Friday, December 4, 2020

Before It Is Light

I am an early riser.

Always have been.

Friday is my Sabbath.

Has been at least since seminary.

I rarely, if ever sleep in.

One of the gifts of the pandemic with my daughter being in virtual school and us being in a new state is that I do not have to interrupt my Friday repose by early morning forays out into the world. I am cherishing every moment of it. Coffee in peace, the entire house still asleep before the first light breaks through the darkness, nothing stirring, just me, in space.

This morning as I was sitting in my favorite blue leather chair, I sipped a latte, and thought about all the possibilities that are in an unfolding moment. 

My library is filled with books. Each one is carefully curated. As we are settling into our home, we are preparing to hang the artwork that will make this place complete. So I sat here this morning, sipping my latte, looking at the first crest of light, and thinking about how just being in space, in the dark, is a gift.

Too often, in the America of my adulthood, busyness was prized. That quest of success and being productive.  We prize burning the candle and all-nighters.

But what of the pause?

The moment?

Just being still?

The more this pandemic rages on and the things I used to enjoy seem like possibilities of disease and death, the more I think about how we could be missing what is in this collective pause.

No, the preventable deaths are not the gift, in fact, they are the curse of what should have been a reset.

How well are we attending to self and others?

In this Advent season of hope and expectation, I wondered, in the darkness, if we were missing the possibilities of renewed life.

What if the pause was for the Earth to replenish herself from the onslaught of human debris? What if she needed a moment to simply breathe in silence? What if this pandemic was her warning signal that we were going too far and doing too much and needed to reset?


I am thinking about what we could miss in the want of returning to normal.

It was never normal that shopping for fast fashion was entertainment. I remember having only one long Black wool coat that got me through the bite of Chicago winters. One Coach purse that I saved up to buy and one pair of Black pumps that took me to my professional job. I had one pair of jeans and one pair of athletic shoes. Back then, I only went to the Mall twice a year, usually centered around uniform shopping for my sons or the holidays. It was not an everyday thing.

The same thing about eating out.

Now, I enjoy good food. I love it, in fact, to be able to go to a local eatery and be on the other end of a chef's creations. Or pop into a local bakery or coffee shop. But, in this pause wondering how much of what was once special became ordinary.

What have we lost of ourselves that when the world pauses, the collective we are still trying to figure out how to live?

No, it is not normal to be in front of a screen all day. Whether meetings or virtual school or the never ending checks of our social media, it was never normal before the pandemic. We are missing life checking into the illusion of life on a device

Thinking about going into the long dark winter and what we can gain from it. 

Animals hibernate to give their bodies rest, to renew themselves to emerge in the spring refreshed and renewed.

What if it is a time for us to pull back in, turn it off, and renew ourselves?

Who can we connect with in real life through writing a real letter or picking up the phone for more than a selfie? 

Where can we find areas in our life to enhance our gifts or purpose for the sheer joy of being?

I am musing, in the dawning of this new day, and thinking about how to absorb this time I may never have again, to inhale deeply, exhale, and pause.

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