This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy; a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. – Rumi Translated by Coleman Barks
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the gentle moon and joyful stars, that watch over the darkest night. You are the source of all peace, reconciling the whole universe to the Father. You are the source of all rest, calming troubled hearts, and bringing sleep to weary bodies. You are the sweetness that fills our minds with quiet joy, and can turn the worst nightmares into dreams of heaven. May I dream of your sweetness, rest in your arms, be at one with your Father, and be comforted in the knowledge that you always watch over me. Erasmus
“Heaven is a radical act of grace on God’s part.””Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when , year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign with us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted.” Paul Tillich
Nesting, working and traveling the past few weeks have taken me away from my writing. I’ve been visiting Benny and Pete at the farm, guest teaching, fixing up the house and trying to keep it warm, juggling a crisis here and there, and working down in Manitou Springs.
Gracie called me the other day and told me I should be expecting a box from UPS. She tracked the box to Colorado Springs, about 30 miles from where I live up the mountain. I told her I usually see the tired UPS man burning rubber down our dirt road around 6pm as I am driving home some evenings. He looks haggard and in a hurry to park his big brown monster in civilization for the night. I doubt too many package delivery men volunteer for our rugged territory in the Rampart Range. Unless they appreciate a great view, that is. Well, the box was waiting for me on the moonlit front porch and after a day that made my bones and muscles scream for rest and warmth, I scooped it up with a smile and opened it. I love surprises! There were several little surprises in it and a card. I opened the red and white striped box first and there it was. The ANNOUNCEMENT! A Child Will Be BORN! This was inscribed in pretty red paint on a beautiful white opaque ornament. And his/her name will not be Jesus, is my bet. Grace and Cal’s child is to be born in June and I’m sure of it this time. Teary eyed and full of faith sure of it!
Tonight I soaked in the tub outside in the middle of the Forest. My legs kept me awake in the early hours of the morning today so I thought I’d loosen them up a bit with hot water before I turned in for the night. I didn’t want to turn on the loud gurgling water jets because it was so peaceful in the darkness. The moon hadn’t wound around to my viewpoint yet, but the stars were bright points and patterns, peeking through the tall pines that encased me on this beautiful mountain night. Thank you. When I looked up to the stars I said thank you, thinking of my family and friends. One of those friends sent me something special in the mail today. Thank you. Came from an old fishing buddy of mine, Bill Tikwinski from St. Paul, MN. It was a card with a beautiful orange Autumn leaf on the front that announced that a tree had been planted in my honor in a National Forest. I love trees. Thank you. Gosh, and I’m not even dead yet…But it’s an awesome gesture just out of the blue. Tikwinski had a stroke a few years ago right before I left Minnesota and has had some recent surgery. Anyway, I think I’ll have a tree planted for him too, since I live on the edge of a National Forest and a National Fossil Bed Monument. Thank you. Going back to the tub in the Forest; I heard little birds under the eaves of the house and it sounded like they were snoring lightly. Long little song- like peeps from above my head. It was a neat little sound and in the darkness of the forest the little bird sounds were comforting. Then a dog or something less domestic, started to howl and I pushed myself through the steam and out to the steps and to the ground to head inside. Thank you, night. Thank you, stars. Thank you, little snoring birds.