how do the heavens know?
i can’t begin to count the number of days it happens.
as the night lifts, as the dawn spreads across the landscape, as i begin to make out the shifting silhouettes of the grasses, of boughs, as a sparrow here, a cardinal there, begin to animate the tableau, i sense the day beginning to blanket me, soothe me, wrap my cold shoulders in what amounts to a shawl. a prayer shawl, more often that not.
so it was, when i awoke this week to a dawn draped in white. snow on the bricks and the sharp blades of grass, just starting to stick. snow on the bough beginning to clump. the world just beyond my window pane, a filigree of shadow and palest of light.
how did the heavens know? how did the Great Beyond know that i needed a morning’s blanket?
i needed stillness to step into.
the night had been long, had been tumbled. it was one of those nights when worry stitches each one of your dreams. you awake, yes, but you wonder if you’ve slept even a wink.
all you need on a morning like that is softness. is quiet. you need a world on its tiptoes, padded tiptoes. you need a morning that, like an old friend, understands without words. sidles up beside you, lays its head on your shoulder. breathes.
the morning needn’t rattle you. needn’t startle.
the morning comes softly. snow tumbles down. in flakes that shift from fat to fatter. you breathe. you inhale blessing, breath after breath, and then you let loose, your morning’s litany, petition tumbling on top of petition.
dear God, watch over him. dear God, protect her. dear God, forgive us; forgive us our endless temptations, our trespasses, too. dear God, forgive this globe that seems to be spinning too close to the edge of madness.
dear God, fill us with grace. give us strength. give us wisdom. and, please, for once, let words fall from our lips with half the sense we’d hoped they would hold.
dear God, blanket us. open our eyes, and our hearts. show us the way. let us startle someone in these hours ahead, with some blast of unheralded goodness. let us be the instrument of your peace. let us pass over temptation, not be the one to whisper the word that would cut to the quick. not turn the cold shoulder.
dear God, steady us. deepen us. let me be the vessel this day that carries you into the midst of the chaos. let me sow love. let me bring pardon. let me, in these hours ahead, scatter faith wherever there’s doubt; hope, in place of despair.
you’ve answered my prayer before i’ve opened my eyes for the day. you’ve laced the dawn in white upon white, you’ve hushed the world out my window. you’ve opened my door into prayer — still heart, deep vow, bold promise.
dear God, i thank you. now let us tiptoe softly into this day…
what prayer did you pray on the quietest morning this week?
A beautiful picture of words for the Holy Season. Thanks much….
thank YOU, sweetheart, for receiving it…..
this little post was supposed to wait till tomorrow’s dawn, but apparently it had a mind of its own (and i likely pushed the wrong button), so it popped up now, thursday mid-afternoon. not quite the right time for a morning vesper, but oh well. and since i nearly lost the whole thing when old wordpress decided to get fussy, i am relieved that it’s not lost to the flurries.
may this find its way into your heart whenever it needs to be there.
Thank you, dearest heart. I hope you sleep better tonight. xo
thanks, sweetheart. reason i posted early (by accident) is that i am about to motor off to one of those butterflies conventions (aka a book talk), and tomorrow i’ll be in milwaukee doing a variation on that theme. and you KNOW i remain allergic to microphones. i break out in preamble butterflies…..will be CLUTCHING you as i drive. and as i drove home counting the stars….xxoo
Beautiful scene created by your lovely words!! I felt like I was back home in Chicago as I read! I so get your allergy to microphones!! It must be allergy to groups of people that keeps me from getting out and talking about my book!! 🙂
what helps the most is that precious friend — or two — who keep whispering in my ear: you got this! if only i could let that sink deep down and stay there…..
Knowing and loving how you write, how your spirit shows itself on the page, I agree with friends who say “You got this!” I would add the world needs to hear and see the light you bring to the world, Barbara!!
bless you and bless you, dear lou……
Amen sister We all need a lot if solace, meditation and silence.
Andrea Lavin Solow
love you, sweet angel. xoxo
Thank you, bam, for this serenity break. I’ve had many sleepless nights myself over an estate sale and house sale. But driving to work through a snow-laced lakefront landscape was actually peaceful. And lovely how the wafting flakes absorb and cleanse the audial assault of city living.
love that line, dear karen, “absorb and cleanse the audial assault of city living.” i am so sorry for your sleepless nights, and the load you shoulder. and i pray that it all unfolds as seamlessly as possible. knowing full well it’s a passage walloped with emotion. bless you. and a big hug. xoxo
Thank you for sharing this beautiful prayer. I feel like it needs to be in a book. Or copied out and kept by my bedside with my stash of other wise words.
bless your heart, sweetheart……
Your words twirl through my thoughts, settle soft upon my heart, drift into heaps of gratitude… Bless you, sweet friend, thank you. xoxox
blessings to you, sweet friend……
The prayer of St. Francis is my favorite. I love your variations on it.
my favorite too…..