Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the snowflakes fall. Again.
In the midst of the imposed idleness of chronic back pain, (with an added layer of bronchitis this week, just to keep it interesting,) I have been a little discouraged to realize how difficult it can be for me to live mindful of the blessings that surround me every day. To be honest, some days my determination not to complain has faltered, floundered and occasionally flopped belly up on the floor and cried, “Uncle.”
Even if something is left undone, I must take time to be still and…
Watch the sun rise.
Listen for bird song.
In spite of temperatures below zero,
ground covered with snow
and snow in the forecast (again?),
he faced the sunrise
and chose to sing.
And so can I. Or, at least hum.
Embrace ordinary blessings.
-the ability to sit without pain for as long as desired.
-the availability of drinkable water everywhere I go all the time. I never even give it a thought.
-the security of lying down to sleep at night knowing that Hickory Lane is a safe place to collapse into the oblivion of sleep for everyone in our house. (I will not soon forget Mama J"s story of three little ones, huddled beneath their dying grandmother, waiting for morning light when someone would find them and wash her blood from their little bodies and feed their bellies and try to reach their terrified, stone silent hearts. Oh, the violation of violence.)
-the luxury of a whole house of warmth. I don’t get out much these days, and I chaff at the confinement, the frustration of not being able to drive very far. I know the term cabin fever. But my “cabin” is roomy by any standard and warm in every room.
Starting on a gratitude list from this perspective could keep me busy half the night…for days, really, and indeed it should.
That’s it exactly.
Instead of asking for more of this or that, I want to say again, as I hear one of my friends pray sometimes, “Lord, we appreciate You, and we appreciate all that You do for us…”
Or, as I read in Psalm 103 this morning, ... "and forget none of His benefits." None. Well, that will keep me busy for awhile.
A lifetime actaully.
Look up. Literally. (And figuratively too, of course.)
But “what is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare…” (W.H. Davies) (I think that one's in the book too.)
And so, for once I stopped and looked up. Oh joy. At 6:30 pm on a cold, cold evening, there they perched on that wire I wish didn’t swoop across my morning view, my garden space…
four charming little bluebirds who looked like they were waiting for me.
And I did give thanks for them, for their silent reminder of my parents who loved all things bluebird, and of my Father God who occasionally nudges me to pause long enough to look up.
Seek the sunset.
Sunset means that the day is coming to an end, and whatever I dreaded or anticipated at sunrise is now behind me…or hasn’t happened at all.
Sunset means that the time has come for giving thanks for all that has come my way and all that has not, for what has been done and what has been left undone.
Sunset is a time for reflecting on the day that is past:
-Was it a remarkable day, filled with wonder and joy and connection? I cannot hold to it, but I can be grateful to have embraced such a day.
-Was it a terrible day, filled with pain and disappointment and grief? I cannot erase it, but I can be grateful it is over.
In either case, the sunset reminds me that nothing lasts forever.
and entrust myself to the One who holds me always.