(It’s going on ten years since I wrote this. I was on retreat at the Sophia Center of Atchison, Kansas, Sister Terese leading a wonderful workshop on Celtic spirituality. She allowed ample time in our weekend for reflection, personal journaling and creative writing, and the following is what bubbled up during an afternoon recess. And by the way, I’ve shared before something written at that same retreat. Check the index above under Celtic Christianity, or find that piece here.)
Do I walk so gently upon the earth
That the grass springs back quickly from underfoot?
Do I tread lightly as I pass, knowing that what I leave behind
Must be able to also support the weight and lives of those who follow?
From whence comes my impulse to leave an imprint, to mark territory,
to insert a sign of my presence, a blaze or initial on a tree,
a rock cairn, a footprint?
Do I inflict myself upon my environment,
As if my passing that way is intended to leave permanent impact?
Similarly, do I walk humbly among the sons and daughters of God,
Imparting the presence of Christ, or imparting the presence of me?
From whence comes my impulse to over-perform, or to outperform,
To exert uncalled influence, influence that is sometimes
Neither necessary nor truly helpful?
Gentle and Holy Lord, lead me to walk softly upon your earth and among your people,
Leaving everywhere the fragrance of You. Amen.
~~ RGM, September 27, 2017,
from an earlier entry in
my nature journal