Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: October 27, 2004


It is a light rain, a light rain falling on the now thin layer of snow covering the ground, a light rain which sometime during the night will turn to snow, most likely, and make a tomorrow much like today. The fog was thick through the day, the weather not quite sure if it was here or there, rain or snow. The snow on the ground decided it would leave, only not too quickly. It was a nonchalant melt.

This made it a kind of slushy snow, with thick water and a crunchy top, and a driveway much like a waterfall. A day for staring outside, for pondering mysteries too grand for a sun filled day, and for fixing computers which don’t admit to having an operating system despite the fact there was one there when last noticed.

Yeah, that’s my day, a day not as much directed towards writing as for earning my keep. Often this is through creative contribution, today it was by use of my vestigial technology skills. Yeah, there was an operating system still there, only it needed coaxing from its hidden lair after being frightened by some unknown terror. I led it to the light only with promise of vanquishing the terror.

Using heroic words makes computer talk sound much more interesting. All day it was running a check, scanning the system, cleaning out the entrails of long deceased programs, and generally engaging in emergency medicine for a computer which the Tech support declared near to death. I think it’s okay, and now with a lesson taught of the importance of backing up vital material, the night ends with peace. Earning my keep… that and other ways, so I don’t mind the break of a day.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the major gaps in a real spirituality is patience. Patience is the key to walking with the Spirit, patience is the essence of a heart listening for God. Some of the most heinous of spiritual mistakes come from our insistence on action and intent to force our way into a world run by God. The heart that is able to step back, and embrace the fullness of waiting with hope, is a heart which will find peace.

Too much we leap out and want instant response, when the only response is the slow inexorable turning of a wheel towards a more delighted future. We sabotage this seeking to manage time better than its creator. Always a mistake, and we miss that which was waiting because we are too impatient to keep looking without doing.

We are called to wait. Wait for life, wait for death, wait for beginnings and wait for eternity, as well as everything in between. Waiting and watching is the essence of the spiritual life, for the one who waits will, in an instant, see the benefits of such patience.

Only problem is that such lessons are hard to learn… for a person has to wait, and waiting in this world is like holding one’s breath under water.

But, that’s the call, and so that we much do, and respond to the various directives of the Spirit, which I firmly believe are oftentimes silly exercises to make sure we’re really listening. Not always, but certainly sometimes.

Makes living life with the Spirit more interesting I suppose.


It’s slushy out and white. I woke up to the sound of falling snow, and an all snow covered landscape. A squirrel leaped onto my balcony as I opened my eyes, and dug in the snow for the bits of corn and seed underneath. I’m not sure why she didn’t move the couple of feet along the rail where snow hadn’t collected. I think they rather like digging through the snow for a treasure. Now a mountain chickadee alights on the rail, picks up a sunflower seed and flies away. Jays have landed, screeched, eaten and flown away all morning.

Now the early snow, which began sometime in the night, has turned to a slushy rain. The temperature must be now a little over freezing. The snwo is being washed away in the light drizzle, but not quickly.

I sit here pondering my writing, and pondering the swirling about in the spiritual realms, feeling a little slow in my own cognizance and response, and rather lacking in real wisdom and insight. I stumbled around yesterday, getting things done, going for a long walk in the misty, dramatic weather, with no developed understanding. So, today, having sought wisdom amidst the storm and trees, I sit trusting in what I am callled to do, and trusting that God is working in the rest.

I can worry, or I can not. It’s that simple, neither way will change a thing, but will only change how easily I track through this season. I act on whims which seems to be inspired by the Spirit, trying to tune my ear to hear the gentle song.

I write today listening to the quiet chirp of the chickadees, and the soft rhythm of rain hitting the snow covered hillsides. It is a soothing sound to be sure, one that inspires, inspires me to go downstairs and make a cup of earl gray tea.

So I will. Some whims are less dramatic than others, and while their pleasure is not as grand an outcome, it is significantly more immediate. Maybe I’ll have a bagel as well… with honey.

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