This morning I opened my door expecting a fresh breeze. Instead it felt a little muggier than usual. Still, it was time to walk my dog, so we went for a walk.
It is fall here, so they say. It is hard for me to notice the signs, because where I am from, the leaves are turning and the evenings have become chilly. I am used to these signs, even when I grumble that fall arrives too soon and foretells a deep and dark and long snowy winter.
Here, the signs are subtler. I can still wear my shorts, if I want to, even though it is fall.
I am not sure I want to, some days.
So, this morning, I took my dog out for a walk. It was warm and still and the dog (who is a good sport, even at 10 years old) bounced around and sniffed everything.
And then, we turned around.
It was not my idea, actually, this 'turning around' thing, but I went along with it, and when I did, I felt it right away.
It was a breeze: a lovely cool breeze that I never noticed until we turned, until we changed directions. It was always there, but we needed to change directions to find it, to feel it.
The breeze was a small thing, but that is the way it is sometimes. There are big changes, like turning around, and there are small things, like feeling the breeze, the wind of the Holy Spirit, who has always been with us, although we don't often notice.
I was at a conference most of last week. The geography was so much different than here, and so much different than my home state as well. We were up in the mountains, where the air is thin and you have to take deep gulps and slow down, where you can feel your heart beat and see the beauty all around.
We were talking about worship and faith formation, about the children in our churches, but not just the children. We were talking about how to faithfully minister to all ages in a way that only the church can do: by being together, by using the gifts of all the generations. This does not sound like a big thing, but it represents a change in direction for us. The church has gotten into the habit of segregating people by age much of the time. Even in worship. So we are thinking about how we might really honor the gifts and needs of all generations in worship, use our imaginations and our dreams, our bodies and our souls.
Today, I felt a breeze, a small reminder that the seasons change, that the Holy Spirit is among, and within us, to keep me on my course, changing my direction.