The View

theview

I’m sitting here at my window overlooking the back yard and on into our neighbors’ yards. Leafy spires, from the usually well-cropped hedge just under the window, are blocking my view.

I note how apt a picture this is of my life today. Numerous things on the to-do list (both creative and otherwise) are clamoring for my mind’s attention, waving their flags in my face. I can barely see the view beyond for all their wiggly waving.

As a pilgrim, I keep thinking that the path before me must surely be open and free of obstruction, well-marked and manicured for sure footing along the journey. But this jumble is often my view at the trail’s head, at the start of a day’s walk. As my pen moves around the page, recording the view, this notion begins to take shape:

THE VIEW is not merely the open lawn beyond the overgrown brush,

but rather all of this…THIS is the view.

This is the way forward today…stepping into and among those leafy spires keeping one eye on the ground at my feet and the other eye at the open space I see through the high-as-an-elephant’s-eye weedy growth.

As I begin to walk, I reach out to touch one of the spires. It is marked “errands”. Another is marked “teaching”. I look around at all of them and my heart begins to open to the fact that all of this is my view today. And I embrace the wonder and beauty of an overgrown hedge.

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May you walk your camino today embracing the view, whatever it may contain.

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I’m getting warmed up for #Inktober, an online participation in drawing every day with ink and sharing it somehow, either on Facebook or Instagram or blog. It starts in two days…I hope you’ll consider participating as well! I’ll definitely be posting on Instagram and I hope to pop in here with reflections from that journey. October will surely offer some amazing views from the end of our ink pens! Let’s #Inktober together!

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jenniferedwards.com

Dance in Stillness

birchtease

I walk out on our deck this morning, coffee and journal in hand, and I stop at the surprise. It appears as if a party has happened overnight. Birch has danced through the night shimmying and shaking her golden hair till it fell across all surfaces of the deck..chairs, table, planters. I took my seat to soak in the view, the breeze, the sunlight peeking through the trees.

I long for this. The stillness of morning. The hope of nature’s party. The falling of leafy confetti in shades of yellow, rust and brown with a few greens cast here and there. To sit and listen, breath in and breath out…stillness…a daily practice I never perfect, but which grows in desire.

The breeze I listen to has an ebb and flow. Much like the ocean. Same with my need and desire for stillness. I note in my journal that when life ramps up in velocity and concerns, my desire to be still increases as well. When I’ve created something at a high level of intensity, then I experience a longing for “just this”, or “just that”. As in–all I want is to sit outside and just knit. Or just draw. And then there are times I only want to sit and listen, growing increasingly aware that I am here in this moment, alive,Β well, beloved of God, held and upheld by His grace and mercy. The party all around me is evidence of this. A golden bit of confetti falls on my shoulder, one in my hair, and two on the white page. Love coming down to rest on me. Mercy from above, grace on the surfaces all around me.

In this posture let me live, Father. I long to carry this stillness with me into the fray of a day’s work, a mother’s emotions, an artist’s vision. Would that I, this ordinary pilgrim, could then dance to the tune, not of worry and strife, but of beauty and grace. And in the dancing, might there be golden confetti fluttering around me as the breeze blows hither and yon.

Can I dance in stillness? The birch knows how. I watch her. Her three-pronged trunk stands unmoving while her long slender arms sway gracefully in the breeze. I need this practice ofΒ stillness to anchor my feetΒ to the ground while the winds of life, love, and the Spirit blow through and all around me.

I gather my things to leave the party deck. Wistfully I wonder if that stillness will be shattered once I enter the house and go about my day. But no. I remember…the stillness is within.

And there’s a golden leafΒ still clinging to my shoulder.

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Whatever your Camino looks like today:

May youΒ walk through your days strengthened by stillness;

listening to His still, small voice in the breeze;

scattering golden confetti around you.