"...paying attention requires no equipment, no special clothes, no greens fees or personal trainers. You do not even have to be in particularly good shape. All you need is a body on this earth, willing to notice where it is, trusting that even something as small as a hazelnut can become an altar in this world." -- Barbara Brown Taylor
"When you have put into practice the thing you are talking about, then speak from knowledge of the thing itself." -- The Wisdom of the Desert
Sunrise Sister recently wrote a powerful post about how her reading choices had taken on a theme of which she was unaware during the selection process. A similar thing is happening to me, and for now the theme seems to be paying attention.
A couple of weeks ago I began reading The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton, in preparation for my upcoming trip to the Sinai Desert. A while back a dear friend suggested I might enjoy Taylor's, An Altar in the World. Recently it became the book that most wanted to hop onto my Kindle pages. Having just finished a chapter in Altar titled, "Reverence," I found it a perfect prompt to review the glorious day I am currently experiencing.
I feel the evening breeze blow across my face as the late afternoon sun begins to set. My golden cat sits nearby, tasting his paws and grooming his coat of gold in beams of precious light. An ice cream truck plays "Merrily, merrily, life is but a dream" and mercifully fades into the distance. Crows caw and sparrows chirp outside my window.
Earlier as I drove home from yoga with the convertible top down, the sun shone on my warm, moist skin as the wind blew my hair wildly across my face. "Unwritten" poured from the stereo and as I looked overhead, a pure white seagull pierced the light denim sky. Heaven on earth. Reverence for these small, great things. Majestic. Awesome.
Fuschia-colored peonies. Miniscule ants of ebony. Golden fur and fluff. Gentle breeze. Strong-brewed coffee crinkling over ice. The feel of glorious, perfect sunshine after days of gray to numerous to count. Strength of my body bending backwards and sinking my spine into the floor. Sweat on my brow. Air moving down my throat and into my lungs, then pressing out again. Dirt beneath my fingernails. Smell of freshly mowed grass. Blisters on my feet. Lavender bubbles in my tub. Crushed ice and freshly squeezed lemon. My daughter's endless legs teetering on silver heels as she heads to prom. Lilting country music drifts from the stereo. An evening fading. A night beginning. A body well loved. A heart received. A spirit full.
These are a few of the things I've noticed today - paid attention to - revered. Oh, that I could speak from their knowledge. Perhaps tomorrow.
"yoga" SoulCollage card by lucy