Like a pot about to boil, I’m getting ready for the onslaught of September church meeting chaos. You know, people are back in the city. Holydays are finished for pretty much everyone now. The stop and start of trying to make progress while key people are “out of town” or “away from the office” turns into a more dependable rhythm. Now the challenge is finding room in people calendars as their obligations begin to kick in.
We all start trying to plug our many interests and obligations into those boxes on the calendar. Lynn and I did an exercise where we put all the things we’ve talked about doing this fall – onto little pink and green and blue and yellow stickies (her work, my work, our work, our chores, our play). There were so many of them that we didn’t have a calendar big enough to crowd them all on. We delayed the crunch by deciding to get a bigger calendar.
My stress levels rise just thinking about it.
Here’s my question. “How is getting stressed about it going to help me choose wisely and be present in the day by day walking through of September start-up?”
“How do I maintain the calm and centered self my holydays so carefully crafted?”
You make me lie down in pastures green. You lead me through shady woods to sit beside rushing streams. You call me to listen for wisdom in the whispering songs of white waters and watch the rising mists for signs of the ancient ones’ presence.
You make me taste plump berries picked off the bush – sunlight, earth, rain and wind captured and squeezed through branches into bright red clumps of celebration. Life’s sweetest joys – babies, weddings, feasts shared with old friends and new. Full moon intimacies, and conversations that matter – all magically and potently tasted like berries bursting on the tongue.
You lead me to pull sweet onions from the ground to chop and mix with the eggs from the lady down the lane. Your groundhogs and deer eat all the green vegies and leave the tomato-laden branches for us.
You give me not only these sweet embodied moments, but you gift me with memory and imagination.
When the multi-tasking takes over, will I pop a sweet memory into my mouth? Can I, just for a moment, hear the waters fall? Will I, in the time it takes to draw and hold a breath, smell the cool pine musk of the woods? Could I, in mind’s eye, be transported to the laughter and loving scenes of summer, and recycle that same love’s blood pumping through my heart, toes, eardrums then – now?
To notice today how the wind moves the branch to throw sunlight my way. To remark how the birdsong touches my heart’s hidden places. To inhale the scent of grilled foods that spark hungers unmet. To see in bride and groom’s wet eyes the whole drama of life passing in a tear’s drop. To drink in the sound of my love’s bright laugh splashing smooth stones of fun across deep pools of hurt. To listen and hear how the baby wails against the injustice of the circle’s ageless turning. To fill my heart with life until it breaks and makes room for both the overwhelming fears and the mysteries of healing courage.
Who needs snapshots when all these wonders have been absorbed, inhaled, swallowed and digested to become part of me - my cellular memory? These moments are the fat cells my over-worked body and mind will feed upon when hungry soul gets squeezed off the calendar’s squares.
All I need do is inhale and stretch a limb to release the potent healing of green summer moments. Lo, I am with you always.