I used to walk to the chapel often
at least every weekend, sometimes more.
I'd gather up my friends and we'd head out.
Sometimes there were 6 of us, sometimes only 2.
Walking to the chapel was an experience of freedom from our every day lives --
from our schoolwork especially.
Walking to the chapel was an experience of living life to its fullness
drinking in the smell of the water, of the trees, of the season.
Drinking in each other, and the friendship we shared.
Sometimes we walked to the chapel, sometimes we ran;
Always the joy pouring out of us, the fresh energy of youth, and the
raw emotion of our shared relationships.
We walked to the chapel, but then we also floated there:
carried by our love of the land, the water, our curiosity, and each other.
Walking to the chapel was a sacred experience.
Tonight we walked to the chapel again;
This time a group of 5 --
two parents, three children -- together.
We smelled the water and the trees,
we felt the warm breeze.
We walked together -- one unit -- and yet each of us free.
The children running ahead, the baby carried.
The adults joined now in care not only of themselves,
but of the little ones they helped create.
The beauty of the place heightened by the beauty of being a family.
The emotions of days past, the joy, the freedom, the experience of life, they rise up.
We are a family.
We exist to help each other.
We find joy, delight in one another.
We are free to love life in all its glory;
to be uniquely ourselves,
and yet bound together in love.
Walking to the chapel as a family is dynamically life-giving,
and an example of holiness.