Monday, February 16, 2015

timeless stillness

Are you breathing just a little,
and calling it a life?
~ Mary Oliver

Rushing to start the year, I was snowed in and spent some quiet time at home. At first, I was gripped by a frenzy of housecleaning to fill the time. After a week, I settled into the quiet rhythm of my days, watching the light change over the river, geese flying home in formation at sunset, water solidify into a skin of crackled ice when temperatures dropped. Cozy in my cocoon while snow swirled outside, the pulse of life slowed as the sheer pleasure of found time opened a gateway into the present moment. 

It brought to mind Thomas Merton's descriptive line, the gate of heaven is everywhere. It is these pockets of timelessness in our day when we can sense time unfolding, dissolving into nothingness so this moment becomes infinite. We experience such moments of transcendence when we are at one with our self and nature. This infinite now is the gate of heaven through which we can experience what Merton calls the pure glory of God in us. As the whiteness outside dissolves my sense of time, this moment of nothingness was my portal to a blissful zone of "no program."

This glorious state of being that Merton says is in everybody made me rethink the way I spend my days. Reviewing my calendar of appointments in the weeks ahead, I strike out those that would take time away from my solitude without adding passion or learning or value to my life. It is not easy to do only things that make me feel alive. It means going against the current, not accommodating those who feel they are entitled to your precious time and the biggest offender against yourself is you.

As I approach a milestone birthday, I value time as my most precious resource, a gift I can share that needs to be replenished. Refreshing my spirit allows me to bring the best of my self to others.
Winter has provided this gift of timelessness. I appreciate the moments of stillness to catch up with myself. It reminds me to experience each day fully from now on.