I stand at my prayer room window in awe.What was grey and brown is now light, magical green.There is a white volunteer dogwood out there among the trees ,mocking our efforts to have one grow in the yard and close to the floodplain,there are ten wild native azaleas;pink,white and red.They are not at all like the yard ones.The delicate blooms are high on a thin trunk spaced from other trees so they catch some sun.They also have a lovely perfume should you reach up and pull a branch down.They are always there but when the flowers fall,they become anonymous.
This year ,I haven't gone out to see them, busy I guess.But it makes me smile to think of that beauty growing by itself ,this Georgia bounty,by my river.
Twice a day,I say the Liturgy of the Hours:morning and evening prayer.It is the prayer of the whole church and my monks at the monastery stop five times a day to chant these scripture prayers together in that light bathed church in Conyers.Sometimes my morning prayer is done at noon, sometimes, I only do one or none.But when I miss, I feel I have failed at important work.
After reading a book by the wonderful Heather King, who came late to the Church and Christ, I see it differently.I can't find it in her book now but this is how she sees it.God, our Lover, is always there.Always.How could He not be? He is All.And when I pray, I am turning my heart, my mind to that All. He is a winding river that flows and flows near, far, above and below.A river of light and truth and when I stop, take my shoes off and put my feet in, I know that river.
As I type, a leaf is moving downstream, 'though I can't view it.I see the brown water, the small beech leaf turning this way and that.When I pray, I put myself in His Presence.My toes wiggle around, I ask questions and I bubble with deep gratitude .If I don't turn, I remove myself from the Presence and the swirling flow is not Him but this world.I lose the connection that keeps me anchored and sane.That stills my heart.
For all:pink azaleas, white dogwood, brown river and the prayer of the Church, I thank Thee.