Once upon a time, before the study of theology,
there was inner wisdom.
Before church buildings
there was the earth beneath my feet.
Before religious hymns,
there were the spontaneous chants inspired by the season’s blazing colors. Before preachers,
there was my grandfather, with his big old picture Bible,
adding flare and nuance to those old stories
in a way the preachers could hardly imagine.
But even before the Bible,
there were stories of my life, and Demetra’s and Rebecca’s,
and the little boy who lived down the street.
Before Sunday dresses and Easter hats,
there were blue jeans and cotton blouses that were made for caressing
the earth, trees, and railroad tracks that ran behind our house.
Before words and liturgy,
there was dance and motion…circling, jumping, leaping my prayers
among my friends the trees, the sun, the shadows, the spiders.
Before solemn statues,
was the Spirit of Life within, around, and beyond me,
and there was my mother with her kind words,
her crystals and her fresh-baked bread from the oven.
Before the baptism of salvation,
there was the baptism of summer rain showers,
and before that,
the baptism of birth in the waters of the womb.
there were circles.
there were spirals.
So I circle and I spiral to the wisdom of my childself. </
–Shea Darian, Seven Times the Sun, p. 172