Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Month: December 2004 (page 2 of 2)


Just let go.


Let go.


The land and trees are covered with a thin layer of snow. Thin and thorough, a dusting which seems thick on the trees though is not very deep on the ground. The temperature only barely dropped below freezing, making all the world appear as though dusted with powdered sugar by a very, very large gourmet.

The juncos are back for the year, coming to visit in their little groups of ten or twelve, making the trees or the hillside a constant flurry of activity. Mixed with the chipmunk poking around and running back to the protection of the woodpile, and the more raucous arrival of the steller’s jay.

Clouds are touching the ground, rolling along the streets, throught the trees and over the hills, filling the whole view with white. Thought the birds and wee beasts are busy there is no other sound. Oddly the driveway has no snow collected on it while the main street looks to have a good inch or more of unplowed snow.

So the green is now white, covered completely, with the chill in the air and the clouds making for a still day, beautiful to be sure, but still and hidden and cold.

There are days in which one realizes looking out is much the same as looking in. Today is one of those days for me, leaving me unable to explain more. I look outside at the frosted world and it occurs to me this is how my soul feels; covered, frosty, still. The worlds resonates with me, and on an overcast day blanketed with white I wish for more resonance with sunlight and green trees.

So, I’ll look at the chipmunk digging in the snow, and the six juncos in the branches of five foot tall saplings; I’ll value the beauty of the world around as my soul strives for its own thaw today.

I figure there are certain moments in which constant labor feels a need for some measure of compensation. Not having any, of any sort, becomes a weight on the journey. Today that weight is heavy and there is only to re-tune the soul, adjusting the baggage so as to find relief. That there is much beauty about is certainly a balm to be embraced. Whether this is enough only the day will tell.


The steller’s jay came early this morning, while the sun was still low in the horizon and only the barest whispers of light filled the sky. It screeched before it landed and looked around. It was a shadow, dark on the rail, only its very distinctive shape highlighted. The jay looked around, likely eager for a bit of food after a very cold night. There was only a little bit, only a few seeds left on the buffet.

I got up and walked outside with some seed. The bird flew away but I knew not far. I poured the cup of seed out and looked around into the shadows of the branches. There, ten feet away, on a branch a little over my head the jay was watching me.

I went back inside. The jay came down and got its share. Then within a minute about six jays were around fighting for a place. I have no idea where they were before this or how the message went out so quickly that I put out the “good” seed (well, it’s called “critter feed” as it’s a mix of corn and sunflower seeds). .

Then I went back to my book.

All week I have had a rather passive spirituality, as computer issues and work filled up my time, something which does not fill my soul with renewal and passion. This morning I woke up with a decided excitement about God and what he is doing. Not specifically what he is doing in me, more what he is doing beyond me, wider than just me, in the whole context of this world. I woke up with a decided interest in picking up a book on theology so I could delight in the nature of God.

I also woke up with several people on my mind, who seemed be connected with this excitement about what God is doing — though I mean this in a vague way. One of the biggest issues in resting before God is that we as people insist on understanding “why”. God, however, rarely, if ever tells us the why. That’s the big joke in Job. We understand it’s a cosmic bet, but Job has no conception of what is going on in the heavens or on earth. He only knew that he was doing everything right and everything was going wrong. In fact, God never, to the end, tells him the “why”. He responds to questioning by asserting his Divine nature not by explanation, and the only Job learns he was right is that God blesses him anew and tells his friends they need to grovel for forgiveness– for saying things that are perfectly ‘wise’ things to say, except they weren’t of God’s wisdom.

We don’t know the ‘why’. But at our core we want to know, and not knowing is often the key issue in losing one’s faith. The fact is God works, and works beyond our conceptions in redeeming this world from darkness towards light. We are a part and are called towards obedience, not always understanding.

Generally, it is all made clear at some point, if not the ‘why’ at least the resolution of seemingly fruitless work.

So, this morning I woke up excited, and let some of the people on my mind know what my thoughts were in regards to them. It is a lovely thing to feel the positive flow of the Spirit, making the rough patches come into perspective and easing the travails of this lifelong journey.

I’m thankful for the gift of joy this morning and thankful for the work that God is doing pursuing me and others so that in all things he is glorified.

I think I’ll spend a good deal of time away from the usual tasks, and continue reading my book while dwelling in the soothing presence of the One God.

It is a gorgeous day out. There is a nuthatch on the rail eating seed, a junco on the woodpile looking around, a chipmunk on the ground scurrying around a cedar, I hear a chickadee chirping, and the breeze is stirring the branches to give a little visual texture to the forest scene.

I sit and manage computer files and seek to build some security against intruders who wish to impose themselves on my website. The bright blue sky beckons even as the various pages of code seem to sap my inner spiritual drive.

So, I write this, and I consider right things, knowing again why I leave off doing that which distracts me from the call, because my soul cries out if I do not sate its constant thirst.

The more one gives into this Call the more the soul yearns for satisfaction and the less one is able to stray from the progression forward. When one stumbles one can only press forward despite the failing because there is no where else to go.

This state is both a work of God and a choice to embrace the depths of life and being.

So, I look outside and consider the trees once more, letting them point my higher to their creator where I find the only satisfaction able to give balm to my inner self.

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