I have just spent a marvelous five days with an old friend. We met at a seminar on the training of spiritual directors. She had just left the place where I was participating in a training course to become the director of another centre. We had a conversation that weekend which certainly changed my life, and I suspect hers too, but far less dramatically.
In the years that have past since that conversation we both marvel slightly at the fact that the conversation happened at all. Several people had told both of us we should meet the other – inevitable really – we were the only two under the age of fifty, we were both lay in a predominantly religious environment. But what lies far deeper beneath either of those is a real passion for spirituality and it is this, combined with being pragmatic realists amongst a majority of intuitive types which has cemented our friendship.
As we have fallen back into familiar conversations which have new flavours, I am surprised by how quickly my mind begins to travel to those spaces even when the conversation had paused. When I am out walking on my own, I find my mind preoccupied with those familiar tracks, searching for possible solutions and potential opportunities.
It isn’t hard, or arduous to let my mind wonder down those pathways. It feels like a breath of fresh air.
It isn’t that I want her life, or indeed, regret the choice I made to walk away from a life which could have looked very similar. Rather it is feels like mental equivalent of putting on a pair of old comfy jeans which fit just right. I wouldn’t choose to wear them every day, but it has been great fun to walk around in them one more time.