She was describing her climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The elevation change – causing sickness. The three different climate zones, each with their own beauty. The physical struggle of exhaustion setting in.
As Elaine spoke, her facial expressions and hand gestures seemed to be motivated by the intensity of her story. The tale she was weaving through my mind and others’ minds sounded courageous; her willingness not to give up, inspiring. This woman not only found herself on top of the highest mountain in Africa, but Elaine found herself accompanied by her spirituality.
That was her story. Finding your spirituality. And I was all ears for once.
In a roll I never thought would be asked of me is where I found myself listening to Elaine’s commentary. There, in a comfortable meeting room with my nephew, Lucas, as his confirmation sponsor, our class of sponsors and teens, was learning about Elaine’s spiritual journey and trying to relate it to the class of young men and women. And I was thinking about my checkered spiritual past, present and future.
The process of confirmation is growth, growth of the mind, body and the soul, and the process of coming into your own in the Catholic community. The work involves a bit of soul searching for those to be confirmed, looking deep within yourself and seeing what stirs you. What do you believe in? And why?
Is it more than chance I was chosen for this process with Lucas? Because these are questions I have been trying to answer for myself. Wondering did my faith membership expire? Oh, where can I renew? Which way to customer service, please?
I’m not sure if it’s that simple for me though. I have gone in a different direction with faith. Over time I have gone from practicing Catholic, to feeling nothing in the slightest spiritual, to recently desiring something to make everything else all make sense. Having a sense of faith. Of realigning my physical self with my spirit.
I’m looking for a good fit this time. Something that binds man with the earth, man with nature. Himself. And a sense of higher being, a spirit, a soul. Something to give purpose to this life.
I, like my nephew, like Elaine the mountain climber, I am on a spiritual quest. A journey of discovery to understand what I believe in. Confirmation 2.0.