I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother” Psalm 131:2
It is a glorious crisp blue-skies day here in Buffalo NY today on February 4th, but just two days ago we were in the middle of a winter storm that began with rain and then snow for two days. Less than three weeks ago we had another winter storm; we were left with two feet of snow where I live. Since we had a very cold January, we now are living with mountains of snow and ice around us. I feel like living in the land of Frozen!
We have also experienced another storm, Omicron. We are back to being physically distanced with family and community, and doing online worship. Omicron hit home. Seven members of my family got sick with covid. Every week in January I’d learn that another relative or member of my congregation got covid.
Winter snows are stressful, and dealing with the aftermath of a storm takes a lot of work and time. Being far away from family when they are sick is difficult but now, it is even harder having people you love sick with covid, especially after having lost family members, friends, and colleagues to covid. Thank God for vaccines: all of my relatives have recovered from covid.
We are starting the third year of this pandemic. We might be feeling like we have been journeying from one storm to another and our adaptive physical and mental systems have reached their limits. I have days I feel like I have.
After each snow storm, I love to look through the windows to notice the calm and stillness outside. And either in the morning, during work breaks, or at the end of the day I go out to my backyard and engage in some of the practices that calm and quiet my soul and nourish my resilience and joy. I do a short walking meditation creating paths or a big spiral with my feet. With every step I release to God my stress, my anxiety, or my grief; I surrender to God and to the earth the weariness of my mind, body, and soul. I often make ofrendas with petals of flowers from inside as devotion and as a gratitude offering to God for mothering me back to life.
What calms and quiets your soul in between storms? How are you nourishing your sense of resilience, beauty, and joy during these pandemic times? What help do you need from God and from others to experience calm and beauty?
May you always know that you are loved. May you know that stillness and beauty are at hand even in the midst of the storm.
Rev. Nancy Rosas
Rev. Nancy Rosas (she/her/hers) is the Pastor of Pilgrim-St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, a WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) for mental health spiritual community in Buffalo, NY. She encourages and nurtures her sense of joy and resilience through the practices of yoga and meditation, photography, gardening, writing, and being outdoors on a regular basis.