In a Yoga practice a few months back we were meditating on our safe space - where it is that we find safety in the storm. As I was visualizing where what was a place that gave me a feeling of safety I found myself in my grandparents three-season porch.
When I was young we would often gather there in the summer and I distinctively remember ice cream in little bowls that were white with a blue flower pattern.
I would help grandma carry the bowls out to the porch as she would fill them on the kitchen counter. We would sit around a round table my grandpa made.
Conversation was casual and kids ran in and out of the porch. If it was a nice day the windows would be open and the breeze would cool the porch. Good sized trees in the back yard would provide shade from the sun and birds would come back and forth to the feeders. Even as I became a mother, I was grateful to bring my kids to the porch for ice cream in the white and blue bowls.
We all need to have that place of safety that we can go to, even if only in our prayers, meditation, and imagination. A place where we can be exactly who God created us to be. Where we can leave any expectations that the storms of life - jobs, relationships, and our own darkness - puts upon us. Where we can let God take the grief of past brokenness and present hurts and loss that weigh upon us. Where we can know we are loved and where we can feel the arms of the creator encircle us and whisper, "You are mine. You are loved. I am here now and will be." Where the breeze cools you and the birds fighting over the birdseed makes you laugh. Where you are reminded what it feels like to breathe deeply and wholly into your soul.
As we move toward the winter solstice and the longest night of the year and what some are calling the darkest weeks of the pandemic, I invite you to find your own safe place.
Take some time to sit by your Christmas tree. Light a candle. Take three or more long, deep breathes. As you find rhythm to your breathe, imagine breathing in the light of God. Then imagine breathing out that which weighs heavy in your body. As you continue to do this, find that safe space for yourself. What do you see, smell, taste and feel? Let yourself let go in this space and let God hold you. Hear the words "You are mine. You are loved. I am here now and will be."
Where are your safe places? I would love to hear your stories and where you can let your heart relax into the heart of God.