UU Lent, Day 3: Quiet

Since I decided to give up anxiety for Lent again this year, I’m not up for any more daily challenges or goals. (If there’s one thing that guarantees anxiety in my world, it’s feeling like I have to do something every day.)

But I was inspired by this post at Sermons in Stones, written by Amy Zucker Morgenstern, Minister at the UU Church of Palo Alto. She was in turn inspired by Barb Greve, who writes:

As Unitarian Universalists, we share theological roots with our Christian siblings, who observe Lent from Ash Wednesday until Easter. However, rather than a practice of self-denial, we offer this opportunity to spend the Season of Lent engaged in a spiritual discipline of deep intention and appreciation of our world, our place in it, and an openness to Grace in our daily lives.

#UULent is designed to be used individually, as a family, or as a congregation. We selected a word for each day in Lent (see attached graphic for this year’s words). We believe each word will be accessible to all ages and stages of faith development. Reflect on the meaning of this word to you. Take a photograph each day that speaks to you about the word, idea, practice, or concept. Share it on social media with the hashtag #UULent, and celebrate the shared inspiration we bring to one another. Please respect copyright and use only pictures you yourself have taken.
UULent

I might have trouble with some of the other words, but today’s, “quiet,” is one of my favorites. I have read, and empathize greatly, with Susan Cain’s book of that title.

My photo was taken in Brisbane CA, near the school where I teach science to 7th graders every 2 weeks. The school is located at the top of a hill. Down at the bottom of the hill there is a little biking and hiking path and someone has hidden a power trail of geocaches there. Every time I teach, after class and before driving home, I venture a little further down the path and find another geocache. This one is called Stick It. It was placed by a group of cachers who call themselves the War Ninjas–which doesn’t exactly sound quiet–but maybe the emphasis is on the stealthy “Ninja.”

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What struck me, on this sunny, warm, early afternoon in February, was how quiet the trail was. The kids were still in school and most adults were at work. I felt privileged to be out there. You would never know just by listening that there was a middle school less than 100 feet away, up the hill.

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7 thoughts on “UU Lent, Day 3: Quiet”

  1. Yes, giving up anxiety for Lent is definitely easier said than done 😉 But I tried it last year, and when I found the familiar twinges of anxiety coming on, I was more often than not able to say to myself, oh, but I gave that up for Lent, I will think of something else now for a while. It helped me notice anxiety triggers and be intentional about countering them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Giving up anxiety for Lent–what a luscious thought. It might be harder than chocolate, for me. Not that I enjoy anxiety, but I certainly find it difficult to set down and leave behind me.

    Your experience of quiet and mine were similar: a bit of peaceful space very close to a busy place. Maybe there’s a metaphor for anxiety in there. Getting away from it entirely is tough, but maybe I can hollow out a peaceful spot within the storm.

    Liked by 1 person

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