And so the summer retreat from considerable consideration continues. The post previous sums it all up well. Though maybe there are other nuances worth mentioning. Some of this page, and the spiritual life in general, tends to be most pronounced when there are times of transition, or times of seeking guidance, or points at which contemplation is required to understand the context.
When these things have been pursued, it is not that all of the consideration disappears, it is more that it is summed up in the simple phrase, “carry on”. And that’s what I have been doing, carrying on, pressing onward in the same discoveries, and moving in the direction which seems my soul has fixed itself upon. The details of the destination are murky… but that’s not the point. It is the attitude, the hope, the perseverance without the details which marks this present path.
That my life has drifted back into more computery tasks may be part of the retreated reflection, though I see this as embracing the tasks which God has laid before me, and so in obedience I follow, even if it’s not the most “spiritual” of tasks. The monks would weave baskets to support their lives, pleating strands of palm or other materials and somehow getting their wares to market. If “tent making” is the phrase used for missionaries supporting their work, I suppose “basket weaving” could be the work a contemplative pursues in order to enable the higher callings of the inner life. Such a work cannot take up one’s soul, nor can it be understood as the source of life and being. It is the way to work (a spiritual discipline of high order) and a way to contribute, while maintaining a life that leads towards the depths.
For now I am still learning how to “weave” and I am also discovering how such tasks are part of the overall package which God is calling me towards, sets of skills which will tie together at some point.
Then there are the birds and the bees.
I read for a while yesterday next to the bird bath in front of the house, reading 1776 quite appropriately, and I was visited by a little mountain chickadee, who flitted around the branches in front of me, clearing taking stock of who I am. He then landed on the bird bath, not a foot away from where I was sitting, and drank without a care in the world. A squirrel, earlier in the day, had the same curiosity, peeking out over the roof down at me, and circling me on beams or branches, trying to see what I was about. The animals are getting bold.
The bees came by after the chickadee, three of them in a little group, also eventually landing on the bird bath. They didn’t seem to be aware of me, and so drank without pondering my presence, and flew off, one buzzing my nose on its way eastwards.
Last night I woke up wide awake at 3 in the morning, and because I fell asleep on the couch I woke up looking at the stars. Within a couple seconds of my watching a shooting star flashed downward. A few minutes later another, both so quick I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks. At four I sat outside and waited and watched in the darkness, letting my prayers find me again, find me after being lost for a little while, soothing and directing my soul, the words coming out of me and also pouring into me.
Bats emerged at the first sign of dawn, long before sunrise, little flashes of black darting between branches. Then the birds began to sing, a couple at first, then an aviary joined the chorus, the forest sounding much like the bird section of a particularly well stocked pet store.
I watch and I consider, my thoughts not delving too deeply, as there are aspects which cause only patience and understanding that all circumstances are particularly not within my control. I wait and know that the Spirit is working in and about me, my call is to trust and do my part in each moment. I wonder… but know that such wondering must also wait, though I wonder about what I wonder about, wondering if my wonder is wandering, something only the passage of time will clarify.
Chipmunks dart up the trunks of small trees and about the branches. Jays come for a bit of seed, curiously quiet and restrained. The noise of people begins, this a crowded weekend for this area.
I press onwards. There is only that.