Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kaitlin: Reflections on Water

Kaitlin Torgerson, Earth Ministry Outreach Coordinator

This weekend, I spent five days on a retreat with 16 other people from the Puget Sound who are in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps with me. One of the tenants of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps is intentional community. I live with three other women in a house in Seattle who all work at different nonprofits in the area. We work hard to foster this community by cooking together, doing weekly events with one another, and taking active parts in each other’s lives.

For introverts like myself, sometimes life in community can be a little tiring and time alone is hard to find. As part of this retreat, we took a step back from being the social beings we are and spent six hours in silence. After some time indoors reading and watching the rain come down over Lake Samish near Bellingham, I headed outside and down to the lake with my rain jacket. Soon the rain let up and I could sit on the dock taking pictures, journaling, and thinking.

A perfect reflection of the mountains rippled across the lake. The ducks scooted by as I became part of my surroundings. It was perfectly lovely. In watching this sparkling reflection, I couldn’t help but reflect on my journey through this Lent and what this all means for me Easter morning. I know I won't go back to my old ways. It was an easy transition for me. Maybe I can even carry it further? My house normally cooks vegetarian. Should I permanently become vegetarian knowing how much water, corn, and soil goes into the production? What other small changes haven’t I thought of that would help me live more lightly on the earth?

I realized what I was really asking myself was, “What kind of lifestyle do I want to live?” How do I live out my values on a daily basis without letting it bog me down? This year has been one of trying on different shoes trying to find the right fit. Being a careful water consumer definitely felt right. Watching the crystal clear water lap up against the dock allowed my mind to wonder what else might feel “right.”

I finally had the time to let myself think. It’s amazing what a little time by the lake can do to wash away the worries and look at the coming days with hope and excitement.

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