As our fourth column for the Statesman goes to press this morning, four months after my last post here, you’d think I’d feel guilty. My daughters and I have been feeling many things as we press on in this year of exploring spirituality and religion together, but blessedly, guilt has not been one of them. However, it is beyond high time to explain what we have been feeling and learning, why I took such a long blog break and catch us up now.

Doing something like this together has been opening my daughters and I up in ways we didn’t predict. I get almost teary with gratitude as I write that the experience has been, and continues to be, happy and loving and the foundation of so much new depth to our bond. What we are bonding about, however, is not always specifically related to religion or spiritual insight. This journey is also opening our eyes and allowing for fresh words and ideas about our own lives, our own family dynamics, and in particular my daughters’ own blossoming autonomy and self-determination.

As a writer, the question is always how much to share. As a mother, the question is always how much to protect. We wouldn’t have made a commitment as a family to write about such an open-hearted exploration if we didn’t believe in the inherent value of families and individuals coming together in a community and sharing their experiences. Still, this past spring a few beautiful things happened that nevertheless stopped me in my tracks both as a mother and a writer, so that I have spent the past four months closely considering the balance of what of my daughters’ experiences to share and what to hold more closely.

I hope this makes sense. It sure feels sensible. It also feels right to start up again. We’ve had lots of fun, sometimes funny, and often very touching things happen since we took a big huge trip at Spring Break… to the Galapagos Islands! I think my next post (tomorrow, I swear!) will be about Charles Darwin, actually. Then, we can all come back together. Just, not in such a linear fashion on this part of the journey. That feels right, too, though. A path like this, like anyone’s spiritual path, simply can’t be – nor I believe should be – from point A to point B to point Done. Like a labyrinth that changes as you walk it, our paths are growing and deepening as well. Luckily. Magically.

We are getting this sense of wonder thing down.

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