plugging back in
the sunrise stirred me. out my window, all was pink, was orange, was afire. someone had grabbed at the paint set, was streaking the lowdown corner of sky, the one i could see from my pillow.
i awoke to the heavens this morning.
i’m beginning to do that, set my clock by the sun and the moon again. i am beginning to tell, once again, what the time is, just by watching the way the sunbeams slant through the glass, spill over the floorboards, sink into the pillows.
even at night, when i’m up tiptoeing, i’m catching the moonbeams. the way they play off the panes of the windows, dance through the lace of the tree limbs.
i am soaking in the soundtrack of just-about-spring. the cardinals beginning to show off their trills. the robins and jays debating the worms. who’s got first dibs, apparently, is a matter settled by decibels. (and despite the jay’s protestations, the robin, by my count, is the one barreling toward plucked-from-the-underworld overload.)
i’ve even found moments for walking the blue stone path that winds through my not-so-secret garden. i am watching spring push through the earth. day by day, frame by frame, i track the resilience of tender green nubs. one by one, the choreography that comes from all that autumnal digging and tucking in promise, it makes itself known: winter aconite, wee yellow stars that open and close with the sun, followed by snowdrops, followed by crocus. they are all out there beginning the dance, exhaling hope.
and i am drinking it in.
i am plugging back in.
the mad dash from house to train to faraway office is no longer. once the door slams shut for the very last time in the morning, i am alone, am quiet.
oh, there is work to be done, every day for hours and hours. but, in wisps and stanzas and pauses between places and thoughts, i am beginning to look up from what i’m doing, where i’m going, and notice. i’m catching the light. inhaling the song. i am breathing again.
i seem to hum most contentedly when my canvas has room for the paint dabs of God. when i hear the wind rustling through pines, when i take in the scarlet flash in the bushes just beyond the window, when i trace the shift in the shadows through the long afternoon, that’s when i feel the great hand of the divine slipping round mine, giving a squeeze. that’s when i know i am not deeply alone. but rather more connected than in a very long time.
it was here, in the quiet of this old house, that i discovered how very much my lungs are filled by the scritch-scratch of heaven’s stirrings here on earth, in the trees, in the sunlight, in birdsong. in my garden.
and while my days are plenty packed, it’s the silence of the interlude that glues me together. the grace of time to laugh out loud at a persimmon-breasted robin perched on the window sill. the chance to take in the picture show of spring on the brink, knowing this time around i won’t miss a frame. the wordless prayer that fills my heart as i hear the rumble of thunder far off and rolling closer.
i take my religion in the gulps and sips that come to me when heaven taps on my window panes. and once again i am home to hear the tapping.
what are the ways that you plug back in to that which makes you whole — or holy?
Just wanted to say, you already have a full heart- a full soul and you are courage…believe that, and enjoy you. Now opening is a new beginning that will lead you to where you’re supposed to be. Your new beginning will bring you insignt, peace and much happiness. You’ll see… with eyes wide open.
All the light to you.
Silence is the only way to truly hear. A long look at the night sky. A few days, when possible, in Peosta, Iowa with the monks and long walks. If I did it more often, I would be more content.
peosta calls me. i need to get out my road map.
http://www.newmelleray.org or http://www.mississippiabbey.org/
I’m with you, Barb– Road trip?!?
oh my goodness……
i nearly leapt into the video on the abbey in peosta. (nancy, thank you SO for posting, and taking the chair into the video realm. such new horizons, here…)
listen to brother placid (what a name, indeed…):
“I can see God in the forest so readily, in the sky. And the nasty days when the wind’s blowing and the snow’s flying, you can really see God’s majesty and power.”
i’m with you brother placid…..
road trip, indeed.
can you see us blowin’ down the highway. and check out the stone cottage in mississippi river abbey…
I’m not quite sure how to get the reply in the right order here on the page, but I wanted to say that I loved my stay at New Melleray. When I say I’m going to not talk for five days, some people think I’m crazy, but it is the only way I know to restore my soul. There is a wonderful cemetery by a church up the hill where I loved to walk and the farm fields and sky and clouds, oh, my. My favorite worship time was 3:30 a.m. I loved living on the monks’ schedule. There is also a cozy library. The rooms are sparse but have everything one needs. No air conditioning, so just know that in July and August it can get uncomfortable, but there is a fan in each room. And supposedly the downstairs chapel is one of the quietest places in the world. In the summer, I could still hear the farm equipment running, but it was cool and quiet there. I’ve only been on a day trip to Mississippi Abbey. All the sisters were very warm and friendly. However there were not as many places to walk and in the guest section one can see very little of the chapel. Both are easy to get to, just about three hours away. My days there passed too quickly.
My lenten roses are unfolding and stirring in in this southwest wind. The lake front walk is being extended to the bird sanctuary to the south. The clock play will help my end of day rejuvenation, but not do much for my morning start. Mr. Skilling informs me that summer is here to visit for a week or so. All in all, just grateful to pull up my chair to the table and reflect for a moment or two.
So, thank you, chair lady, for the opportunity to plug in!
Silence and solitude are the ways I usually plug back in. But on some really stressful days–like today–I watch old sitcoms. Someone I know said, “Laughter is the undeniable proof of the existence of God.” And so here I sit, snuggling under an afghan, watching old comedies, and letting holy laughter heal my weary self.
1. In the zigging and zagging of a juggler’s day, could I be almost 58 years old and not sure how I plug back in? It’s too easy for me to overlook but I am reminded here to pay attention.
2. Must consider a visit to New Melleray, perhaps combined with a visit to the girl at Grinnell.
3. This is a stunning piece of writing, Ms. B. When you speak of this world that I so often ignore, I always learn.
“God, she’s got a lot to say.” A client of mine just said that about you bam after reading the above while I gave his 9 year old son his weekly piano lesson.
I love your Q how do you plug in to that which makes you whole? It’s great, I think I seek out friends and family, and share and listen, and stay alert to everything within and around me and a huge theme begins to surface, one that takes much energy and time to discern. Then I keep working the theme and reduce it down and as I begin to run with it, it becomes part of me and I taste wholeness again.
Glad you asked.
I was just thinking about my sister, the mother of PUAC, writing long love letters to our family on yellow legal pad papers a long, long time ago, and how it thrilled my heart the way my sister could write so fluently, and move us so deeply, the river of her sentences like whitewater rapids. Where did this gift come from, and where will the river go? 🙂
Legal pads…to i pads. xox