. Slosh and suck of water and mud beneath our boots. Crisp seasonal chill on our cheeks. Echo of bird calls far off in the woods. The fragrant smell of pine, redwoods, and rain in the air. I love winter in California – it’s so green! I stop and take a panorama along the trail. I ask Greg to stop and look back. The arc of clouds curve above our heads against a sky in brilliant shades of blue. As I glance at my viewfinder, squinting in the sharp glint of sunset, I catch my breath at the beauty of this image and think truly, we stand at the left and right hand of god , in this paradise of our home at the National Seashore. My long shadow at left, and Greg standing on the path to the right, the living god of creation between us,…this path is our daily prayer.

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