And I’ve been wanting to change that.
I do lots of walking in and about the garden, the yard, and hanging out and bringing in laundry. I love walking out to get the mail, and we live in a big house, so it’s not uncommon for me to tally up three or more miles on my trusty pedometer without leaving the property. But it’s not the same. It’s not really walking, and I’ve been really missing really walking. So, I’m back at it again this week. I want to make a plan, eventually, a regular walking time – morning? Evening? Daily? Every other day? But for this week, for this day, I simply try to find a spot to insert a walk, and then I walk.
And that is what I truly want to do, to enter into walking as a spiritual practice, to see what is right before me, beside me, above me, beneath me, and once again, oh dear God can it possibly be this again?, to be where my feet are..
I watch them, wielding weed-eaters now- "dueling banjos," that’s what I always think, when I see/hear them.
It is not music, but still, it’s a good sound to my ears, two friends learning to work together, to plan, to divide the work load, to stay out of each other’s way…great lessons for life that they will take with them on the journey.
And when they finish, they are tired…good tired.
Job well done tired.
Three hours of mowing tired.
I live with an ever present reminder of the brevity of life,
the relatively short span allotted to me,
the certainty that I am destined for dust,
the challenge to live well for the entirety of the dash that is my life.
And though it is being mowed and trimmed,
I find I am in fact on holy ground.
It’s been two years, and I still want their car to pull in the driveway with a flannel shirt behind the wheel and a cotton dress in the passenger seat, both topped with big smiles. I won’t see anything now, I murmur in my head as I swipe my eyes, only corn and corn and corn.
No holy ground here.
I sigh (does that count?) and arrive back on Hickory Lane in time to notice
-long stretches of heartachingly lovely Queen Anne’s lace
- a pair of butterfly wings bereft of their butterfly
-a patch of deep purple elderberries.
Overhead, a goldfinch scallops the sky, singing thanks for thistles a daydreaming boy missed along the fence row.
Holy ground. I’m on it.
I am breathing more slowly now, walking mindfully, watching the holy beauty that surrounds me.
An eastern kingbird fusses at the top of a beech tree…must have a fledgling nearby. The mallard ducklings are fully mature now, but tonight they are paddling together in a thin silver thread of dwindling creek.
I watch the dust roll up in the distance as the horses return for a few hours of evening work in the cool of the day. I wonder when it will rain. It will rain when it will rain, and I will wait for it. Holy ground.
I want them to look up,
but they are likely intent on the job at hand.
It has taken me decades to learn the value of pause, why would I expect them to know it now?
They must keep their shoes on for this moment in this job, but I want them to know they too are on holy ground.
No burning bush, but the sky’s on fire.
Surely the LORD is in this place and I did not know it.
For Jacob waking from his dream of angels and ladders.
For boys mowing a cemetery.
For a wandering home-body like me.
No matter where you are.
“Surely the LORD is in the place and I did not know it.”