I don’t like mornings.
Never have. Never (?) will.
But I have two kids who have run cross country. And babies who like to greet their mamas (and the midwife) as the sun comes up.
I used to work nights, as a nurse. It wasn’t all bad. I would go to bed as other people got up. And on the off nights I could stay up as late as possible.
It generally takes me an hour to reconcile myself to the inevitable reality that the day has begun. Once I am past that, I feel quite cheerful.
Sone people like sunrises; I prefer sunsets. I would like sunrises, I think, if they showed up at a different time of day.
Today I walked while the kids ran. I am up to more than half a mile! If you know the long story, that in itself is a miracle.
I saw tiny purple flowers, unnoticed amidst the grass. Four raindrops hit me. (In the desert?!) And when I sat under a tree to rest, I saw this on the ground beneath my feet.
And so for today, I am grateful.
To be up. To be able to walk. To be alive. To see.
Enjoy your morning!
with quickened hope
for crooked paths to straighten,
with tough-soul’d anguish,
while blinded keepers of the keys
shut out God’s own.
(If such a thing were possible.)
and will not be dismayed.
For tiny shoot of Jesse tree
took root in me.
(Advent. By Sr. Christine Schenk. A midwife)
I have been bathing in the waters of hospital birth again, this time in a new role. I put on the white coat, with its instant prestige. I put on the title, reluctantly: “Professor Wilder”. I notice I am more comfortable with my first name. I am so aware that the kind of birth I get to do at home is 1% in our country. This 99% is the norm. Full of risk, adrenaline, and hurry, and occasional moments of goodness….the babies are born. There are redeeming moments: the nurse who goes the extra mile, the Doctor who dares to trust, the student nurse who has eyes to see. For this reason, I enter; to offer my gifts.
And yet, I am so aware of the stark contrast. The precious spaces I get to hold in the home with mamas are thick with the sense of the holy.
There was another birth done in a way that was also countercultural. Even then, you didn’t birth in the barn. And yet the sense of the holy was thick, even there.
And so we come to Advent.
We invite the holy.
And we wait.
A daughter came home today. I watched for her face in a crowd of strangers. I strained to see her, the anticipation rising in my soul. I felt the sheer delight burst through my spirit as I saw her, and hugged her tight.
I saw a friend once, so precious to my heart, moments after she passed into the Mystery. Her face held that same longing, that delight, like she had just seen someone for whom she had been longing all her life.
I just finished re-reading Frederick Beuchner’s A Sacred Journey: “we must learn to listen to the cock crows and hammering and tick-tock of our lives for the holy and elusive word that is spoken to us out of their depths.”
There was a moment when we were all sitting and braiding hair this weekend, a mother and two of her daughters. And for an elusive breath of time I saw the holy.