Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pull Up a Chair With Me?

Sunlight slants sideways from the east -- left through rippled green maple leaves -- onto the black metal patio table, green canvas umbrella, and light-tufted flower plants of orange, red, and yellow. The feathery Celosia plumes are beautiful and I find my eyes drawn here often.

Cotton seeds circle and float in aimless patterns; the breeze is desultry, slight. A thumbnail-sized tan and grey moth flutters and lands on the glass deck door. A cotton seed entangles in a maple leaf's margins for a moment before it flips up and is free and gone.

I return to the Bible book of Romans, my second glass of cold sweet coffee halfway through and my green water bottle the same. Romans 8 continues from the last time I picked it up. Wow, that "the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you." That He would live in me is unfathomable sometimes.

You live in me, God? You "make your home with me"? You are Immanuel, "God with us." God who dwells, tents, lives with me, IN me. Thank you, God. You honor me with your presence.

"Yes, I found it! Zank you, God," chirps my youngest son. All six and a half years of him have just scrambled up from under the table where he found a missing Lego piece. This is the second time he has burst into thanking God for something this morning. I love it, and yet his next sentence unnerves me.

"I won! Zank you, God!" His "th's" are sometimes still "Z's" and I crack a sheepish smile at that and the fact that he has just thanked God for winning an Ipad game. I am grinning and yet wondering if a conversation is due now that God has been credited for an electronic game victory. No, I'll wait to see how the future unfolds. I'd rather he be growing and seeing gratitude in the things around him than not.

The verses in Romans continue, moving into a new thought, and I write out verses in my journal, underlining and interacting with the material. Faced with the God of the Universe's statements of residence and his connected thoughts, I am forced to take stock of my responses and actions. My pen scrambles and scrawls. Question marks top sentences, and yet my response flows back into gratitude as well.

That you live in me?! Wow. The wonder of that should never cease to amaze me.

An ethereal transparent sheath of cotton seed has snagged on a yellow tufted plant in my garden box. At times out of sight, at times undulating in the breeze,  it's all I notice now. Tremors on a still plant that dance and sway in the slight wind around it. The seed senses and responds to the air around it in a way the plant is too firmly rooted to the earth to do in kind. By the cotton seed's tremors and dance, however, I can see the air's constant currents.

It reminds me of the spirit dancing in me too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Peach Pits, Magic Acts, and What Will Thrill You

I saw them this week, all lined up just waiting. Five dried peach pits, riddled with crevices and cracks, laying flat on the soil awash in potential and wonder.
Photo: Christopher Bowns, Creative Commons cc license
Daniel puts them there, this sweet little towheaded blonde six and a half year old. Since learning of gardening and plants, he now saves the seeds from any fruit he loves and plants them in my houseplants. Five dried peach pits line the surface of my indoor banana plant now.

His wonder and magic float even farther, though.

My dad was here a few weeks ago, using slight-of-hand to vanish nickels in an old fashioned linen handkerchief and magically pound spice jars through my dining room table. Daniel was entranced and reached his own hands up to test behind his ears and behind Grandpa's ears too for the missing coins. And my heart caught with delight to see my son's wonder and belief. Belief that anything was possible, and that coins could indeed materialize from behind ears and spice jars from within tables.

I slipped away this morning, just me and my smooth-rolling gel pen and other writing materials, intent on this summer's writing project. In a local Caribou Coffee, I laid out my pens and notebooks, sipped hot fresh coffee, and started scratching ink across page.
Photo: Frederik Rubensson, Creative Commons cc license
I have been reading dozens of books on writing and am convinced that the process and discipline of learning from others, of showing up to do the work, and of continued learning and revising can bring magical results. And so this morning at a sunny coffee-shop table, I warmed up, stared off into space for a while, marshaling my thoughts; and then, with grace-filled expectations for myself, I scribbled word after word, lining them up. Words, sentences, and scrawled near-unintelligible pages coiled side by side in spiral binding. My hand cramped, and I stopped for a chocolate croissant before jumping into another timed session of writing.

I believe in wonder. I believe in lining up the creviced peach pits, lining up for work with the tools ready, and jumping in. I don't know what passions or hobbies or goals you have waiting for you, but I understand the demands, the delays, the distractions.

You can do this. Show up. Do the work. And the wonder and magic will float through.

Line by line, awash in excitement; peach pit by creviced peach pit.