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What's with the tendril?


I decided to use the image of a tendril as an expression of In the Presence, my spiritual direction website. Why you might ask?


Vines put out tendrils as a way of seeking out new ways to both connect to something solid, like a railing on a fence, and to expand into new territory. Doing so is a wise strategy. By staying connected, the tendril is anchored, rather than waving in the wind; and yet, it has the freedom to explore.


This is the nature of our exploration of the divine. We are both anchored in our prior experiences (good, bad, and indifferent) and yet we seek new ways of connecting, and/or realizing we are already connected to something larger than ourselves.


When reaching out, tendrils often move in a number of directions before connecting with something that enables them to continue growing. The holy path is not a given. It asks for vulnerability and paying attention to the invisible presence of the Spirit.


As tender tendrils, we move from whom we think we are to a larger self, whether that is a self that is interdependent with all creation, one with ultimate reality, or fully present in whatever we conceive as God.


The clouds behind the tendril are ambiguous. Are they in the process of parting or is it about to rain? It doesn't matter to the tendril or to us. By being vulnerable and searching, we are in the presence of that which nurtures and sustains us.

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