As I began to post the events and learnings of the past year, I realized that I had not included the spiritual learnings which emerged from those events, so I went back over my year and have done that thinking as well. As Robin and Miss Kitty have mentioned in their comments, every event in a human life may have a spiritual component. But they aren't always immediately obvious. So, okay, here it goes (OHIG).
First, though, I want to note the elements of my spiritual experience, as I have come to understand them. These characteristics may not be the same for others; that's okay. You may think of some I have missed; that's okay too.
I find spiritual experience in connectedness, whether that is in worship, or grief, or meaningful conversation or excitement, or just plain goofy fun. I find it too in solitude, a sorrow explored alone, a moment of journaling when I dare to put down something that is hard for me to admit. I find it in harmony, literally---the sound of voices singing, or chords from an instrument, interactions between people which involve listening and finding common ground; I find it also in dissonance, literally----the resolve from a hard-to-hear chord into a place of harmony, the conflict of sound or views or voices that open me up and make me wait for the resolve into a new place. I find it in the completion of tasks, when a book is read and I can reflect on it. Or when the patio is cleaned up and I can use it. Or when a cobbler is made out of the blackberries along the edge of the property and its smell permeates the kitchen. The mundane is full of spiritual significance.
From these experiences, I receive joy and pleasure, gratitude for the gifts which come so frequently, hope that I may continue to be able to see the gifts and not disregard them because they are mundane. I treasure the peace of mind that my spiritual experiences provide, even when I am waiting for the resolve, waiting for the new understanding that conflict brings, getting used to the changes that aging brings---because I know it will come and that I will find the gift waiting for me.
And I have developed spiritual practices which help to remind me of the spiritual nature of human life: a regular prayer time at night and spontaneous prayers of gratitude all day; being with animals and plants, whether tame or wild; voicing love---telling people that I care for them, showing that care by my actions; singing, by myself or with others; encouraging others as they go through life; passing along my learnings and strengths to those who are just starting out---being generative, at this time of my life.
I'm going to stop here; I have a longer post about the spiritual moments of the past year and I'll put that up later.