This morning began with “Practice”.  As I venture into sabbatical, my focus will be, “practice”, spiritual practice.  And so this morning, I rode out to a familiar place, a place that has greeted me with abundant love each and every time.

This time though, I began with the mantra, “Reveal to me what you desire.”  Over and over, “Reveal to me what you desire.”

I wish I could say that it was clearly evident, what was being revealed, but that would be far from the truth.  So, the practice session continued as the sun rose.


The morning light revealed familiar neighbors.  Neighbors sitting quietly while sharing a nook in the neighborhood.

It was then that I heard, “Be patient, Michael.  Be patient.”

Patient for what?

“Just, be patient.”

The Spirit at work?


Then a family member of one of the neighbors flew into the picture and found a perch high above the rest of us…fullsizeoutput_6aa8

..and watched.

What are your thoughts, neighbor?

“Be patient.”fullsizeoutput_6aa9

Meanwhile, back in the quiet little nook.

After standing in one spot for so long…fullsizeoutput_6aaa

It was time for a new perspective.fullsizeoutput_6aab

Then a new neighbor joined this peaceful moment.

“Be patient, Michael.”fullsizeoutput_6aac

Another friend swims into the neighborhood, quiet and focused.fullsizeoutput_6ab9

While the parade made its way past my feet, a glance across the bay and was greeted with, “Be patient.”

So, an hour later…fullsizeoutput_6aaf

…Apparently it was time to excuse the original neighbor.

This didn’t seem to be a welcomed guest, but the move happened regardless if welcomed or not.fullsizeoutput_6ab7

Then there was the return.  And this “return” was filled with an energy that had been building since the, now three, neighbors had become aware of each other.fullsizeoutput_6ab6

It was clear what was expected by the incoming intruder, “Move out of the neighborhood.  I am now claiming this space as my own and I’m not so much interested in sharing.”fullsizeoutput_6ab5fullsizeoutput_6ab4

And there was momentary peace in the bay…fullsizeoutput_6aba

…Until the fourth neighbor entered the area with similar desires, “Everyone else can move on out now.  I am here to claim my place in the neighborhood.”fullsizeoutput_6abbfullsizeoutput_6abcfullsizeoutput_6abe

After some buzzing of neighbors accompanied with some harsh vocals, there was peace for about a half hour.

It became clear that this little piece of paradise wasn’t big enough for these four Blue Herons, so the “Non-Welcome Committee of solos” continued their pursuits.

Slowly and deliberately, step after slow, step, the “chase” continued around the bay.  Until the final neighbor had had enough.  The decision had been made.  It was time to fly away to new and higher locations.

With a bend of the knees and powerful push off, the energy moved throughout this feathered beauty and there was…fullsizeoutput_6ac1


The webbed feet skimmed across the water as the mighty wings lifted this blessing into the air.fullsizeoutput_6ac4

I’m not sure when the destination was realized, but something inside me made me guess, “Now.”fullsizeoutput_6ac5fullsizeoutput_6ac6fullsizeoutput_6ac7

Gliding across the bay, the altitude quickly changed with the destination in sight.fullsizeoutput_6ac8

“You can have the water for now.  I’ll wait up here until it is time for the next move.”

“Be patient, Michael.”

“Patience” was revealed to me.  Patience paired with an openness to what could fill my soul…Life, ABUNDANT life.

Now it was my turn to move along, but not without…”patience.”fullsizeoutput_6ac9

I turned from the water and patiently moved towards my bicycle and opened myself to what was in front of me.

With patience and openness, the Spirit continued to reveal abundant life that surrounded me.

Here are some glimpses of that abundance.fullsizeoutput_6acafullsizeoutput_6acbfullsizeoutput_6accfullsizeoutput_6acdfullsizeoutput_6acffullsizeoutput_6ad0fullsizeoutput_6ad1

I wandered along the path before me and was invited to sit a while.

So, I patiently sat and then…fullsizeoutput_6ad2

…Rex appeared with his loving jogging partner and his prized possession.  We’ll call it, “Precious.”

Each time “Precious” was thrown into refreshing Bear Creek, Rex faithfully and enthusiastically retrieved it.


…some “refreshment”triggered a full body response.fullsizeoutput_6ad6fullsizeoutput_6ad7fullsizeoutput_6ad9fullsizeoutput_6adbfullsizeoutput_6adcfullsizeoutput_6add

Unfortunately, “Precious” was sadly lost to the vegetation on the opposite shore.  So, there was a moment, a very short moment of silence.DSC_9398

I ventured along and patience drew me into a space of activity that was also filled with abundance.fullsizeoutput_6ade

As my eyes patiently moved from blessing to blessing, my heart continued to grow.fullsizeoutput_6adf

Three hours into this practice session, I patiently and gratefully said, “Thank you,” and returned home, blessed.

I wonder what the next “Practice” session will bring?  I’m not sure, but I know I will bring with me, patience.

Holy Shepherd, what have your practice sessions revealed?

My prayer for you is life, life that is abundant.  Remember, “Be patient.”fullsizeoutput_6ae0

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