Saturday, January 25, 2014

This New Inclination to Sit Quietly

No sunrise is ever the same. A little snow collects on the backyard pine and chickadees sit on its branches preening. At J.'s, I listened to old Johnny Cash songs while studying snowbanks that sparkle and glisten so intensely beautifully that after a while I leave for fear I really will leave. What would Emily Dickinson do is not the worst question you could ask.

The trail breaks a little underfoot, especially when I am not attentive. I pause where in summer two bear cubs climbed the yawning pine tree, mewing piteously, while their mother crashed the underbrush to draw me away. A spray of cardinal feathers behind the barn makes me and my daughters sad. We always need more wood for the fire.

We go where we must in the company of those we choose. Also, there is only one lesson and we are always capable of learning it. One stands a long time by the brook in winter before the slow murmur of flowing water perforates the thick walls of ice. Sliced apple and honey on warm bread and the last of last summer's blueberry wine.

God is never not where we are, which I tend to forget, being prone to forests and fields and the sound of snow falling. K. says to trust this new inclination to sit quietly in darkness and why not? At 2 a.m. I remember without anger old teachers, good and bad. My love for dogs is perhaps closest to God's love in that I seem to love them all equally, whether they're "mine" or not.

How impossibly bright the world is becoming, and how soft the hymn that never quite leaves my ears. All birthday wishes are duly noted, gratefully received. We are not alone! I write happily in the rose-colored chapel, sharing crumbs with religious mice, grateful as always for nothing in particular.