Good Evening, God
This title is Mary Oliver’s lessons for living. I resonate with these word! Each one of these acts brings me joy!
Just look at these colorful blossoms! There they were on this small young shower tree as I parked my car right in front of it. They were in my face and they wanted to be seen and shared. So I paused on my errand and focused on them. I wanted to send the photo to my friend, Lani, who is faithful to “pay attention” and respond. But, then, after only the briefest of pauses, I was off on errands . . . not realizing until just a few minutes ago how much these blossoms “wanted” to be seen and shared.
And in seeing them again, I realized that my focus was only on the lovely blossoms. Now, I can see that I also captured a red car! What a surprising juxtaposition! Another delight!
In the Poetry Foundation Maxine Kumin called Mary an “indefatigable guide to the natural world”. And said that she “stands quite comfortably on the margins of things, on the line between earth and sky, the thin membrane that separates human from what we loosely call animal.” This also resonates with me. This is part of the joy in going to the beach! Standing in the lapping waves — standing on both land and sea — with the sky over it all. Feeling as if I was on the edge of all three. Loving the feeling of being “between”. Or maybe it is being where things “meet”?
Perhaps, more significantly, I love paying attention to people I am with. Listening with my heart and senses. Tone of voice . . . facial expressions . . . and body positions. I want to hear fully so that I can connect fully. I want to better understand . . . and to be with them in some unidentifiable way.
And that brings me to prayer. Being with . . . in some unidentifiable way. Opening to the presence and action of Your Indwelling Spirit within me. Consenting! Welcoming! With no idea what might be happening — or even IF anything it happening.
Just being with.