Monday, November 26, 2007

Simply Beautiful

Today has been one of those days, ones of those simply beautiful days.
One of those ordinary days that is easy to overlook.
I haven't overlooked this one.
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Waking up after an invigorating, most enjoyable dream

A few silent moments in front of the Christmas tree before every else woke up

The beginnings of preparation for a retreat I will lead in April

Exercise

Two cups of tea: lapsang souchang and mango green

Breakfast with Kristiana: an egg sandwich she made for me

Reading to and with her: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Blue Like Jazz

Walking Maya in the rain (yes, rain. Thanks be to God!)

Washing my hair

Cream, scented oil, knee high socks, a denim skirt, black shirt, and chenille scarf

Homeschooling with my 9th grade daughter

Ice water to drink

Sitting in the minivan with K outside of her horseback riding barn, chatting

Watching her walk into the barn in her riding pants, boots, chaps, and helmet. That daughter of mine is growing up. Tall, elegant, beautiful. Smart, gentle, kind. Where on earth did she come from?!?!?!

Sitting in the van alone, listening to Christmas music, journaling, nibbling on mint M&Ms, reading a book on how to maintain hope in the face of a difficult relationship, dreaming of travel, wishing I had brought tea in my thermos.

Listening to the rain land on the van

Coming home to a warm, cozy house

Cuddling with Daniel, putting him to bed at 8:30, praying with him, and kissing him good-night... being glad that my 11-year-old still likes to be "put to bed"

Doing some preparation work for a holiday journaling project: Journaling Your Christmas with Shimelle. I am very excited about getting started. I hope to be able to adapt it to ongoing journaling projects I'd like to do. Apparently, Shimelle leads online journaling and scrapbooking classes often. If this one goes well, I may take another one.

Sitting here at my computer in my red robe, blue slippers, alone in my study.

As I sit here, writing, thinking, reflecting, I am reminded of so many quotes from so many books. I look over at my shelf and see Kathleen Norris's ode to daily life: The Quotidian Mysteries. I see Denise Roy's ode to motherhood: My Monastery is a Minivan. I see Becca Stevens' Sanctuary, a book about the unexpected places where she met up with God's grace. And John Eldredge's book title, The Journey of Desire, always sends me into spasms of fantasy. Which journey? Which desires will finally be met? When and where?

At the end of it all, after finishing each book and sighing that last sigh, underlining the pithy statement that I hope will end all the aforementioned sighing, after cutting out and gluing the ideal image into my journal, the book that lays so many of my ideals to (what often feels like eternal) rest,
in the end, I usually feel both grateful and discontented.
I am drawn in to the mystery of this life and dulled by the dailyness of it.
I seek sanctuary and am deeply enamored with the idea of escape.
So many desires, so few journeys.
All those feelings. Ebbing and flowing. All at the same time.



Today, however, I lay those contradictory feelings and thoughts aside.
Right now, this moment is simply beautiful.

7 comments:

jmgb said...

i wish to be there enjoying it with you...:)

sit yourself in it gail, until you are pruned and defined by the process of sitting in joy.

Lisa said...

You wrote: "I usually feel both grateful and discontented.
I am drawn in to the mystery of this life and dulled by the dailyness of it.
I seek sanctuary and am deeply enamored with the idea of escape."

This explains EXACTLY where I am these days! Sometimes my rather schizophrenic thoughts and feelings are too much and I feel as if my head (or heart) will explode!

Thank you, dear Gail, for articulating these words of wisdom and affirmation. We are so blessed to have each other in the midst of the messiness.

I think I'll go make some tea :-)

Shelby said...

"I seek sanctuary and am deeply enamored with the idea of escape.
So many desires, so few journeys.
All those feelings. Ebbing and flowing. All at the same time."

You so eloquently capture kindred thoughts and wonders and mysteries and quiet intense soulfulness . .

Thank you.

Your day was exceptionally beautiful.

Amy said...

Gail,

I love John Eldredge, Kathleen Norris, and Donald Miller. I'm going to have to check out "Sanctuary."

This posting is absolutely lovely and heart warming. A warm house, tea, robe, and family ... it doesn't get much better!

What's your retreat topic?

Amy

Amy said...

By the way, I can identify with the ebbing and flowing and contradictory thoughts. Thanks for reminding me to live in the moment.

Ella said...

Ah... living in the moment is the constant battled for us all. Touching and life affirming words of wisdom.

amy said...

as i read your blog i think you and your friends might enjoy reading a new book just out: Brown Like Coffee. i found it at brownlikecoffee.com