Spiritual Exploration ~ Spring 2024

Spiritual Exploration ~ Children, Youth, and Families

Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –over and over announcing your place in the family of things ~ Mary Oliver, taken from “Wild Geese”

 

In September 2020, I wrote a short blog piece, using Mary Oliver’s words, about the Canada geese as they were winging their way south:

There they were, just above the rooftop of the house next door, a flock of Canada Geese. Flights of geese heading south in their familiar V formation aren’t totally unexpected this time of year; nevertheless, I was surprised and delighted to hear them calling out to one another from high overhead. Like the coxswain on a rowing crew, the geese in the back honk out encouragement, instructions, and motivation to the birds in the lead, urging them to maintain their position and speed. As I stood watching and listening, the honking and squawking broadcast a clear reminder that summer is waning and autumn is on the way.

Now that I live beside the North Branch of the Winooski, I am often awakened early in the morning . . . well . . . early is a relative term . . . by the geese on their trip north. This time, they are a clear reminder that winter is waning and spring is on the way. The feathered coxswain is still in position, honking out encouragement, instructions, and motivation to the birds in the lead, urging them to maintain their position and speed. I feel like our Spiritual Exploration program is much the same. 

Children and youth we haven’t seen in a while are returning, new friends are finding their place on the Green Rug, and we’re all getting back in the habit of being present on Sunday morning. All the while, adult volunteers . . . as well as the children themselves . . . are honking out encouragement and welcome. 

Watching our children develop and grow should remind us all that it is not merely the crocus and snowdrops that are blooming and stretching for the sun. How glorious it is to have these young people walking beside us. We are truly blessed by their presence.

Our bi-weekly Family and Friends of SE at UCM newsletter includes details of SE activities. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please let me know ~ Sally Armstrong, Interim Director of Spiritual Exploration