“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.
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.
Yesterday, 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 have 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.
Ah Mari, thank you for sharing. Douwe is a blessed man! ( as we all are).
Yes, Ben…he is and we are. We are all in this together!
Lovely reporting, Mari! I have an old Spanish Proverb to share: “How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.” Letting myself have guild-free ease and rest is a real challenge for me. Thank you for this. I know Douwe was so needing ‘down time’ to begin to integrate all that he experienced during his travels. Isn’t he just the dearest??!!
Yes, Paula, he is the dearest. And I meant it when I said I was grateful we both needed rest! If he’d been raring to go we would not have gotten along nearly so well! Rest isn’t nearly as hard when you have company feeling the same way. I’m with you on giving myself a hard time about resting often enough, but I’m much better than I used to be! Hope you are too.
I’m glad that I found a course and love. It is opening up so much that I already know, but somehow forgot.
Thank you for your insight.
Michael J, Philadelphia
Beautiful, and so timely. So glad you both had such a journey of wholehearted friendship and sharing.
CeeJay, Douwe mentioned that he really wished he could have seen you. I hope there is a “next time” in which that will happen. This recent journey, for both of us, was just as it was meant to be, yet I feel Douwe may have unfinished business here! We’ll see.. Nice to hear from you!
I rest in God…and the embrace is wonderful. Mari thanks for sharing that lovely paragraph from ACOL and your time spent with Douwe. Hugs
Ah, yes, Judy, resting in God. Thank you for responding!