When I peeked outside this morning the sun was already shining over the horizon. A deer was passing through the nearby pasture. The dew sparkled magnificently. I had to spend the remains of the morning outside. I’ve only spent a handful of quiet mornings to myself since beginning work. I miss my morning meditation and journaling sessions.
The August morning air was unusually sweet and cool for this time of year; brisk enough for a light sweater. I gathered my journal, favorite gel pen (orange seemed a nice choice), sweater, prayer-cross, micro lens and iced coffee (in a mason jar of course!). I spent a few moments trying to capture the dew with the micro lens and then sat down on the patio with my journal.
I felt epic, this was going to be an awesome session. I wasn’t really correct or wrong in my initial assessment.
Prayer and meditation is personal. These practices were once the rhythm of my daily existence but I have let them fall away with time. Long ago I had a personal altar. I could never leave it set up because it was the sort of thing my father would destroy. Faith was risky business in my parents home. I did keep one when I lived in the dorms and that was nice. Now that my kids are older I have considered setting one up in a small corner somewhere.
Once I settled in for meditation after prayer; I felt lonely…an absence.
The sun continued his arc through the sky. The dew sparkled and began to dry. The birds were singing and active. Starlings now seemed to occupy the homes the Purple Martins abandoned
earlier in the summer. I miss the Purple Martins. They are swallows and their family Progne comes from the Greek mythological story about Procne. I think of her and her sister every spring when the swallows arrive and begin to nest. Thanks to my high school Latin teacher I really know Greek mythology.
The Mockingbird perched atop the utility pole and serenaded his copycat melodies. There was a time I was enchanted by the mimicry but now I find it so annoying. “Be more independent and sing your own song!”, I grumbled at the bird. Maybe I think too much about critical thought, worldviews, and legal-historical methods of proof. I’m fairly certain this is so, since I snarked at a bird.
I try again to redirect my thoughts on breath and being. Listening.
I heard a bee buzzing through his morning chores; visiting all the flowers. Humming birds fussed around the feeder; Flying zig-zags in the yard.
The morning continues and the sun rose higher. The song of nature blended into the song of man. The heady scent of mash wafted up from the Elkhorn. Neighbors walk their dogs. The day workers drive away to their stations. A bulldozer motors nearby and a mother yells and hurries her children.
For a moment noisy migratorial geese drown the sounds of the day. Far above them contrails point the way to larger cities.
Just as I begin to feel calm Oldest pokes his head outside. He offers to get the rest of the crew up so we can begin our school day. I felt like I lost the morning since my mind was so full of thoughts and not still.
Despite my feelings the morning endeavor was not a loss. Even distracted time is blessed. I persisted.
“If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.” ~~St. Francis de Sales