A Contemplative Walk Towards Resistance

Mar 21 / Mary Hally
“So don’t remember what happened in earlier times. Don’t think about what happened a long time ago because I am doing something new! Now you will grow like a new plant.” — Isaiah 43:18-19 (Easy-to-Read Version)

During a recent walk outdoors, I noticed the surroundings to be in a state of becoming barren. I sensed an invitation from this appearance of death to notice my inner resistance. As I accepted this invitation, I surprisingly discovered a community of wilderness. It inspired my heart’s inner-resistance to welcome what I experienced in my body as I walked through the companioning elements.

As I began my contemplative walk, I felt drawn to an area where the wildflower meadow had been cleared for the winter season. During the spring and summer months, this field is covered with diverse blends of colorful wildflowers and visiting insects and birds. I felt a slight resistance as it is not the most appealing space at this time without these beautiful, sense-enticing additions. Immediately after this awareness, the invitation revisited my thoughts, go where there is resistance.

I continued and passed by my beloved, aging, majestic trees as they whispered to remind me of years of their accompanying ancient wisdom. Their community has been my cherished place to stand within, as they have nurtured my more youthful curiosities and my desolate heart over the years. I thanked them as I passed, for the memories, and the bodily connections to their consistent nurturing. In appreciation, I bowed toward the hospitable community before I moved on.

I followed the paved road to an extended community of blended, diverse grasses. I noticed a clump of fur from a squirrel’s tail. Sadness was experienced as I imagined an aggressive, violent moment that may have ended the squirrel’s material life. A connection of loneliness and fear triggered my body. A question arose. Were these empathetic feelings connecting me to the humming spirit of the squirrel now unseen?

Continuing, I noticed a single dandelion. I thought, Ah, hello beautiful, unexpected hope! I decided to take her from her roots to share her glory with my sharing group at the retreat I was attending.

Moving on with glory in my hand, resistance returned. I noticed a spread of standing twigs throughout the ground. I remembered in warmer seasons how they stood much taller and were filled with colors of flowering beauty. The strong, straw-like, thin stalks drew me inward towards wonder. In this season of dying, coldness – what beauty could they reveal to me?

I chose to step upon them to sense their presence. Like strong needles under my shoes, I became intrigued by their inviting firmness. I noticed some split apart, others leaned or broke in-half. I took note of my human power, my weight to squash and injure. Yet, even as I noticed my damage, a Divine presence reminded me they are still rooted within their nurturing community. Tears were triggered as I became aware of my damaging power. Then, like a light illuminating hope from within my soul arose, how do I nurture the injured and distressed within my own human community?

I took a moment to acknowledge my tears. I even chuckled for a moment as I thought it was such an interesting, random invitation. Stalks of straw-like stems are inviting me to release resisting tears?

Moving on, I saw a piece of trash, the words of Jesus’ own prayer spoke to me, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34) I picked up the strip of mylar balloon and placed it in my pocket for disposal.

Then, a tiny pinecone revealing layers of hidden darkness sparked a thought of Teresa of Avila’s, Interior Castle. This spiritual mentor has been visiting me lately through other connections. I smile at my inner Companion and whisper, Yes, Teresa, I will revisit your work.

As I continued to walk back towards the Center, I noticed an eaten, or damaged, leaf. Did an insect eat away at its material? Did environmental weather conditions take away its design? I thought of its missing, tangible composition. The Law of Conversation of Mass revisits me, “Matter can change form through physical and chemical changes, but through any of these changes, matter is conserved. The same amount of matter exists before and after the change—none is created or destroyed.”

As I continue to reflect upon this moment, I carry the invitation to go where there is resistance. I was led by an inner, unexpected hope to trust my empathetic feelings and senses connecting me to the humming energy of the unseen.

During seasons of dying, coldness – my rooted community, visible and invisible, companioned me within my imagination and felt senses. It invited me to move beyond the rooted and seek ways to nurture those injured and distressed within my human community. I know that the Divine forgives humanity for things that I cannot comprehend. I humbly embrace that each soul is being transformed within different stages and levels of life.

I invite you to consider, in what ways are you being invited to explore the areas you feel a sense of resistance? How can nature use its designs to teach you about the works of things evolving within present time? How can your imagination participate within the designs for things to come?

The Conservation of Matter During Physical and Chemical Changes: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/conservation-matter-during-physical-and-chemical-changes/6th-grade/

Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle: https://carmelitesistersocd.com/2014/interior-castle/

Or book: https://www.amazon.com/Interior-Castle-Revised-Translated-Kavanaugh/dp/1939272807/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1APNIPCQVDAOD&keywords=interior+castle&qid=1645035796&sprefix=interior+castle%2Caps%2C136&sr=8-5
Mary Hally

Mary Hally is a Spiritual Director who enjoys accompanying individuals of all ages to build an inner confidence of connecting and discovering invitations from God within their days. Her own experiences of encountering the Holy in our midst inform Mary’s gift for helping others to recognize the possibility of divine presence both in beauty and in life’s challenges. To contact Mary, please email her at maryetroy@gmail.com.