A Spiritual Whim
It was a whim. Actually, I prefer the adjective, whimsical! It is more fun to say whimsical. I doubt that very many people would characterize me as whimsical. In fact, I usually don’t see myself that way. But I also know that I can do something “on the whim.” I cherish that about myself. I am delighted I have the capacity to be whimsical.
That makes me laugh. If you look up the word, whim or even the adjective, some of the descriptive words are not ones that I typically associate with myself. When you look it up, these are a couple of the words to describe being whimsical: capricious and eccentric! Those are not the normal words I would use to describe myself or my personality. Probably most people would not self-identify as being capricious and eccentric.
I think many folks see someone who is whimsical as basically crazy or unstable. Capricious is nothing more than a fancy word for a crazy person! However, I am unwilling to give up on being whimsical. Most of the time I am relatively prudent. Prudent means being wise and normally a reasonable person. But prudence can be taken too far. A little whimsy adds some spice to a prudent person.
If you continue looking up the word, whim, you will see a couple other descriptors that I also normally do not associate with my behavior: sudden and erratic. Again, prudent people are not usually described as sudden and erratic people. And normally I do not see myself that way. But you know what, there are times for some sudden and erratic behavior!
And this past weekend was one of those times. On a whim I decided it was time to jump in the car and go to one of my former homes…my spiritual home. I don’t really know how many spiritual homes I have had. It is easier to count up the number of places I have lived a year or more. But not every place I have lived for a year or more has also become a spiritual home for me.
But the place I lived for so many years before moving to my current home was clearly a spiritual home. It is a place where I had and still have some deep spiritual roots. I know the phrase, “you can’t go home again” (which is really the title of a novel by Thomas Wolfe), but my former spiritual home is a place I can go again…and again.
I know it is a place to which I can go and I know they will be glad to see me. It is a place to which I can go and know that I will be embraced---literally and spiritually. It is a “place”---literally and spiritually. For me it is a Quaker place---a Quaker meetinghouse---that is full of memories. I helped dream it. I helped to build it. I helped paint it.
For me it is a Quaker space. It’s the people. They are always welcoming to me. Some I know. Some of them I know very well. Some I don’t know at all. But I know they will welcome me because the space is always a space of grace. Who would not want to walk into such a gracious space and be welcomed and be embraced? To go there is always that kind of grace and gift.
So indeed, it was just such a spiritual whim that drove me to jump in the car and drive to my old spiritual home. Was that really capricious and eccentric? Perhaps, but I stand ready to plead guilty because I whimsically did it. And I thoroughly enjoyed walking into that place, being embraced, and graced! And I will do it again!
Maybe it was spiritually whimsical to do such a sudden and erratic thing. But it was so nurturing and nourishing! Really, how whimsical is it to go somewhere where people love you? Know what? I will do it again…because I am whimsical…spiritually whimsical!