… a belated Wild Goose adventure…
My tween daughter was a bit bedraggled at Wild Goose, partly due to the rain and partly due to not quite fitting in with either the “kids” or the “youth.” We had some memorable moments, I must admit. Some shall remain in the domain of mother-daughter conversation, but others were more observable. One of my personal favorite images I retain is of the two of us perching on a pair or rocks, eating kettle corn for lunch while I listened to an amazing talk by Sara Miles on the centrality of being “with.” While I was applying that concept to my vocational ministry at the time I was listening, it has since occurred to me that our mother/daughter dyad was living out the spirit of those words, each of us sharing common ground doing the thing we most wanted (listening/snacking) and choosing to do it together. Being “with” meant meeting each other exactly where we were each at…what a gift.
I was also “with” my own faith community, “with” the random yet connected strangers with whom I shared Compline and Eucharist, “with” spiritual directors and “with” others who prayed for me and for whom I prayed. I was “with” my own history, too…the beautiful and the challenging moments of a faith journey that has meandered and a path that continues to emerge. Questions, not certainty, mark my faith journey. Questions were with us, abounding, embracing, challenging. When all the barriers of daily life come down, our spirits connect without lines of division and we can accept the grace of simply being present. Embracing that beautiful diversity of my companion goose chasers was also the spirit of being “with.”
One of the other fine moments of the weekend was seeing my daughter run down to another talk I was attending to find me, pulling me (literally) into the “Faith Marks” art exhibit to have my tattoo photographed. Considering that most of the things I do (or am) are “not cool” in her eyes these days, I apparently score for having a tattoo. I have written about my Triquetra knot recently here, but it was admittedly fun to be photographed in the midst of my weekend of Wild Goose chasing and to be able to share the story of my faith mark on their web gallery as well. Here is a link (and check out all the other great ink on their site, too!)
Now, a few days out from the weekend and after a great deal of processing and thought, I realize that Wild Goose was itself a faith mark for me. It has been so challenging to learn to live my faith “out loud” and to build accessibility, authenticity, and comfort with the winding path of my faith journey. Claiming who we are requires us to revisit the path we have travelled. The weekend had many challenges and many rewards, some of which are only now becoming apparent as I reflect. But, like my tattooed faith mark, they are part of me. My faith mark symbolizes my journey, and its winding and interwoven threads of an infinite divine presence that has been with me all along the journey, throughout this meandering daily path we call life.