Monday, July 4, 2011

Well of Wellness (3)

Deep in the ground, deep within selves, there are wells.

The well at my home in Maine was 400 feet in the ground connected by a pipe that passed under our garden, a lawn, the driveway to the pipes beneath our home. At the turn of a dial, the flip of a faucet, water filled a bath, washing machine, dish washer, sink­­— water flowed unquestioned from earth to faucet.  Daily drink and daily wash, it kept us slaked and clean.

The well in me is harder to locate though just as surely it is there. Call it soul or awareness, filled with grace or spirit, it sputters and flows, nourishes and cleanses. I tap it unawares.

 It was not always so. There was a time I felt profoundly the depths and interior emptiness that lost expectations and sudden sadness bring.  I couldn’t eat; the gnawing in my gut was not hunger, but thirst. Spiritual thirst. The well was empty though water, water was everywhere.

I felt most fully as I was most empty.  I willed to change – change anything, everything. I was ready to do whatever it took to feel well.I started with simple acts:  pray, swim, practice yoga, eat, good food, reward myself – but mostly pray.

 I prayed as I swam my way across a pool: a lap of crawl to  a line of prayer. Grace became my favorite word. Amazing Grace, my theme song. I bought T-shirts with wings on the back and the word Grace on the front. I wore the word close to my heart to remind me what I needed most. When I set an intention in yoga class, I regularly set it to practice with grace, even as I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Grace: elegance of  gesture and movement; Grace – gratitude at daily meals; Grace: divine intervention.

I found a bronze plaque in a catalog  that said “Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit.” The ad copy said the Latin translated to “Bidden or not bidden, God is Present” and that the psychologist Carl Jung had it carved over the door to his Zurich home. I liked the thought. I bought the plaque and hung it above the kitchen sink.

Slowly what I needed seeped into me.  I transformed.  I found the hole of holiness – and it made me whole.  Out of nothing, something sacred. Out of the hollow comes the hallowed.


  1. Wa-hoo! Oh, I have been looking forward to this blog! I so miss you here in Maine, and I also miss your words, your thoughts and your ideas. You always make me think, and see things in new ways. Continue to post, it will get easier over time. And I am sure you will find a group of followers who will appreciate your being in the blogosphere! xoxo

  2. I miss you too, BB. Why did you go? It ain't right.

    I want to talk to you about prayer. I didn't know you prayed, and I want to know what prayers you prayed when you swam in the pool. I don't pray. I was brought up in a very secular (in practice, at least) household, and religion and prayer have always seemed a bit exotic to me.