I did something in this week’s love letter, Reflections, that I’d never done before in any other edition. As those of you who were able to open and read your copy know, I invited readers to reply to me and tell me how we got connected.
In return, I pulled a card—in this case, one from the Goddess Oracle—that had a word or short phrase on it, something from the world of Chance, something to meditate on, and maybe something to frame the work of the year. I shared both the word and the associated goddess with my reader.
Those of you who replied—and if you haven’t, feel free to go back, read the issue, and reply today or tomorrow or the next day—amazed me! You astonished me with your openness, your forthright sharing your stories, and your expressions of love and gratitude.
It was amazing. (If you don’t get Reflections, go here and sign on up for your little weekly dose of spiritual contemplation. I may even extend the card-pulling offer into next week’s edition. We’ll see.)
So I’ve learned some things about some of us.
Many of us come to The Way of the River by way of Unitarian Universalism. We read Nature’s Path on the Patheos.com site. Nature’s Path is a Unitarian Universalist-Pagan blog for which I write every third Wednesday of the month. Other UU’s and I have met at All Souls Unitarian (DC), First Unitarian Church of Portland, Mid-Columbia Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and other congregations on both East and West Coasts. Still others of us went to seminary together at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Many of us come to The Way of the River by way of Pagan or Earth-centered spiritual connections (as I did originally!). We have known one another through Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary. We have Circled together. We have practiced magic together. We have stood at the Center of the Stones and known we were there. We have built an institution together; it’s a small one, but Stone Circle Wicca grows year by year. And some of us have come together at the riverside through those connections.
Many of us have found one another through Facebook. We share connections in entrepreneurship, Paganism, Unitarian Universalism, Goddess-focused practice, or just friends in common. One of us came to The Way of the River because of a single thread on a single friend’s timeline. The national CUUPS group, Eccentric Entrepreneurs, Heart of Business Community, Wisewoman Circle, UUs in Preliminary Fellowship, and Quiet Strength in Business have all been important in our growing connections.
Several of us are new to The Way of the River because you have signed up for Turning the Wheel and The Way of the River Community Group. Can’t wait! (We begin the class on the 23rd, and you can sign up here. It’s free!)
And through those groups, some of us have come to The Way of the River website itself, this website on which you are reading this post today. Through this website, some of us have come to work together in classes, retreats, and one-on-one coaching and spiritual direction.
And some of us have known one another for years. Since college. Since high school. Since who-knows-when?
Don’t see yourself here? I’d love to hear from you at email@example.com about how you came to The Way of the River. And yes, if you’re interested, I’ll pull you a card with a Word to reflect on.
You belong here, whether you seem to “fit” in one of the groups above, or not. I know I have Christian and Muslim colleagues and friends here. I have a Jewish client who came to The Way of the River through collegial connections.
The important thing here is that we are all, all, all of us welcome.
Spiritual-but-not-religious, Pagan/Earth-centered, Pagan-curious, UU-Pagan, unaffiliated, Christian, Muslim…we are all welcome. I welcome your thoughts in The Way of the River Community on Facebook. I welcome your questions, your thoughts, your wonderings, and your suggestions.
And what do I offer in return?
There is something to which I aspire, and Denise Levertov expresses it perfectly below. My next blog post will probably begin here, for now let’s end here:
Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.
~ Denise Levertov ~
What a beautiful welcome mat you’ve put out for your people. Lovely.