It’s the time of year when I don my wind and rain gear for my walk. Every. Single. Day. Rain slacks and windbreaker are my non-negotiable attire. The wind is picking up, the rain coming down in gentle drizzle or heavy showers, the temperature dropping to a chill. Even if the sun shines at the beginning of my walk, I can’t guarantee that I won’t be soaked by the time I get home.
At this time of year I’m tempted to stay in the cozy confines of my home rather than brave the blustery weather. The temptation grows stronger as the weather becomes more intense. Soon, it won’t just be the wind and rain and cold - it will be the darkness, too.
And yet, I find the best practice for me, for my resilience at this time of year, is to walk in the weather.
Through the wind, through the rain, through the damp chill, through the descending darkness.
I layer myself with garments to protect me as best I can from the elements, I point my face towards the wind, and I walk straight into it. As we move from autumn towards winter, the rain becomes sleet, pelting at my face like needles. And yet, I forge ahead.
No matter how unappealing it may seem, walking in the weather is the key to my equilibrium over the autumn and winter. It shifts my perspective like nothing else. It energizes me. It refreshes me. It knocks sense into me - sometimes it literally feels like the wind is going to knock me over!
And when I return home, even after 30 or 45 minutes, even if I can’t manage my regular hour-long walk, I feel renewed. The house looks different. Things I was stewing about beforehand become distant memories. My cheeks are pink with the life coursing through me. I’m ready to face whatever’s ahead.
Ponderings for Your Path
I realize this practice is not realistic in all climates or at all times of the year. But can you recall what it feels like point your face in the direction of the wind and forge ahead into it? How did that make you feel?
Can you set aside time to walk in the weather today, and make a practice of walking into the weather in the coming months, even if you’re in a part of the world where the wind and rain and temperature and darkness make that more difficult? Notice the shift if your perspective and energy before and after that walk.
Onwards into October and Beyond
The online mini retreat with Paul Hutchinson was a delight, and that was much to do with the wonderful people who graced us with their presence around the world. We had five time zones and five countries represented, as well as a variety of religious backgrounds and professions. We created a space for listening and sharing, and I came away energized and grateful for the connections we made across the globe.
Because there were a number of people who weren’t able to make it in September, we’re offering another opportunity for the mini retreat on Saturday the 16th of October. If you haven’t caught it yet, listen to podcast Ep. 11 featuring Paul Hutchinson.
Come and listen for the new song in your life… Click the link below to register.
Saturday, 16th October - online mini-retreat with Paul Hutchinson - book here
Bless My Feet series on Spiritual Practices for Resilience - become a member here
19-21 November in-person retreat at Corrymeela - find out more here or email me at email@example.com. Deposits of £50 due ASAP, £130 due as able, or pay full £180
Saturday, 11th December Advent Quiet Day - stay tuned
New Celtic Psalms album - the great news is that GIA Music Publications has taken this album on for distribution. There will be a slightly longer wait to release it, but we’re very excited!
Spiritual Direction - find out more about what this means here. I’d love to walk alongside you on your journey
Turas Pilgrimage in Ireland October 2023 - find out more here
Blessing for Your Journey
May the God of wind and rain
blow the spirit of life within you,
even as the gusts threaten to blow you over
even as the rain pelts your cheeks
even as the darkness masks your path,
so that we might return
to the comforts of home
and ready to begin again.