“During these turbulent times we must remind ourselves repeatedly that life goes on. This we are apt to forget. But the wisdom of life transcends our wisdoms; the purpose of life outlasts our purposes; the process of life cushions our processes…
It is just as important as ever to attend to the little graces by which the dignity of our lives is maintained and sustained.
Birds still sing;
The stars continue to cast their gentle gleam over the desolation of battlefields;
And the heart is still inspired by the kind word and the gracious deed.”
-Howard Thurman, “Life Goes On.,” Meditations of the Heart, (Beacon Press, 1981), pp. 110-111, InwardOutward.org, November 12, 2018.
On the last Sunday of Epiphany as we read about Jesus’ transfiguration, I sit in the early morning before dawn and watch light coming into the tiny part of this universe outside my window. Initially it is pitch dark. I am unable to discern where the trees are. I can barely see the house in the next yard. Then the trees appear as separate streaks of the dark, next the leaves begin to form, and finally I can make out the outline of the bird feeder outside my window. I hear the birds singing but none have come yet to the feeder. With more light, a multitude appear, and they eat their breakfast as I am doing the same. I observe them, but I rarely see them looking my way. They are intent on what is presented before them.
I have noticed that if I become distracted or look away even for a few seconds, I miss an important part of this developing scene that blends seamlessly from one part to another. I learn that this day has come for a unique visit, and I can easily miss an integral part of her introduction if I do not stay in the present moment with her. I have missed a measured part of who she is becoming.
We learn so much from our outside world, but especially at sunrise or sunset. Both are times for us to practice for a few minutes at the most, what it means to be living in the present, observing and living into each moment of time, each slowly progressing change as we sit or stand and watch a gradual transition of light from dark or dark from light. It is like seeing the parts of a puzzle move together before our eyes.
If only I could describe what happens to our bodies, our minds, our souls as we stop and live into the present moment presented to us by the natural world outside of us. There is a feeling of connectedness, joy, and peace. Our heart rate and breathing slows down. We come to a brief awareness of the gift and beauty of each day. We come to know all shall be well, all shall be well.
One opportunity Sunday March 10 to purchase a signed copy of A Daily Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Little Rock in the narthex after the 8 and 10:30 services. Proceeds from the book go for hurricane relief in the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.