When I was a young girl of about seven, I would walk miles along the dusty road to the nearest church. It was for Catholics, and I wasn’t one. That didn’t matter. I would walk that road with utter devotion, always with an eye out for snakes. I was off to talk with the Divine Father!
My mother had sewn me a beautiful ankle-length turquoise taffeta dress for church.
The rural church was a white wooden building with a red corrugated iron roof and sat handsomely right beside the creek in Freestone, a rural community on the Darling Downs, near Warwick. (Queensland, Australia.)
Scrubland in Freestone
Freestone, near Warwick, on Queensland’s Darling Downs.
My childhood home nestled against beautiful eucalyptus-covered mountains.
Freestone State School. I’m on the left, third row up. 1975.
In childhood, I’d wear my baby sister’s square terry cloth nappies on my head and pretend I was in a nun’s habit. I’ve since experienced past life regression which has shown me lives in monasteries and convents. I guess those memories were strong in early childhood.
My Mum and baby sister, Ramona, 1973
Although I still delight in the nature of church buildings, my faith is far removed from any man-made religion. I pray regularly, but not in the way depicted in the movies or religious books.
Today a friend and I were talking about such matters as faith and loneliness. I said that even when I’m alone, I know I’m never alone. My connection with the Divine is a constant in my life, whether it’s when I stand under a dark sky illumined with starlight or have my hands in the cool dark soil.
Sunrise from my garden.
I pray in gratitude for fresh air, and sunshine on my skin. I touch the face of God when I brush my fingers on the bark of a tree or hear the hooting of an owl or make love with my lover.
To feel the strength of trees in the forest.
No matter how upsetting life can be or frustrated I might get with a certain situation, I always know that I’m not walking this life alone. I feel it, in the deepest cells of my being, that my Breathmaker and I are one. I may well disagree with Him/Her sometimes (okay, often), but together we walk along the path.
I pray when I read beautiful scripts by candle light, such as anything written by Kahlil Gibran.
I pray when I see a smile on my child’s face.
Sunday morning sunrise at Long Meg, the stone circle near our home.
My first thoughts when I wake and the last thoughts I have before sleep are also a prayer: forgiveness.
I pray every time I have a thought, and am on constant Guard duty making sure that negative thoughts are quickly ousted. I’m a work in progress, and that’s a prayer, too.
I pray when I move firewood and when I wash dishes. I pray when I hug a friend and imagine our hearts connecting as one.
I pray when I am beside the crackling woodstove, with nothing but the sound of flames for company.
I pray when my heart moves to the haunting sound of cello music.
I am praying when I prepare my family meals or wash their clothes.
My life is a prayer, and I’m thankful that I have an inner church in which to bow down to the Universal Energy which connects us all.