P O U R verb \por\
flow rapidly in a steady stream from or into a place or container; to fill a cup or glass with a drink for someone; to prepare and serve; to give expression to; to rain hard
Our souls have a practical side.
We really can do things to foster growth, encourage it's unique shape and fill it (and the world) with good.
Think that sounds crazy?
We might think the soul is an ethereal space where nothing practical applies. But I am beginning to wonder. I've been thinking that the part of me that's not flesh and bones still needs its own care and keeping.
If I think of my soul as a landscape, then I can tend it with soil and sunshine and water and weeding. If I think of my soul as a house, I can throw open the doors and windows to light or keep it shuttered. I can begin to consider it's rooms and stories, footings and rooftop.
If I think my soul has a unique shape or design, then I can think about what that design might be and Who designed it. I might be able to shrink it or expand it or maintain it's shape. If I think my soul has space, then it can be filled or hollowed out.
What if my soul is all of that, a space with a shape, at home in a landscape and somehow in a neighborhood with others?
That got me to thinking of tiny practical things I could do for the life of my soul and maybe even those around me.
My soul craves its own air to breath, nutritious food, fresh water and room to grow. It has a natural preferred pace. My soul needs warmth and comfort, nurturing connection with other souls and wide open spaces to run free and wild.
I find my soul needs me to pay it some attention, some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
I feel that sometimes my own soul care is connected to my body and other times it only begins there and then has needs beyond it. My soul has eternity woven in. I see that timelessness in my long list of to-do's and desires, added to every day, that my days here will never reach.
I think we all want to be filled to the brim with some of the very same deep and sure things - true love, meaningful work, a free heart, great ideas and faithful friends.
So we begin to fill, or at least I did, by pouring what we find into our lives fast and furious until one day our heads hurt and our hearts are bruised. Where's the beauty, grace, innocence, forgiveness and hope we had longed for? We can’t find a meaningful thing for the clutter, least of all that container for the precious things, our deep down soul.
But what if you could uncover that container with it's original design, particular shape and preferred pace?
Fill it up with what it was really made for?
Make it sing?
Then pour it out to water others?
That sounds BIG.
That sounds blue ocean big.
I am working my way there. I am looking for waterfalls, a river spillway or perhaps a small stream. It might be an underground spring bubbling up.
But first, I am searching for drops. Tiny drops of rain to catch on my tongue and water my soul (and yours).
In the great outdoors, if the ground gets too parched and then comes a heavy rain, the precious longed-for water will just run off the surface. The thirsty land cannot absorb the water. In fact, in a deluge of water, topsoil will be stripped away and things will drown.
I wrote recently about a Texas storm that taught me this lesson in a hard and fast rain.
However, if a tiny sprinkling of raindrops could fall first, the ground would open it's pores and make room to be watered. The land would be prepared for the downpour that finds deep roots.
The rainy life in the Pacific Northwest has taught me this. Our rain here falls in a fine mist, so quiet, light and steady that you hardy know its falling. You have to look out the window at just the right angle with light behind the drops to see it.
This gentle steady watering is why we can live in a rainy land without umbrellas (hoodies and boots are the way) and why it is so green and vibrant.
I suppose the soul-watering ways I have in mind are like that fine Oregon rain, steady and refreshing. You can make these ways part of any day or week in your life. Remember I said they would be practical ways. They may be tiny drops (ideas, books, habits), and yet, they will fill your pitcher over time and water your soul.
So grab your pitcher (a Mason jar, a watering can, a sand bucket or your two hands cupped together) because for the next ten weeks we will be collecting soul-soaking raindrops.
Any container will do, but somewhere along the way, a spout would be nice. You are going to want to do some pouring.
While you're at at it, why don't you grab two containers, one for you and one for a friend?