And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
- Mumford & Son
Another friend has lost so many of her beloveds this year that I've lost count. That doesn't include the funerals that I've gone to in the last two months or the ones I haven't, like the ones in Newtown, CT.
And I live on Long Island where evidence of storm damage sneaks up on you around every turn: a fallen tree here, an exposed root ball there and I'm suddenly reminded of all that my extended "neighbors" have been through since the October.
In the face of all this grief it's hard to believe that I can make a difference. Mine is just one small voice shouting out into the void, or so it feels.
Too many of us struggle with not feeling like we're enough. Especially when the griefs before us are so expansive, and felt so strongly by so very many. It can feel too big; and we feel too small. Thankfully, there are rituals that can support us, if we seek them out.
But what would my prayer be? I had always wanted to believe that the thing you felt most strongly should be your prayer.
Can doubt be a prayer?
Because last week that's what I felt most strongly.
I took my little fireproof cauldron outside, gathered some dried sticks and even a tulip tree flower, and nurtured it to a small fire. Not much, but enough. Enough to light my prayer and send it out to the Universe.
I warmed my doubt in the fire of my prayer.
When at last the fire had burned itself out, this stone of my doubt was warm to the touch - dirty and covered in ash but warm and lovely to hold. Now it sits on my desk waiting for my word for 2013 to be written on it. It'll be a word that supports me in the work I do in the world; it'll be one to help me feel like I'm making good choices and that I am enough.
From the ashes of my doubt I'll build a new year.