This coming summer, I plan to retire from my ministry at the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church. I have loved being a minister and have loved serving this congregation for 12 1/2 years. I think the congregation would also say that it has been a good match. But last summer, I began to think I might need a change. I have been dealing with auto-immune health issues for some time, and just don’t have the energy I used to have. I will be turning 65 this coming summer, and that means I will be eligible for Medicare–which in turn makes it possible to consider this change.
Unlike when Margy and I were searching for greener housing, and had such a clear sense of intention guiding our efforts, this change is more mysterious. It comes from a deep place of weariness in my body, and a deep hunger for spaciousness in my spirit. I am not sure exactly what the future will hold. One thing I do know is that I need to tend the garden in our yard.
We’ve already ordered a bunch of trees and other perennials that will arrive in the spring: one “Honeycrisp” apple tree, one “Contender” peach tree, an “Illinois Everbearing” mulberry tree (that one is mostly for the birds), three hazelnut bushes, two blueberry bushes–Blue Ray & Jersey varieties, a licorice plant, twenty-five Asparagus plants, and three goldenseal plants.
My spirit feels like the ground hidden under the snow, or the berries encased in ice. I am trying to find quiet and solitude to listen to what it wants to tell me, to find out, as David Whyte says,
“What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?”