Delights: January 22 to January 28

January 22: Upside down in downward facing dog, I looked between my knees at the windows behind me. One blazed fiery gold, gilded by baroque masters. The other window was blue, marbled by limbs and branches. For that shining early morning moment, Rome paid a call.

January 23: I walked by our neighborhood creek this morning while the sun was high in the sky. It illuminated the clear water, the stony bed, the fat leaves traveling eagerly despite not knowing their destination. The rocks at the narrow place offered a soft steady whispering. I stood for a long, quiet time. My shadow pointed perfectly upstream, to the water coming toward me. And soon I’ll turn into the sun, leaving my shadow behind to watch the blessing creek.

Four Mile Run, a bit downstream from where I left my shadow.

January 24: Live-streaming church services has allowed me to step into God’s creation as I worship, pray and listen for God’s word. Today, as I beheld the stubble of winter, the piano in my headphones began the delicate opening of “Morning has Broken,” a song of great praise. The song was composed on the island of Mull, in the Scottish Highlands, near Iona where Kevin and I joined my church on retreat a few years ago. We passed through Mull, moved by the rough beauty of the heath and crags that inspired writer Mary Macdonald. And so, as I looked at winter’s hidden gifts, Macdonald’s song invited me to find beauty wherever it lies, especially in the tawny stalks, the dangling leaf or the sun-bright stones.

The Isle of Mull
Elsewhere on the Isle of Mull

January 26: In the small woods today, I veered off the established path to give space to another walker. The pavers gave way to a path of leaves and twigs, and I carefully walked to do no harm. Then I saw them pushing through the woodland carpet: the profligate, confident, uplifting shoots promising spring. 

January 27: Outside my window, bright jackets of red, blue and yellow roved here and there, looking for mysteries. At last the red jacket hoisted the little blue jacket to inspect a bud or nest or crinkly leaf hidden in a shrub. Then the red jacket and the blue jacket closed their eyes and counted to ten. The little blue jacket hid behind the shrub full of mysteries, still as a bunny, seen only by the lady across the street (who wanted so desperately to put on her own jacket and go out to play).

January 28: For the first time in several days, I took a walk. Stepping out my door, I inhaled deeply. Air molecules, urged on by the wind, pushed sharply into my nostrils, like commuters with somewhere to go. And they did: to my lungs to expand them, to my muscles to enliven them, and to my brain to make me sharply aware of this sweet gift. And then I exhaled, sending them off to their next appointment.

Another photo from Scotland, on the Isle of Iona in late June 2018.

Readers, if you’d like to browse my past essays, consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands… To receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” 

Jeremiah and his beloved Majka.

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