When I am in the mountains, my prayer practice is one constant WOW. Before I talk to anyone, especially to myself, I hike through the woods to a lake overlook. The water is calm. The air is still. I'm there before the smells of breakfast enter the bouquet of morning. I'm there before fishermen roil the water and air powering to where they think the fish might be. I imagine the earth is waking up, stretching, breathing deeply in and out once again. I count all the things I see, then I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of moving air, whispering aspen leaves, animals scurrying, birds calling, cars and trucks powering up the mountain grade. I breathe in the smells of summer and imagine a pioneer woman sitting next to me, a woman from a century and a half ago who had certainly seen the same view I'm looking at, a woman who had overcome enormous hardship on her trip west and didn't know what would happen to her now that her westward struggle was nearly over. We sit silently together and contemplate what comes next.
Today I need a prayer for returning to my daily city life. I could sit outside first thing, but I don't. I come to my desk and read texts that inspire and make me think. I'm out of practice for this kind of prayer: prayer that deals more with yearning and healing, introspection and interfacing with everyday concerns. Today I need a prayer for changing gears.
Baruch ata adonai thank you for my life of infinite possibilities. Help me to maintain my mountain calm. Help me to know my life is seamless. Help me to remember there are all kinds of prayer. Help me to be thankful for all that exists in my life. Help me to remember to bless myself too. Thank you. Amen