As you can see I began my day determined to listen to my little girl.
At breakfast all is silent as we eat, fellow pilgrims surrounding me. I notice many looking out the bank of large windows, their eyes drawn to the sunshine reflecting off the water.
I sit at my desk looking out my room window, marveling at the movement of the water, flowing to lower and lower places; on the surface the wind, going against the river's natural flow, creates ripples, small white caps, the entire width of the river. Wind meeting water.
And God said "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place."
Wind, sometimes soft and gentle, other times cruel and violent.
The wind is strong here today. I can hear it pounding the building in gusts, howling in its force.
I awoke this morning with the same feeling I have often, as if my body is buzzing with some kind of impulse, my heart also racing. Panic? Maybe. Holy Spirit? Possibly. Little girl emerging? Yes.
She will speak today and I will write what she has to say.
After our morning session I go to the midday service. There is a period of silence.
I see a boat, a simple, brown, wooden rowboat, close to the shore, yet not anchored there. A wind begins to blow, causing a slight stirring of both the boat and the water. But I see, I sense, a greater wind, a gale force wind, a violent wind coming towards the boat. Won't the boat overturn? Won't it capsize? I look closely and there, inside the boat, sleeping soundly, even as the boat rocks more wildly, is my little girl. The look on her face is pure peace, the storm around her not disturbing her contented slumber.
I'm invited to go on another hike, but she draws me back to my room to write a piece of her story. The words flow out into my notebook and as they do I feel more complete. She gives me the words. I am merely her instrument.
At our evening session we come together to share something we've written. It's emotional and transparent and lovely. My little girl finally gets to speak, in a safe place with other writers who are also willing to bare parts of their souls, their struggles, their desire to become not only better writers but better human beings. I will never forget it.
The days have passed quickly here at Holy Cross. I look forward to returning home. I will now be able to finish my story and her story too, the novel I wrote the rough draft for over three years ago, titled "Little Girl Lost." It's time.