Divine Praise

How do I celebrate the Divine now, in this very instant? is the question that most occupies me at Godsend Sanctuary, Source Temple’s tiny seaside hermitage, dedicated wholly to praising God. The answer is as abstract as the way we, all resident renunciates of the Gathering, move throughout the day— in a moment-to-moment, spontaneous, feeling-based response to that guiding question.

Truly, the celebration can look like anything. This late afternoon, it takes the shape of a divinely orchestrated encounter with Grace. She has just finished deep cleaning the session room as I complete the evening round of watering the gardens. We exchange a knowing look, and eyes-alight, she makes a small gesture with her head towards the deck that leads to the sea. Without exchanging a word, we whole-heartedly agree. Let’s go for a swim.

The sun is about to set, the air fresh, but still. We seem to glide down to the water’s edge and, before diving in, take a moment to appreciate the impressionistic play of colors on the swells. Then we enter, each in our own dance— Grace gently backstroking and dolphin kicking, as I freestyle towards the rising moon. When we find each other again, we play, diving below the surface, twisting, rising, diving again.

Grace reminds me of a mermaid who, with an elegant flick of her feet, disappears under the waves with a gentle splash.

When she comes up, she starts to laugh. A floodgate of bright memories has just opened and, shining, she regales me with stories of road trips and Michael Jackson and young love. Our laughter, peeling through the quiet evening, could pierce the roof of the world.

The stories subside, and we tread water for some moments, steeping in the gift of union. Something moves me, and I turn to her, asking “would you like me to float you?” She responds with a delighted “yes!”

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