the art of being

January 5, 2009

These days it is hot baths and green tea that supplies strength. I have been gifted with slowness and peace in my time between semesters. Freshly roasted Kenyan coffee with my husband in the morning, a walk in the afternoon, a new recipe for dinner. I have had time to read, create, and rest. As a good American, I struggle with the gift of rest. I spent the first few weeks of my vacation busying myself with things, some that needed to be done, and some just to fill the hours. I felt waves of guilt and selfishness for having such an abundance of time. It is in this third week that I have reopened Walking on Water: Reflections on Art and Faith by Madeline L’Engle. This sweet woman, who I hold so dear, as if she were one of my own kin, speaks to this:

I’ve long since stopped feeling guilty about taking being time; it’s something we all need for our spiritual health, and often we don’t take enough of it … When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening. I will never understand the silent dying of the green pie-apple tree if I do not slow down and listen to what the Spirit is telling me, telling me of the death of trees, the death of planets, of people, and what all these deaths mean in the light of love of the Creator.

It is in allowing ourselves to just be that so much truth can be found. When I am scurrying about in the morning, before breakfast, making lists and asking questions, my husband with kindness, and curtness, asks me to just sit down for a moment. He understands the importance of sitting and letting the mind slowly enter the day. I am thankful for his discipline.

I do not doubt that it will take me a lifetime to unlearn some of my unbeing habits. To sit still, to listen, takes strength and patience. It is to be obedient to a moment, laying aside expectations, and asking nothing of the moment, or of myself. To sit fully in my chair, to walk slower, to sip wine with great admiration, listen with all of my mind, allow time for dinner, take long baths every morning, indulge the senses, stretch, limit my list making, put away my agendas, make more love, drive the speed limit, sit and watch, turn off the analyzing, the worrying, embrace the tears, and have every hope for the moment at hand.


3 Responses to “the art of being”

  1. Tyler said

    “Being is the great explainer” -Henry David Thoreau

  2. jansen said

    i too have been gifted with slowness, but i don’t think it’s the kind you’re talking about.

  3. Abi

    Girl, I absolutely LOVE your blog, can I please post a link on my page? You’re Mom was bragging on you – with good right! wow. Hugs, Deana

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