As I suspected, the school year has absconded with my inner peace, and I find myself running from thing to thing, obligation to obligation, duty to duty. All necessary, and I’m not the only one. Every morning when I head out to bring Isabella to school, and get myself to my office hours, I see there’s plenty of others in my boat: plenty of people going to fulfill obligations, to make good on promises to be or do who they have to be or do.
I’m trying hard to make time for what is good and simple and soul-filling: those things which make the hectic part of living out our vocations worthwhile. Sitting on the front porch waiting for the chimes to ring on a windy day is one of my favorite recent pastimes, as is watching my daughter learn how to dance, or dancing myself--letting my body and my skin feel the world rather than just working my brain, letting these slowly but surely coax that peace back. Even just the simple act of writing, of sitting still and thinking, has become balm for me, though I find myself unable to sustain stillness. That’s the thing I dislike most about a hectic life: the monkey mind, spasmodic, unable to enjoy a momentary breach of reason. To just take in life’s funny ironies and laugh. This season helps bring me back though, helps remind me that no matter how we try and fail, no matter what comes to our doorsteps, with certainty Autumn comes, leaves fall, the ground and air and even the sounds in it change, and think again of how much time has past, and sometimes how much time is yet to come, how much growing we need to do.
Don’t take too long to follow your heart, though. When I think of the sadness of a recent loss of one of my former high school classmates--passing away at my age--I’m sobered up. I realize what a gift it is in the moment to see my child smile and whine equally, to deal with the problems of my vocation with grace, to enjoy things of the mind and heart and soul, to have one more day in which to fulfill the promise of my life, in prayerfulness and loving thanksgiving.