I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life
The route to get there was always the same. I can still see it today in my mind’s eye. You took the path that led from the back of the yard, through the alder and mountain ash. After a bit, the path began to dip down and on the hottest summer days the air became refreshingly cool. Soon, through the trees, you began to catch glimpses of the lake, bright and blue against the dark of the forest.
With one last turn, the path reached the lakeshore. Here, there was a small pier, a couple of logs for sitting and on the grass next to the pier, a canoe. From there, you could see it in the distance. A solitary island, no more than an acre in extent, across the water of the lake.
Turning the canoe over, you took the paddles underneath and dragged it to the lakeshore. Pushing off with one foot, you hopped in the stern and began the journey from here to there. The water a bridge between two worlds.
It was silent on the journey across to the island, for a canoe is the most quiet of conveyances, an appropriate vehicle on a pilgrimage to peace.
Paddling to the backside of the island, you beached the canoe and took a faint path that led up and inland. There, in the heart of the island, was a clearing surrounded by ancient red pines. This was my shelter, my sanctuary, and what my younger self considered home. There, I was often filled with sudden and violent joy. I was connected to a higher purpose. I was authentically me. A critical part of the person I was and the person I became was born on that island. It was my sacred space.
In her new book, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, my dear friend Maria Shriver talks about the journey to what she calls “The Open Field”, a sacred place inside us filled with acceptance, meaning, and joy. Using stories, quotes, reflections, and prayers, she gets you to think, to laugh, and to begin or continue your personal journey to that sacred place, that open field. This is a powerful and important book that you need to read, no matter where you currently are in life. Like a close friend or sister, Maria cuts through the noise and stress of the daily world, bringing a message of love, hope, and grace.