Playing and Praying on the Equinox

SWEET SPRINGS, W.Va. — Autumn and I arrived here together. The convergence wasn’t exactly planned so much as hoped for. 

So, there is still hope!

I always try to be in the middle of woods, a valley, on a mountaintop or some other sacred space of the natural world when seasons change. I can’t explain it. I simply must position myself during solar transitions so that I can remember my once-youthful innocence and my snap-of-a-finger time visiting this planet.

I am blessed to be here in a far eastern tip of southern West Virginia in Sweet Springs Valley. In theory, I come here to write, meditate, contemplate and visit lovely friends (safely!). More than anything though, at least as summer gives way to the cool nights and colorful days of autumn, I come here to play — and pray.

Now, at 64, playing isn’t what it was 40 years ago. Neither is praying. Playing now is picking up a camera and taking a meandering, leisurely and purposeless stroll.

Praying is also now much simpler. I am doing what I have watched my elders do as they grew closer to their dying time. They simply reveled in life, thanked God for it, and no longer pretended they had all the answers.

It worked for them, so I’ve adopted it. As for my playing, well, you can see how I spent my equinox stroll. The first day of autumn was a sweet convergence of playing and praying. And it wasn’t even planned!

© Michael M. Barrick, 2020