It looks rather grey to everyone else, I’m sure.
A bit of wilderness, a bit too cold,
a bit too empty and austere,
waiting for spring to brighten it up.

I am not a hot weather girl by birthright and
those photos I see of white sand beaches and turquoise water
seem stifling – is there a cold wind there to steal your breath?
After all, I grew up in the prairies and the foothills,
the Rockies and now the Cascades.

By heart, I am a grey lake girl,
feeling alive when we are still waiting for the warmth.

There is something about being near a lake
with a rocky bottom surrounded by
silhouetted skeleton pine trees etched on a cold grey sky
            my soul
                let out the breath I’ve been holding.

It’s enough for me.

It’s Lent again.
The season of grey ashes,
From dust we were raised and to dust we return.

And this is enough.
[Ah. There’s that word again.]

This season of preparation, of waiting,
of community and prayer,
is just as much a part of my faith
as my mountain top songs
and my mystic languages
and my soft comforts
and my wilderness.

Lord, before the heat of the noonday comes,
we are already feeling as though
our lives are not full enough.
Instill in us 
this morning the assurance that
you are enough for us, God.
Your love,
your call,
your work,
is enough. 

Cold lake water,
the sound of the shore,
the sway and creak of the pier and
enough time left over to devote a bit of it
to contemplation and prayer,
work and loving,
mothering and living,
serving and seeking
is my place of waiting.

I’m participating in 40 Days of Community with my friend, Megan at Sorta Crunchy and her readers. We are praying through our days – morning, midday and evening – with Common Prayer as we pace through Lent towards Easter. You don’t have to buy the book because each days’ prayers are here.

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In which I write a letter to my daughter for International Women's Day
In which we should totally do that
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  • Reading this prayer reminds me that I can’t think of a better place to experience God than by a lake. What is it about them? I also enjoy swimming a good bit, but if I had to pick a place for a spiritual epiphany, poem, prayer, etc., a lake is at the top of the list.

    • Me, too, Ed. Maybe we should start calling them “lakeside experiences” instead of “mountain top experiences.”

      • A bonus: Lakes are easier to access! Who wants to climb a mountain? Well, my wife at least… 😉

  • Margaret

    Love this prayer, and will make it my own, if that’s okay. And I’m a grey (note spelling!) lake girl too…

    • Of course, of course! I got that prayer from Common Prayer by Shane Claiborne (the book referenced at the end for 40 Days of Community).

  • You know how I am with the cold.

    But I feel like God slowly brought me around to something this past winter, something bigger than my own misery when I shiver. At the age of 33, I think I am finally understanding the rightness, the purpose in cold and winter and dormancy. I’ve been mulling it over, never could put words to it, but when I saw these pictures just now, I was reminded of all that I’ve been learning.

    These reflections, these prayers, they are blowing me away. Cannot wait for each day’s revelations!

    The peace of Christ to you, sweet sister. I do love you so.

    • There is something holy about living in the season you’re in, recognising its worth. I missed the seasons horribly when we lived in south Texas. I felt like I never got the full cycles for some reason and felt off-kilter. There is a reason and purpose for dormancy – its’ not always a desert as much as it is a time to rest and work beneath the surface. xo

  • Kim

    I love this post-what a beautiful prayer. I often need to remind myself that what is happening right here and now is enough. Thank you!