Monday, October 15, 2012

Gathering beauty



That boy I love? He and I have been talking about space these last few days.

In a twinkling, we've seen how the leaves on the maples have begun to glow like embers and we want to take it all in before they fall away. And to do that, to gather up all the beauty of that dripping gold and scarlet, to really take it all in..all the while, knowing, they won't stay that way...that is hard.

We realize that, so many days, our lives are just like that.  Full of moments that slip away, sand through a glass. And we shudder at only catching the beauty from a slant. We want to see these moments, in all of their fleeting glory, squarely, with eyes wide open. We want to have known and lived these moments despite their promised departure. We don't want our memories to be only the backsides of joy. We want to have walked those moments to the gate.

So we've started examining our steps and the myriad ways that we walk confusing circles around our days. We've discovered how easy it has become to stumble blindly and to walk heavy. And we're learning that to turn a ship around takes great discernment and patience and love.

My first step towards intention came with doing the dishes. I remembered reading Tonia and the idea of doing small things with great care and so I quietly filled my sink with prism-edged bubbles and lit a candle and I washed our Sunday lunch dishes the old fashioned way. How often have I tried to fast forward this chore, letting the tap run continuously? More than just water is wasted in that rushed action. I let myself rest in the comfort of warm water and I whispered thanks for just this moment.

And it wasn't just me, over-spiritualizing a dreaded task in order to elevate it to some higher something or other.

No, it was me, recognizing what my hands were doing, for once.

And that, my friends, was a miracle.

And, it seems to me, to us, that once you decide to tilt your head towards all of the glory, the moments tumble in upon themselves.

There we are, sitting around our table, eating dinner. And it is not lost on me that every night that we do this, this gathering around bread, we are choosing to turn towards one another. The edges of the table, in all their worn roundness, center our hearts and eyes and stomachs and we can't help but see each other.

There we are, gathered on the couch and the big blue chair that stinks like dog and we are all listening. Hearing the part of the story where Frodo has been rescued by the Elves and Gandalf and all is right in the world, for the moment, and we feel the joy and the relief and the thanksgiving.

There we are, stretched out on the bed, listening to our seven year old talk about how fast childhood passes by and how soon he will be a teenager and we are frightened by how right he is. Me and that boy I love, together we gaze at this one who still seems so fresh from God and we marvel at his old soul.  We soak up his aspect and burnish his shiny cheeks with our love for him and know that this moment, like the dripping leaves, will soon fall away.

There we are, lips sweet and supple, ripe with goodness and grace, fumbling in the dark. The closeness presses so deep that my eyes spill joy on the pillow and I am falling, over and over, more in love with you. And I know that these moments are like holy paste, fastening my heart to yours, so that together we can continue to see in the same direction.

So, we intentionally decide to make more space. We pray to cushion our moments with margin and to allow Spirit winds to blow around the edges. And maybe, this season, we can catch the glory just long enough before it slips between our fingers and floats gracefully to the earth.


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20 comments:

  1. A wise mama to cushion your moments with margin. My youngest was home visiting for the weekend, and I was thankful for margin in my life to sit and enjoy her.

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  2. You've done it again, my friend. Absolutely breathtaking, thank you.

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  3. Oh Holly, there are times that the pictures you paint are so beautiful I just want to linger in them a little longer. I've driven a bit slower these days, as autumn rests her beautiful blanket on the trees. And then the message, the slowing, the embracing, it's all too perfect.


    You are a treasure.

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  4. Yes, Lisa, the margin must frame our days. So glad that you were able to pull your youngest in close this past weekend. Magical, I'm sure.

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  5. Eyvonne, you, too, are a treasure to me. I'm so glad that you are able to gather in the beauty of these days. I'm sure there will be many cold days ahead where we will be living off of the glory of these present ones. Grace and peace to you, my friend.

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  6. Holy paste, oh my sigh, the backside of Joy, oh my word. Mercy girl your words get richer, deeper, more lovely every time I read them. You are taking care of them, and it, your gifts...because they are thriving and richly toiled in your soul's soil. You grow beauty, and beautiful here.

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  7. Oh thank you, Elizabeth! Truly, I am fed by the encouragement of others and by all that is placed before me. I am so thankful that you are a part of that rich bounty.

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  8. Thank you for speaking to my heart.

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  9. Thank you, Annie, as always.

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  10. Thank you for reading, Carisa.

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  11. I don't know what to say, except it's like you're inside my head. I've had the same feelings when walking Brownie outside. I look at the trees and the leaves blowing across the yard. And it was the same this summer, with the sun beating down through the leaves on the trees. There's a feeling that I don't want this to end. I want to stay and bask in this feeling of fresh air and color. Thank you Holly for sharing this with me. Love, your cousin Lori

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  12. I had a post i was working on . . . something like this. i say "had" because this is infinitely more beautiful than the way i was saying it. i'll just happily share yours instead of fudging through mine. :)
    oh, the beauty of embracing our humanity. the thrill of finding holy ground as we stand before the common bush. i applaud you, also, for crafting a picture of the sacred art of touch in marriage. what an untapped spring of joy and meaning.
    there's nothing that speaks to me quite as clearly as that Bride/Bridegroom thang. maybe someday i'll have the courage to write it . . . ;)

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  13. Your gifts just overwhelm me somedays, dear Holly. This is loveliness personified. Thank you.

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  14. Thank you, Kelli....although I would still love to hear what you have to say, my dear! Thanks for being here.

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  15. Oh Diana, thank YOU.

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  16. Thank you, Lori. And,yes, it is hard to want something to not to end...the difficulty comes in receiving the gift of what IS, knowing that it will so not be anymore.

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  17. Holly that is so true. But there's a sadness when a season ends. Spring and Summer are my favorites. And Fall is right next to them. But you always help me see another side. Thank you for that. hugs

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