November 15, 2004

Spirit is Here

Her shoulder was next to mine. Eleanor is 82, a sturdy, quiet woman. A naturalist, Eleanor loves birds, and birdsongs. She has gone far distances to record the songs of many birds. Her demeanor reminds me of a bird: small, quiet, watchful, not wanting to be in anyone’s way.

Usually Eleanor just sits quietly during Quaker Meeting. Today however, she spoke. Her voice gravely, and quiet, she asked, “What is Spirit, anyway?”

As Quakers, we try to speak simply, and from experience – given that’s all we truly can know. After quiet moments of reflection, I softly offer this response to Eleanor:

"Spirit is in the birdsong, in the breeze, in the illuminated autumn leaves. Spirit is in our breath, in the beat of our heart. Spirit is in our center – that calm place of peaceful understanding. Spirit is the quiet voice we hear.Spirit is in the rain, and the reflection of the moon in the rain. Spirit is the warmth radiating from a friend’s eye. Spirit is in joy, in sorrow, in exuberance and exhaustion."

"Spirit is here with us now."

I feel Eleanor’s shoulder next to mine. I hear her sigh a Knowing sort of sigh. “Oh.... ” I look, and see the warmth in a Friend’s eye. A tender smile, a feeling of Friendship between us.

Spirit is here, now.

6 comments:

Marjorie said...

"Spirit is the warmth from a friend's eye"
-- this is so very true. In my church, I sometimes help administer the wine with communion. Some people look right into my eyes and smile back at me, but others don't even look at me, and some even have a sour look on their face. How can it be holy communion if there isn't even human communion?

Al said...

Calm, reassuring thoughts Meredith.
Spirit as that which binds us as one:
Spirit is in the birdsong - because we can all hear it
Spirit is in our breath - because we are alive
Spirit is the quiet voice we hear - if we are listening
Spirit is here with us now - we need only look over our shoulder...be well.

Akilesh said...

Who's shoulder is next to yours? right here, right now, in these common hours of our life? These are the people we are woven in with; these are the ones we can open up to, and share our abundance with. Let them feel the vastness of our hearts. Let them feel the celebration there inside. Spontaneously we know what to share with them, whether in words or with silence. When we touch another with our authentic presence, they feel freedom awakening in their own heart.

"Her shoulder was next to mine."

Larry said...

Beautiful response, Meredith. In my prosaic way I would have wanted to tell her. You are spirit; you are full of spirit; you breathe spirit, and you bless us all.

james said...

Such a beautiful connection. Thank-you for sharing that with me.

Meredith said...

Marjorie, Al, Akilesh, Larry and james,

Spirit is in the human connection
Spirit is that which binds us as one,
Spirit's shoulder is next to mine,
Spirit is in you, and with you,
Spirit is a beautiful connection.

Thank you dear friends,
Meredith