Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday's Small Pleasures

Easter and Low Sunday are past--this year the Triduum sped by in a blur of activity, illness, and worship. After attending the UND Writers Conference at the end of March, I managed to contract a nasty cold that lingered until post-Easter mid-week. During the Good Friday Litany, while kneeling at the foot of the cross in one of the country sanctuaries, I had the pleasure of a rare coughing fit--the organist ran for water and a parishioner slipped up behind me with a cough drop. I ended up with tears running down my face and into my collar from a combination of being overcome by the service and the physical act of coughing so hard. The moment of epiphany came when I processed out of the sanctuary in the evening stillness and looked northward across the fields--a stunning sight. Tones of earth brown, tan, yellow, and white gold interspersed with flecks of green, bluish evening sky, and the brilliant sunset colors embodied both the reality of Christ's death and the hope of the resurrection to come. It was one of those frozen moments in time that I won't forget.

But this morning I sit with a delightful cup of chai, lazily coming round from last week's busyness before facing the week ahead, and counting the small pleasures of the Monday day off and the blessings of this vocation. There's the bliss of a good quality, freshly-sharpened pencil--the scent of the wood and graphite combined, the graceful way the words in my journal roll out beneath its point. And then there's the sight of my faithful companions all three gathered on the parsonage office futon--Spatchy the pastel tabby sprawled across the back, Pete the beloved companion and Springer Spaniel stretched across the seat amongst the papers that should be dealt with and the upcoming week's confirmation lesson, and the newest addition, Truffles, my daughter's toy poodle puppy, curled at Pete's side. The notes of Vivaldi's Four Seasons surround my head, remind me of time's gentle passage this day, and calm my heart that would seek to be "doing" instead of "being". Just for a time this brings comfort. It's a comfort much needed before a routine of stretching and praying and walking. After that, the rhythm of this day will take flight, carrying me along on its waves until at long last I am able to settle in with a cup of peppermint tea, a good book, and what I hope will be a peaceful night's sleep. Shalom to you all. May your Monday be blessed.