What does it mean to pray?

What does it mean to pray?
Gathered together or on our own?
For some, it’s a direct line to a creator.
For others, it’s more of a universe thing,
tapping into a connection, say, with the natural world and ‘sending’ it.
For still others, it’s about focused energy and light—
beaming it outward.

For some, prayer is doing, going, helping, cooking.
For some it is an act of stillness.
Others just don’t buy any of it
or can’t get behind the word.

We could go on.
We could fill volumes with people’s individual interpretations.
I’m sure we could get into some hefty, difficult conversations,
maybe even heated arguments,
fueled by assumptions and judgement and depleted curiosity.

Meanwhile, studies reinforce that focused thought, prayer, or energy,
even from a distance,
has an impact on people’s wellbeing.

So maybe the ‘why’ is more important than the ‘how.’
Maybe it’s about tapping into whatever stirs your soul,
holding that person or situation close,
and just letting the rest be what it is: mystery.

Not the ‘whodunit’ kind,
but the deeper richer place of admitting we just don’t know.
We don’t know, but we do feel.
We feel, well, something.
And often, somehow, the recipient of that burst feels it too.

The catch?
It’s not about outcome.
Oh man, that’s a hard one.
It’s not about outcome.

It’s about Love.
Plain and simple.
Sending Love, Peace, Comfort, Hope.
That’s what we have and can give
from our innermost place of being.
Even those times when our hearts are tugged and stretched
almost beyond what we can bear,
we can give that.
Individually, collectively.

So today, as you read these words,
upright, bent, or broken by all that you are holding,
I send you a flash of what sustains me…

The soft call of an owl at dusk.

The loving gaze of a pet.

The sound of wind through white pines.

The touch of sun on your cheek.

The love of friends and family.

The promise of spring.

The smell of a campfire.

The taste of a tomato straight from the garden.

Otters at play.

Wolves howling.

The slap of a beaver’s tail.

…All of this and so much more
I send to you, Wild companions,
as a prayer or a blessing or a whatever.

What I know is this:
Far beyond the ‘how,’
we find each other in the ‘why.’