I worry this morning that pursuing a contemplative life is merely a mask for my own lack of stamina, my inability to exist joyfully at the full throttle pace of this society.
“You could accomplish so much more…” promises a familiar inner voice.
So I take off the mask and pray with Paul, “Lord, may your power be made perfect in weakness.”
Outside, the hummingbirds buzz among the bare branches and finches do leaf impersonations, occasionally fluttering the rain off their wings, and I know if I went fast or did more at once, I would not see them. I might miss them completely, and never know what I was missing, this sharing of a quiet dawn with the rain, birds, the grey cloudy city in the distance.
And so again I choose to do one task at a time, listen to one story at a time, write one word at a time and let the sentences come.
Words and stories are timid creatures. They often skamper away under the pressure to reveal too much, too fast. So I whisper to them and wait.
In gratitude for slowing down…
Hearing the different rhythms of rain on the roof
A roof and warmth, things I forget to appreciate when life goes too fast
Birds and other creatures that visit my balcony
Friends who saw me walking and slowed down, giving me a ride to church
Unrushed conversation twice around Green Lake
Seeing a Great Heron asleep in a tree! (Opps! I woke him up!)
Noticing rain drops on flowers that looking like ballerinas
Hours of games with adult-friends and kid-friends
Drinking in the brilliance of autumn
Space to weep over the pain in young adult lives and to pray, “Lord, have mercy!” (Currently reading Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults)
Celebrating a 4th birthday with my beautiful blue-eyed friend
Smiling at people while out walking, and seeing their face become as bright as the sun