Welcome to the unfolding of a new year! At this turning of the season, we look back with gratitude on the past and peer hopefully into the future. Outside, shortened days and wintry chill seem to suspend time as nature burrows in to wait. Snow has cast its icy aura over barren trees silhouetted against a soundless, white landscape. And yet beneath the ice, the seeds of spring are waiting to be born anew. Perhaps we too need to slow our heart rates, burrow down within our souls, and gather near the warmth and light to discover the timelessness of grace. Let the gift of winter be the practice of being fully present to each sacred moment as we wait to see what will be born anew within our hearts.
I abandon all that I think I am, all that I hope to be, all that I believe I possess. I let go of the past, I withdraw my grasping hand from the future, and in the great silence of this moment, I alertly rest my soul.
For a child, time as the great circus parade of past, present, and future, cause and effect, has scarcely started yet and means little because for a child all time is by and large NOW time and apparently endless. What child, while summer is happening, bothers to think much that summer will end? What child, when snow is on the ground, stops to remember that not long ago the ground was snowless? It is by content rather than its duration that a child knows time, by its quality rather than its quantity — happy and sad times.
I live in unfamiliar places:
The unknowing of empty spaces
Between what was and what is yet to be.
It is the hardest earthly place for me
To dwell within, pause, absolutely still.
Knowing only God and love can fill
The wanting, one drop at a time.
It's only through the heart's abiding
That Wisdom might be found hiding
In the shadows of such Sacred Pause.
I offer up what was to mourn in empty spaces,
Let go of worn embraces
So what is yet to be
May somehow birth in me.
Life may be brimming over with experiences, but somewhere, deep inside, all of us carry a vast and fruitful loneliness wherever we go. And sometimes the most important thing in the whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inward in prayer for five short minutes.
In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts... It's essential during the day ... to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.
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