"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Five-Sense Friday

The view from my favorite meditation spot on Galliano Island

In his book The Gift of Being Yourself, David Benner suggests taking fifteen minutes at the end of the day to meditate:  first, to read and meditate on a story from the Gospels and imagine yourself there watching Jesus in action; then, to look back on your day, letting the events and emotions wash over you without judgment and to quietly acknowledge the times when you felt God with you.

The first time I read this advice about five years ago, it felt like a drink of cool water on parched lips.  I was really burnt out by the idea of "devotions."  For years I had tried to force myself to "read my Bible daily." This phrase had acquired a buzzing cloud of connotations that plagued me--My perfectionist self felt compelled to engage intellectually, emotionally and morally with the text every day.  To learn something, feel convicted, repent and apply my new knowledge.  It was a very heavy yoke.

But imagining Jesus?  I could do that.  And thinking about my day?  I do that all the time, only I do it to judge my weaknesses.  It was so much better to look for God.  Today's Five-sense Friday is written in the spirit of this gentle remembrance.

Today I am...

Seeing: Wet white sky.  White snow slowly washing away.  Food colors: orange pumpkin, ruby beets, purple plum jam, vivid leafy green, white turnips, cream swirls in my rooibos tea. Chubby fingers grasping and pinching and eating and feeling.  More computer-glow than I ought (always more computer-glow than I ought).

Feeling:  Soft baby skin.  Slimy beets from the bottom of the produce drawer.  A cool knife for an hour of chopping.  A peeler slip catches my nail.

Smelling:  Diapers (always diapers).  The wetness of drool.  Burnt squash seeds in the bottom of the oven.  Onions and garlic (always onions and garlic). 

Tasting:  Bagel with cream cheese.  Noodles with gravy.  White wine.  Borsht.  Biscuits.  Almond pound cake. Tea-warmth, like a sleeping cat curled up on my chest.

Hearing:  "Ba, ba, ba, ba" says Lucy.  "I love you" says her Daddy to us both.  Shh, shh says the rain.  "Thank you" say our friends when their tummies are full.

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