inviting in the sacred
someone asked me not so long ago why i search so often for the sacred in my every day.
it’s not so much the searching, really, it’s that i often seem to stumble on it.
it’s just there. kaboom.
i find it, often, tucking little ones to bed. or sitting side-by-side, on stools carved by my brother, in that after-school ebb and flow, when the third-grade day comes rushing out in breathless narrative, and, every paragraph or so, in goes bite of apple, or cookie, or glug of chocolate milk.
i do, yes, find the sacred nearly every time i tiptoe out the door. not the times when i’m near a gallop, racing to the station wagon, keys clunking from my fist, nearly always late for where i was supposed to be, a good 10 minutes ago.
but in the tiptoe times, when every pore of me is wide awake and at attention, when i’m in slow gear, trying not to barrel through, disturb the peace, then it’s almost certain that the sacred will alight on me, as a monarch to a black-eyed susan.
i find the holy breath in birdsong, absolutely. and in the streams of light pouring through the pines, or the crack in the fence that runs along my cottage garden.
i find knee-dropping humility when i spy the moon. or when, weeks behind schedule, a vine i thought had died breaks out in bloom, a resurrection lesson every time.
i find God whenever i’m alone. or maybe that’s the time when at last, i feel the rustling by my side, at my elbow, where my heart goes thump. maybe that’s when at last it’s quiet enough, still enough, for me to hear the holy whispers in my ear.
i do know that God spends time aplenty in my kitchen, at my dinner table. i sink my fists into the egg-rich dough of the challah in the making, and i hear the prayers take off. i dump cinnamon and raisins in a pot of bubbling porridge, and well, i am at one with the heartbeat of all the saints and angels who’ve passed this way, who’ve known what it is to be called to care for others as if you were their mother.
at every meal when we join hands, a circle of palms touching palms, fingers wrapped around fingers, i feel a veil of holiness drop down upon us. especially so when we’ve invited in a friend or stranger we’d not known so well before.
oh, Lord, i even find the sacred scrubbing out the tub. not always. but sometimes. folding clothes. turning on the iron, smoothing out the wrinkles.
isn’t that, at the heart of it, what the sacred brings?
an otherworldly way of living on a higher plane?
isn’t this all just molecules and space between if there’s no purpose to the plan? aren’t we merely moving markers round the gameboard, passing through the stations, checking off the list, if there’s no Teacher, no Comforter, no Great Illuminator?
oh, you needn’t call it by a single name. nor pray a certain prayer.
all i’m thinking here is that to tap into the sacred, to invite it in your home, your heart, your rushing to the train, your talking to the grocery checker, is to take it up a notch. to infuse the beautiful and the breathtaking into the simple act of breaking bread and sipping wine. or stirring soup. or whispering in a child’s ear, “don’t be afraid. i’m here.”
isn’t all of life just a long equation of simple addition and subtraction? don’t we make it into poetry, geometry, by seeing it through a lens that understands, at the heart of every breath, every word, every triumphant act of courage, every heart-crushing blow, that we are not here merely by the power of our own two legs.
but that there are wings all around, holding us afloat, wrapping us, taking us on a sacred flight to everlasting truth and holy wisdom.
that’s why i seem to stumble on the sacred.
i don’t think i’d stay upright otherwise.
do you invite in the sacred? how so? why, for goodness sake?
I believe that when I “invite in the sacred”, when I try to see God in everything and everyone, when I pray THAT is when I bring love into the world.
oh, and hh, lord knows you bring love in….wouldn’t it be so miraculous–just imagine–if all the souls in the world invited love into this much-in-need world? it is barely fathomable–yet so fathomable–that we hold the simple profound capacity to bring in the sunbeams….if only we set our hearts right…i sit in my house alone tonight , watching a little airplane dot on screen travel through snow and rain and winds. that little airplane dot carries my little one and my beloved, and i am sitting here praying them in. they are crossing the country in storms, and all i can do is light the shabbat candles, pray and look out the windows into the darkness, waiting for the phone to ring, saying they’re safe and sound on the ground. but for now, the little dot travels in an arc, not yet where i want my boys to be…….it is so good that i can come here to visit while i keep my vigil……sometimes it is so hard not to let your vivid imagination run amok. which mine does at the merest spark of a match……oh, dear…
hope all is well, thank you so much for your beautiful writings…it is conforting to know there are people who hold the same thoughts and mindfulness, and can express it so beautifullyin a way I never could put into words…
Reading your blog transports me to the sacred. Whether I am moving quickly or slowly, all too often, I neglect to take note of this until I read your meanderings here. This blog serves as my sacred text.
dear anonymi (does anyone know if that is the plural of anymous?) hmmm. bless your heart and thank you. some days i think i am typing into the big black hole, so thank you for letting me know you’re out there……it means much…b
Loved your blog today, inviting in the sacred, below, where you commented to someone about watching an airplane, a dot, on the screen…didn’t know you were doing that…but of course…I immediately wondered which website…you say that they are crossing the country in storms. Gulp. Oh boy. Wish I could tell you something to allay your fears. Not technical. Well, can I tell you that airliners don’t fly in or through ‘storms’, does that help? . Really. They try to AVOID them at all cost. Really. I know it gets bumpy and all…that is just part of it. But official policy is to avoid storms…stay many miles away. This was part of my job as both pilot and also when I worked as an airline dispatcher…we always avoided them…or did our best to.
yes. by listening to the snow as it falls. by imparting a seed in the black earth. by listening to the soft clucks of hens- a bird of great joy. by reading such as this and recognizing the loftiness of it, where I can’t help but wonder if we align like feathers floating in some sacred river-like flow. when my mind cannot go, cannot fathom, cannot think- then I know, this is sacred;
not a place but a way that acknowledges questions that have no answers here or there…where love ascends and accepts.
oh, blessed blessed one….your words are pure poetry. i could sit and read you all day……..this is heavenly. YOU are heavenly. you are pulling me spirit to the nearest pair of wings, and urging me to get to maine….. xox