Spirit Garden Reflections

The Nature of a Calling

Each of us has a part to play in the healing of the world.

-Marianne Williamson

Welcome to the Reflection for August!

The fire bush at the side of our house is beginning to turn from green to red.  All of creation is feeling the shifting of the seasons and the sense of fall in the air.  We are in that transition time that brings us back from our vacations and summer rest.

This has been a summer like no other as we move through the unfolding journey of living through a global pandemic.  This, combined with the changing of the seasons, has had me reflecting upon the nature of a calling.  It is at times like this that each of our gifts are needed in the world.  It is also at times like this that we may sense an invitation from Life to step forward and respond to the needs of the world around us.

Therefore, the Spirit Garden Reflection for this month focuses on the nature of a calling.  What is calling to your heart these days?  What contribution do you feel you are being invited to make?

Over the years, one of the lessons I have learned about a calling is that it has an aspect of reciprocity within it.  A calling invites us to respond to the needs of the world in some way, and it also gives us gifts, insights and growth in return.  We each have something valuable to contribute and we each have treasures to gain from living into our callings. I hope you enjoy listening to this reflection.  In the weeks ahead, may we be mindful of what is calling to us, and may we find the courage to step toward it.

With love and blessings,

A calling…is a longing to address a particular need or problem in the world.  Callings are about making a contribution for the good, about in some way bringing more light and love into the world.

-Tara Mohr, Playing Big

The Nature of a Calling

The audio file below offers a short reflection on the Nature of a Calling.  The audio is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences around this theme.  Please print these out before you listen to the audio file. You are invited to pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee and take about 20 minutes to listen to the reflection and then answer the questions.  May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.  

Reflection Questions

Please click on the button below to download the reflection questions to go along with the reflection on the Nature of a Calling.

The place where you are standing is holy ground.

-Exodus 3:5

A Song to Close Your Reflection

You may wish to close your reflection by listening to this song, Where I Sit is Holy by Shaina Noll, and watching the beautiful images in the video.  


Spirit Garden Moments

Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection.  Below is a Spirit Garden Moment inspired by a squirrel in my back yard.  This squirrel came with lessons about following our calling.  Enjoy!

Scattering Seeds

Squirrel eating

I am sitting out on my deck reading a book when I notice that there is a squirrel picking apples from my tree.  He is not very graceful; he seems kind of gangly and clumsy actually.  I watch him climb my neighbour’s pine tree and then launch himself over my fence and scramble to grab at the branches of my apple tree as he lands in it.  His movements are not as precise as other squirrels I have watched.  He makes me smile.

Once he arrives in the apple tree, I can hear a rustling sound and see the branches of the tree bouncing and shaking.  With a loud plop, some of the fruit falls to the ground.  Then the squirrel emerges from the camouflage of leaves as he leaps onto my fence with his prize in his mouth.  It is a large green apple, unripe, but apparently delicious.  As he spins it in his paws I can hear the rapid munching as he enjoys his meal.

Watching this activity makes me aware of the ‘enoughness’ of nature.  There is an abundance of fruit on my apple tree.  It is plentiful with its offerings.  There is so much that some apples fall to the ground with the disturbance of the branches.  My hope is that the deer will come and eat those later.

Perhaps this is how it is all meant to work.  Unbeknownst to the squirrel, his rustling and rummaging in the tree has helped to drop the apples that have become too high for the deer to reach.  The deer have already harvested the lowest hanging fruit.

I find this interesting.  Could it also be this way in our own lives?  Could we be assisting others without ever being aware of it?  Can our rustling around in our own lives leave fruits in our wake that can nourish those who follow?

I want to believe so.

The squirrel was enjoying his apple, he was following his instincts for food and left treasure on the ground.  This reminds me that I once heard that squirrels are God’s planters.  They have been instilled with the instinct to gather and hide seeds, but studies have shown that the average squirrel only remembers where they hide about 20 percent of this treasure.  The rest remains buried to hopefully grow into trees, plants and fruit.

Perhaps this is how the planting of seeds is meant to work.  Whether squirrel or human, when we follow the instincts instilled in us by Creation to love, to create, to plant seeds…then we can’t help but leave some of that abundance behind to nourish others.  And we may never see the full extent of the fruit that grows in our wake from the seeds our presence has planted in the lives of others.

Jesus once spoke of the Kingdom of God as a self-sowing seed, saying it’s “as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.  The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain.”  (Mark 4:26-28)

As you move through this week, may you rest in the awareness that there is a generative nature to creation.  There is inherent wisdom at work that knows how to grow goodness, sustenance, and abundance.  May we do our part to live in harmony with this generous unfolding, scattering seeds as we go.

With Summer Blessings,

PS – For those of you who are curious, I checked the next day.  The fallen apples were gone and the hoof prints of deer still lingered in the soil.

You plant seeds every single day, in the world and in others, with every thought you think and word you speak and action you take.  You’re making a dent in the universe and you matter, in a very real way

-Jennifer Williamson

In Closing

As this month unfolds, may you know that your very presence plants seeds that supports the life around you.  May you feel courage come to your aide when life calls you forward to share your gifts in new ways.  May your heart be quickened by those moments when you know you are standing on holy ground.

With love and blessings,

Kathy by the Ocean

Connect & Share

Please share any comments about this Reflection in the comments below. Make sure to check out what others are posting and encourage each other!


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