Over the past several months, I’ve been posting quotes from the author Paul Ferrini. There are poetic lines in his writing that move me deeply, as if they embrace my very soul. The first one that really touched me I posted back in 2018. His words have made an impact on my life, and I hoped they might help console other souls who come across my blog.
One page at the end of Ferrini’s book I recently finished (I am the Door), especially hit home for the world we live in today. And a side note, this edition was printed in 2011 with copyright in 1999.
I’d like to take a little time breaking down the page here.
The simple beauty and majesty of life is to be found in its cyclical rhythms: the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, the changes in the seasons, the beating of the heart, the rhythmic unfolding of the breath.
Repetition provides continuity, familiarity, and safety. Yet, many people now are disconnected from the rhythms of nature and their own bodies. This is one of the tragedies of contemporary life. The connection with the earth, the physical body, the breath, is disrupted.
This section rings true for me especially, because I am a creature of structure and balance. However, it would seem that everyone I’ve ever met finds solace and comfort in nature. Someone I knew who didn’t believe in God said they could almost believe when they’re out hiking in the mountains. They sense a greater energy there.
As Ferrini states, it’s not just nature that brings the rhythm of life, but connecting to our bodies and breath (includes minds and hearts).
In these “contemporary times” we’re on computers and phones a lot. So much technology takes us away from connecting with the rhythm around us. Not to mention we were confined to our homes for several months. My husband now works from home permanently, which means he doesn’t get to experience the sunrise or sunset on his drives anymore.
During the time of being cooped up, I found myself putting on nature videos to listen to birds singing and babbling brooks. That was a sign right there that I needed connection with the rhythms of life.
Changes happen perpetually without the time to reflect on them and integrate them. Relationships begin and end before people can establish any kind of interpersonal flow. Emotional demands crater the landscape of the heart, tearing into the soft tissue. Trust is compromised, patience forgotten.
The more unstable life seems, the more people gravitate toward the ‘security’ promised by authority figures. People marry authority figures. They elect them. They go to their churches . . . Yet, gradually all these authority figures are discredited and their followers must pick up the pieces of their lives.
This section is so true of today – to the point of begging authority figures for security – to be kept safe from illness – to be kept safe from criminals – feeling like there is no way to do these things for ourselves without the intervention of authority figures.
Where is our root connection? That connection that is both humbling and exalting. The last couple of paragraphs on the page are profoundly poetic. I’ll leave it without comment. Let me know if this part moves you as it did me.
All who seek the sky without getting roots in the earth will be beat up by their experiences. In time they will return, shovels in hand, and begin the work of planting. All that is spinning out to heaven will fall to earth, abused, shattered, and forsaken. That which is rootless will learn to grow roots. That which has sought authority without will learn to find it within.
And then, with feet firmly planted in the earth, the eyes will notice the procession of sun and the moon. The senses will feel the rise of sap in the spring and the lifting of leaves in the fall. Blood and breath will be restored. Rhythm will return. Safety will be re-created where it authentically lies, in the heart of each person.