What if "soul-searching" were not about searching our own souls, looking inward, but searching for our souls out there?
I think my soul must live outdoors, in the garden, in the little native bees. Which is to say, the part of me that connects most deeply to God and to my community finds its truest resonances out in the lovely, love-filled world. I find my soul in the gladiolus now in bloom, and in our cats and dogs and in my dear Marc and our beloved children. I find my soul in singing and in creating music. I find it in discovering what is compelling about the devotional, worshipful lives of people long ago. I find it in learning how people right now are making music that tells the truth, that creates common ground.
Almost without thinking, I walk outside every morning, breathing in the wonder around me, and my prayers and thanksgivings well up, unbidden but quite welcome. When searching, I find my soul is in the place where connection to God and to God's universe are natural, effortless.
My soul is sometimes expansive, in the winds and the sky, the thunder of ocean and the ever-miraculous sound of birds. Sometimes it is in the miniscule - in the Fibonacci spiral of the center of the coneflower, in the orb-weaver spider. Often it is in the the people who love me as I am, who offer safe harbor. These are the places where my soul meets God, and so these are the places where my soul is -- where its being-ness is most intact.
Sometimes I find my soul in the things that need remedy - in the act of forgiveness, in pulling weeds, in building back what has fallen.
And on days when my soul is harder to find, when anxiety or stress are the louder voices, I am learning to go to the place where I usually find my soul's resonance, and to wait. I wait in the company of the psalmist - "my whole being waits, more than night watch waits for the morning."
On these days, sometimes, my soul finds me.