Most mornings, I like to sit with my vat of tea at my table in the solarium watching the dawn seep into the darkness and saturate it with the new day. I read, journal, and observe what is happening outside my window. The east sky wears a ruby red ribbon and blushes crimson as the sun makes its debut. Light spills across the snow bathing the sparkling snow in warm light. Trees are frosted and dazzle with an other-world-ness. Chick-a-dees and sparrows flit to the seed platter and hurry away with a morsel. The finches look like they have swallowed the spring sunshine as their feathers become deeper yellow.
Years ago, in Richard Foster’s book “Celebration of Discipline”, I read about his ideas on meditating. One of the meditative practices he suggested was meditating on creation. “Take a flower and allow its beauty and symmetry to sink deep into your mind and heart” he writes. He talks about watching the little creatures that creep and listening to the birds. While these are humble acts, he writes, “… sometimes God reaches us profoundly in these simple ways if we will quiet ourselves to listen.” I have experienced this feeling, this knowing, of taking notice and having it “sink deep”. Years later, at a retreat, this same idea was reshaped into the simple word notice.
However, there are days, weeks, and even seasons when my mornings don’t have room for quiet contemplation. Duty calls or busyness crowds out the empty spaces. Recently I’ve been doing some reading online which, though necessary, does not have the same contemplative quality. While even our good habits need to have the flexibility to be set aside when needed, I have come to realize how life-giving contemplative quiet and solitude is to my interior landscape.
When the ordinary isn’t existing, I miss it and come to a place of awareness that the ordinary is indeed sacred.