Douwe Van der Zee on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota

Douwe Van der Zee on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota

“The Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable.” Mark Twain

Like the Mississippi River, life is uncommon once A Course of Love has found its way into our lives.

Remarkable events have marked my recent travels, and those of Douwe Van der Zee, a friend from South Africa, He and I have marveled many times this week over being where we’ve been the last month as well as being together here in Minnesota. We met on A Course of Love USA’s Facebook page just a year or so ago. We met in person in Las Vegas a month ago at the ACIM Conference. Since Tuesday he’s been spending his nights in my cabin and much of his days visiting with me.Douwe and me

Although I knew that I would be attending and speaking at the ACIM Conference since last summer, the remainder of my  travels came together much later, and Douwe’s visit here was a spur of the moment happening, as were almost the whole of his own weeks of travel since arriving here in the “new world” as he calls it. His visits with friends have taken him to both coasts and now this northern and middle state (usually referred to as the midwest) of Minnesota.

Douwe and MaryYesterday, as we sat in my yard talking with my friend Mary Love, she and I laughed over my propensity to fall in love with beautiful writers. Oh, how wonderful it is to “read” as Mark Twain said, about anything that fills your heart or incites your imagination. I truly did “fall in love” with Douwe’s beautiful way of expressing himself, with his ability to share who he is in that way. I’ve found him to also haveDouwe w Henry this quiet elegance in his conversations. We recorded a Dialogue for ACOL’s Dialogue Series that I will share sometime soon, and I had the opportunity to introduce Douwe to my family and, in addition to Mary, my friend Christie Lord.

Uncommon conversation marked our visit. Other than walking with my grandson Henry at our neighborhood park, and along the Mississippi, he and I have mainly talked and rested.

How wonderful it is, I’ve told him several times, that we’re both in this sort of hazy place where we must rest in between things. I reminded him that Jesus often encourages rest. I can feel how much the quiet in between is necessary to integrate the inner and the outer, to let one incredible sharing settle before there is another. I know also that it is my way to have the impact grow so that a month from now I will be feeling this visit in an even deeper way.

In the Course, Jesus links our desire to rest to the energy we expend keeping the illusion in its place (C:12.6-7). But in The Dialogues, it is spoken of as part of the new way:

You simply want to rest and have whatever transformation is to come to you to come. If you could indeed give in to this desire fully, it would speed the transformation along quite nicely. So please, listen to your weariness and to your heart’s desire to rest. Listen to the call to peace and let yourself recline in the embrace of love, feeling the warm earth beneath you and the heat of the sun above you. Let languor enfold you and apply no effort to what you read here. Just accept what is given. All that is being given is the helpful hints you have desired from an older brother who has experienced what you, as yet, have not. D:Day5.20

Douwe and I have both been on a voyage into the new. In many distinct ways, the whole of the ACOL community is on this voyage too.

“We reached St. Paul at the head of navigation of the Mississippi, and there our voyage of 2000 miles from New Orleans ended….”

From “Life on the Mississippi” by Mark Twain.