As I try to stay in the present moment this morning, I am aware that today is the last full day of our leadership training event. I can feel myself almost physically leaning forward as at the starting line of a race, even while attempting to be present to my typing. One of the words that we have heard often in the last three days as we process the sessions of our time together is rhythm. The word itself is a rare combination of consonants with only the y to act as vowel. I hear the singsong “a,e,i,o,u and sometimes y” English lesson of my youth and still wonder why that function is only “sometimes.”
I am glad for the “y” in this word as it made me curious enough to look up the word “vowel” on the internet. In a flurry of words, I learned (or learned again) that a vowel is a sound produced with an open vowel tract where some of the air must escape through the mouth. It is frictionless and continuant. Unlike with consonants, there is no build-up of air pressure along the vocal tract. Also noted is that the vowel forms the peak of a syllable. The word rhythm obviously needs that letter y!
That seems to me a perfect description of the way we have been proceeding through these days. There is a felt sense of openness among the participants and no pressure for anyone to act in any way that is other than authentic, whether we are speaking, chanting or moving around the room in a dance of universal peace. We have been blessed with good weather, the only rain a swift downpour in the middle of Thursday night, that has allowed us to exercise our powers of conscious working together – in rhythm with one another – outside stacking wood or inside chopping vegetables. We have recognized the wisdom in the group in such an organic way that our purpose has already been fulfilled, it seems. The challenge will be to stay in the moment for this last day and a half so as not to miss those moments of pure knowing which are sure to come in our interaction and especially in our worship together. I trust, when we are taking leave of each other tomorrow noon, our sense and perhaps our parting words will be the familiar: “It is finished in beauty.”