Rhonda Cagle

Heavenly Day

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2010 at 1:12 am

There is something absolutely lovely about weekends. They act as an emotional pumice, polishing away the rough, calloused places caused by the wear and tear of the week. Fridays usually find me crabby and short-tempered but by Sunday, I am soft and smooth and once again presentable for public display.

It’s not that I don’t have moments of quiet during the week, but they are few and far between. As the chaos and deadlines of the week eat away at my days and even nights, I find my resources growing shorter and my patience thinner. By Friday, Jesus and I are both ready to drink gin straight from the bottle and I find myself counting down the hours until I pick Megan up from school and retreat to the serenity and solitude of my home and garden.

Saturday mornings are nothing short of holy and create a sanctuary that offers life-giving resuscitation to my soul. Seriously. My Saturday mornings are sacred. I give them up only for my Kitchen on the Street volunteer work – and even then not weekly.

On days like today, I can slow down the pace of life. I can listen to my soul breathe. And I can see God in ways that are simply unavailable during the week. From a theological perspective, I’m well aware that God is constantly moving and speaking all around me, but the phone ringing with clients on the other end of the line, the deadlines looming, and the noise of weekday life often drowns out His voice and movement. Isaiah wrote that we know God in stillness and quietness. And the church fathers, especially the desert fathers, gained their divine revelation, in part, through their solitary existence. Sadly, those opportunities are too often lacking in my workday week. Which is why weekends are precious to me.

Today began as most Saturdays do with me making a large cup of tea and heading for the hot tub. As I soaked and sipped, I noticed that my ornamental pear tree is blossoming. The sun peeking over my back wall backlit the tree’s blossoms, causing them to glow a translucent white. It was magical. I watched, mesmerized, as the breeze ruffled the flowers, causing them to sway. It evoked an old-fashioned comfort that reminded me of lacy white curtains fluttering in the windows of a white clapboard farmhouse. I literally felt my soul stretch, luxuriating in the simple pleasure of sun, water, flowers, and sky.

As I soaked, I was able to ruminate on the events of the week, writing projects I’m working on, and a hodge-podge smattering of life. My thoughts drifted lazily from one subject to the next. I laughed out loud as I realized their meanderings resembled the zig-zag pattern of a near-by bee that was bumbling between my geraniums, lobelia, and petunias, then back again. The wind chimes sang and swayed in the breeze, sounding just like church bells from an ancient cathedral. I smiled, realizing once again why Dennis had loved them so much.

The day continued its reverie of simple pleasures. I did laundry, washing my sheets and anticipating the comfort of settling into a lavender-scented bed. I made brunch, sautéing onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach before folding them into fluffy scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese. I enjoyed my meal in the courtyard and read the paper cover to cover, noting how all the small stories that don’t make CNN add such local interest and color to my world.

As I worked in the garden this afternoon, I felt my soul working on the interior spaces of my being. Pruning my rose bushes I trimmed slowly, trying to see the ideal shape of each bush emerging from carefully placed cuts. With each snip of my shears I realized I was mentally preparing for the coming Lenten season. I found myself asking God what areas of my life need to be cut away, trusting Him to work carefully and bring about the ideal shape of my soul. By the time I was done fertilizing and watering all of my flowers, I realized my own soul had been fed.

Tomorrow will bring church – or not. I haven’t decided yet. If it does, it will be an early morning filled with hustle and bustle to get out the door and into the pew on time. There will be no hot tub, no hot tea sipped from the comfort of perfectly heated water while steam rises up like incense toward heaven. There will be no opportunity for reflection… contemplation… peace.  But today is heavenly. It’s the weekend; and I’m grateful.

Originally written January 31, 2009

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