you should have seen the speed at which hound patrol performed their duties on that frosty grass! me...i felt sorry for my poor birds flitting around the empty feeder which is thankfully right outside the back door, & so i too had the joy of that arctic air. & just like hound patrol, i moved quickly to give our visitors a treat under threat of freezing in place...in a flash i was back by the fire with coffee in hand! for those of you who are laughing at 19F & would consider this a heatwave, please remember that this is oh-so-not-normal for the southern coast of NC. y'all have my deepest sympathies if this cold is remotely normal for you!
one thing i very much like about winter is the semi-hibernation mode it induces in me. i am perfectly content in layers of flannel & wool, wrapped in my blankie, staring into the flames in our hearth, watching the birds eat breakfast...i would not want this semi-hiberation to be everyday, all the time...but it is for a season & i am enjoying it as it comes.
it is a time of clearing mental cobwebs...& yes, reflecting on resolutions (it's still january & i'm running with it!). over these past 2 weeks i've had some big nudges beyond the typical "clean your closets organization" (yes, jen, i'm stuck on that thought too!) & "check your eating/exercising habits" resolutions.
last week, less than a month after we were there, costa rica experienced an earthquake with the epicenter at one of the places we visited & the mudslides at near another. yesterday, there was a plane crash on the airline we are most likely to fly on a route very likely for us (thank God, all were safe!).
those things make you think. a lot.
there, but for the grace of God, go i. (D. reminds me of this often.)
a number of years ago i read the rule of st. benedict & one thought that stuck in a deep place was his rule (chapter IV) "to keep death daily before one's eyes."this thought seemed hard to bear as i was firmly entrenched in the world of newborns & small children, but it was like a dog with a bone in my soul. my mind would not let go...this idea would not be silenced because it speaks volumes about how to live.
it is hard to do...we want to forget about death, but it puts things in perspective.
i waste a lot of time.
what if i die this morning, this evening, tonight?
how have i lived this day, this week, last year?
in the face of death, is what i normally do important? will i regret it, am i ashamed of it?
for me, it starts with love...do i love God with all that i am? do i love my neighbor as myself?with death right before my eyes, what does this love look like?
first morning time in quiet solitude, just God & me...with me~~ listening.
niches of solitude during the day...listening.
people before things, always. a soft answer when needed, but again, mostly listening.
& most especially, loving my "enemies."
in my mind "enemy" is a harsh word. i think of war & the threat of death when i hear this word. i do not live in a war zone nor do i know of one who has verbalized a wish for my death. my "enemies" are more like those who have said unkind words about me, who have excluded me. do i love them? do i pray for their blessings?
death is the great equalizer.
we all pass over. none of us knows to what.
the thought of that togetherness in this of humanity abates my anger at my "enemies"...it opens a way for my empathy for them &, most importantly, my forgiveness & love for them. my job is not to worry about my "enemy's" reaction to me or to ruminate over wrongs done to me, but it is simply to love them. geesh, how many times a day to i inadvertently - or sadly, intentionally - wrong another? of course, i want forgiveness...just like everyone else.
if i die today, this week, this month, this year...i want to leave love as my legacy.
& so my new year's resolution comes down to something like this...asking myself a million times throughout each day of '09 "is this what love looks like?"
i also think i will re-read st. benedict's rule.
(for the record...yes, i would get on a plane today & yes, i would return to costa rica!)
& finally, something D. & i have embraced for years...in '09 i will continue to celebrate life daily!!