The sky bloomed blue today. The thermometer rose to sleeveless. Willows at the bottom of the property greened up noticeably, and lilac nubs became leaves. On Hope Mountain (the sewage mound turned rock garden) the tulips pushed out buds, a solid promise to bloom as brightly as a Crayola box — soon.
Spring comes leaping here on the prairies. By the time you read this, I’ll have to peek at the sky through a canopy of green. The thought tickles me.
I sat on our back deck after I finished my work tonight. The Preacher had another commitment, so I popped a bowl of popcorn and indulged in my first lawn chair session this season. Birds soared overhead, weed tendrils in their beaks.
Words, spoken and written, mine and others’, have been the backbone of my work for decades. The ones God and I assemble for this column are a delight to work with. Others touch things far more complicated, and some, significantly less pleasant. Handling those words, I sometimes catch a whiff of something acrid — the odour of gray matter overheating, perhaps?
While I appreciate my vocation, I often forget that I NEED to step away and raise my eyes. To appreciate simple things such as birdsong, popcorn, and clouds combed like a dowager’s hair across blue satin. To remain far from words, until stillness quiets my soul.
There’s a vast difference between sitting still and being still. Sitting still can be a frenetic and strenuous business. Even a child knows it. Told to sit on a naughty stool by his mother, and then praised for doing so, one tyke responded, with gritted teeth: “I may be sitting on the outside, but on the inside I’m STANDING UP!” Anyone who spends a large portion of their days sitting — either behind a desk or in meetings — understands that.
I spent thirteen hours straight at my computer yesterday, chasing deadlines mostly. Trying to get ahead — an impossible task, considering that some are renewed weekly, even daily. On days like that, my vision fuzzes and the muscles on my shoulders string up barbed wire.
Those are the days I need the reminder that God commands periods of stillness. Inner stillness AND outer stillness. He knows we need it like air. Our spirits sense his voice more clearly in stillness. And what he says first is almost comical: Surprise! You’re human. Not God. That’s my job. Be still and KNOW that.
I have a feeling I’m not the only one who needs that reminder today.