Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The attached paintng by Belinda Del Pesco is entitled "Monterey Retreat".I love the quiet,the calmness of the room.We lived in California once in the '70s.The children were 3 and 1 and the tri-plex we rented was in Huntington Beach which is also near the ocean.We were there during a serious earthquake that terrified my Mother-in-law who called from New York demanding that we move home.At 6 A.M.that morning the dogs started to bark,many of them ,and then the house began to shift back and forth.I prepared for death and wondered what a nice girl from New York was doing there.
What I remember most about that time,however, was the air from the sea with its kelp,salt scent coming in the porch window.Walking with my toddlers to the library in perfect January weather and teaching Sunday School to third graders.On my last day, Rose, a sweet blond cherub, gave me a note telling me I was her favorite teacher ever.I still have it.
I walk into this room and notice the coolness,the gentleness of its colors.One change will have to be made.A writing desk has to be found and put up against that window so that I can hear the palms rattling with the wind outside.They slap together as I start to put pen to paper.The flowers in the afternoon shade can be seen if the window covering is opened:the brilliance of the orange and purple Bird of Paradise makes me smile.
The soft dark chair to the right has a small bamboo table with a clear glass vase that holds a rooting bright green philodendron.It is here that I put my Bible,and Liturgy of the Hours and my watch.This chair is where I will go to engage in prayer.
Joseph Campbell,famed educator and author of numerous books on mythology says this:
"I walk off Fifty-first Street and Fifth Avenue into St.Patrick's Cathedral.I've left a very busy city and one of the most economically inspired cities on the planet.I walk into that cathedral and everything around me speaks of spiritual mysteries.The mystery of the cross,what's that all about up there?The stained glass windows,which bring another atmosphere in.My consciousness has been brought up to another level altogether,and I am on a different platform.And then I walk out,and I am back on the level of the street again.Now,how can I hold some of that cathedral consciousness?"
St.Francis of Assisi used to pull his rough brown hood over his head and all knew that he was in his "church".In prayer.So this room is now my church and when I go to it this is what I am saying:
I believe in the unseen.I am leaving what we call the real world of sight and sound and I will engage with the Spirit world,my true home when this life is over.The real world of sun ,sky and beauty is a reflection of what is to come, where every tear will be wiped away.I go into this room, shut the door and there I will receive guidance, not from newspapers or TV ,on how to live my life to be the most blessed one.In the quiet, I will praise God and this lifts my soul.I will ask for blessings for those that I love and I will receive ideas of things to do that will make this world more loving,holy.When I leave, I am a slightly different person and I do trail some of that grace behind me.