Saturday, February 2, 2008

Taking off my shoes...

"Earth's crammed with Heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I am struck this day with the glory of life's ordinary joys and simple pleasures...

I look around me and see my eldest daughter, absorbed in a book and lying languorously in the sun. My husband - clad in my father-in-law's borrowed overalls - enjoys the fruit of physical labor, removing limbs from his parents' trees. My youngest proudly hauls and carries the cut-up logs, giddy with the grown-up feeling of this particular "helping" job. My husband's 97-year-old grandmother devours the newest edition of the Estonian newspaper that has been shipped to her for these many decades that she's lived on this side of the Atlantic. Thankfully, for now she's been able to remove the oxygen that was assisting her breathing this morning. My middle daughter stands with a racquet, trying to find victory in getting the birdie over the net to the other side of the badminton field, where her brother waits patiently for his chance to try - and likely also fail - to get it back over again. I look around and smile. Words from an old Carolyn Arends song rush into my head:

This is the stuff - The smallest moments - This is the stuff - I need to notice - This is the stuff - Life is made of

So much glory... so much hidden magnificence of life... passes me by unnoticed. But not today. Lord, thank you that this day, I am among the blessed "who see." May I learn to live there.

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