Friday, August 26, 2016

Lying On The Grass


Sometimes I like nothing more than to lay on the grass in our backyard and look up at the trees, through the leaves of them, to see the sky. One of my favorite things is clouds. I lay still and motionless, so much so that butterflies have landed on me. I have felt their movement on my arm. Or a bird (a Robin: fat and humorous in his appearance like Dicken's Pickwick) has gotten so close that I could, quiet easily, touch it with my fingers.

Blades of grass tickle my ears.

In that moment, lying there, I do not worry about the thousand different other things I could (or should) be doing. I am content.

My thoughts are focused.

I'm aware of the earth beneath me and the breath within me.

Even though there is the sound of cars whizzing by our house, I find myself forgetting them. Only the sounds of birdsong is heard.

In this moment, this is the whole, beautiful, numinous world.

I dig my fingers into the soil; the dirt getting in my fingernails. I am made from this earth. Humus. Human. "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." What an image to envision. Adam. Adamah (earth). We are connected, this earth and I.

I close my eyes and focus on my breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Breath of God. Giver of life.

Breathing, is it not a beautiful sound? To hear your own? Or your spouse's as they are sleeping. It is one of the most beautiful sounds. Along with silence. And the ocean. And wind. Falling rain. Or a hymn being sung.

How overwhelming it is to realize how God has created all of this connected. To lay there, on the grass, and doing nothing else is a form of prayer.  I feel awe just as many others do standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. I feel reverence for the magnitude of this moment that will make up so many more moments, that make up a life and that my life is connected to those around me (even those I don't know and will never meet).

As I am still, the insects are busy at work in the ground beneath me. A whole world that I cannot see but that is as grand as the universe above me, beyond those clouds I love to watch slowly gather and fold and unfold.

And, in that moment, to understand that there will come a day in which I will lie beneath this earth and return to it and feed the life that lives in the darkness of soil.

Many would quickly leave these thoughts, but to comprehend death is to appreciate life.

So I savor this moment, until one of my sons will come dashing out of the house, calling my name, "Papa! Papa" and, as he stands over me, ask, "What are you doing?"

"Join me," I will tell him and pat the ground beside me, "and hear the voice of God."


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