Old Words, New Thoughts

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Four years ago, I went to an Ash Wednesday service at the church I was attending in Minnesota, and it sparked some interesting thoughts, which I wrote about at my old blog, here. Looking back, I think that service and the thoughts that followed marked a pretty major turning point in my spiritual journey. It was the moment when I realized that I no longer needed to believe in a higher power for my life to feel like it had meaning, that I was far more concerned with living my life well and leaving the world a little better for my presence than I was about any sort of afterlife.

Remember that dust you are, and to dust you will return. I sort of feel, as I ponder these words while finding myself called to a more earth-centered spiritual path, like I’m coming full-circle, returning to familiar words and rituals with new eyes. We are born of the earth, we return to the earth…we should treat the earth well during the time in between. And beyond that, the idea that we’re all made of the same stuff. Yesterday, I registered for the correspondence course from The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids in an effort to lend more structure to my exploration of earth-centered spirituality. I have found lately that while I have no interest in returning to organized religion, I’ve been missing spiritual practice. I’ve slowly been trying to integrate some spiritual practice back into my life, but I tend to do better with things like that when I have some sort of externally-imposed structure. This course feels like it strikes the right balance: structure, but no dogma.

I’m excited to see where this year takes me. It’s a fight, sometimes, to remain present in the present moment and not to obsess over the future, but I think if I can do it, there will be a lot to learn along the way.

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