It is not a common practice for me to hop out of bed at 5:50 on a Friday morning, nor to pull my shoes on and go for a run (only to be chased home by fat rain drops), but today things were different. A steely grey film hung between me and the up-creeping sun, shrouding and insulating the quiet morning. A warm wind stirred the bright green treetops and blew the last stubborn twirlybirds dramatically from the branches. I longed to be among it all for a short spell before the fluorescent cacophony of the day began.
When the metal-scented raindrops starting beating my forehead, I ran through Sylvan Park's eccentric grid of alleyways, my heart beating behind my ears, as the cardinals beat their wings flying for safe cover. Exhiliration, red-winged streaks and flashes in my periphery, clean, salty sweat.
Coffee percolated while I showered and dressed. I sliced a vine-ripe tomato, a bright red fresno chile and tore some basil from the potted garden in my windowsill to sit alongside my fresh egg. That egg came from Willow Farms in Summertown, Tennessee (I thought I could taste a little hometown in that yolk). The back door was open, a female cardinal sat on the porch rail just outside and torqued her little head toward me as if to say, "what are you doing in there?" "I'm watching you," I told her, matter-of-factly. Then I spent a moment trying to get myself in a mindful posture of gratitude before I got up from my chair and the day ate me alive with its teeth of ignorance, mindlessness and apathy.
Dave challenged us with two easy-to-remember questions at the end of last Sunday's sermon, and I've been making an effort to remain aware and open to what the answers are for me. These are they:
1. Practice being grateful for everything. Every little thing, even the difficulties. Study what you're thankful for/or not. Try to zero in on how your heart feels in those different places where your gratitude takes you.
2. Study weariness. Where are you exhausted in life? What takes it all out of you and puts nothing back, leaving you sapped and empty? Where do you overindulge?
I'll not divulge my impulsed answers, but I'll leave you to think in quiet. Hopefully a pretty bird is peppering your mind space with melody as one did for me this very morning.