A River Moving in You

Al's Photography Blog: Muir Woods Stream

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy”  Rumi

Since late March of this year, I’ve been drawn to a large swath of conservation land called Winchester Fells.   Covering more than twenty-two hundred acres and stretching across several communities, it is a remarkable system of reservoirs, meadows, numerous trails, and lush forest.    But within it are places that make one pause, allowing us to drink in the beauty of the moment.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy,” wrote the Persian mystic, Rumi.   Gazing at the clear running water gurgling over rocks and spilling now and then into small pools, it was as if a river was unleashed within me as well.   A joy.   Remembering the sacred text, the words, “…from our innermost being will flow rivers of living water,” [1] led me to ask, what does it mean to do things from one’s soul?

Our soul has been described as our “blueprint in God, what we were born for.” [2]  But our souls aren’t merely an etheral dimension within us or an entity relegated to religion.  Instead, our souls, your soul is as a sure compass, pointing in the direction of the stream’s current while gently urging you onward.   Have you long dreamed of painting but were convinced you lack the talent?    Have you yearned to write but felt you don’t have the time?  Have you long considered rekindling a treasured friendship but just kept putting it off?

Coudl it be that seemingly such simple things – gazing at the brilliant blooms just outside your window, picking up a paintbrush or allowing the sound of music fill your senses – be the conduit to reclaiming the movement of the soul within?    Could it be that our souls are greater agents of reclamation within us, and beyond, then we realize?   What if when all is said and done, our Maker yearns for us to experience the singularity of joy?

[1] The Gospel of John 7:38.

[2] Franciscan priest and author, Richard Rohr.

Author: Jessica McArdle

These are dark and corrosive times. As a writer and ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, I use prayer, poetry, reflection, and scripture to re-align our embattled spirits with the uniqueness and urgency of our God-given identity and call.

4 thoughts on “A River Moving in You”

  1. I’ve been struggling with getting words on the page lately. I love your question “What does it mean to do things from the soul?” This is where I will start the next time I sit in my “writing chair.” Thank you, friend.

    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean, Debra. I’ve been struggling with this too, which led me to this question. Will be thinking of you, trusting that it will come together the next time you sit in your “writing chair.

  2. So many memories of walking Winchester Fells with babies and dogs in the days when I served in Melrose. Thank you for those memories and the question.

    1. Thank you, Maren. It is such a beautiful place, especially to walk with little ones along with canine friends. I recall speaking to folks who were congregants in Melrose when you served there, and were blessed by your leadership.

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