Friday, March 6, 2009

A Day to Breathe

Spiritual health is so elusive. I make my living by guiding and nurturing the spiritual formation of others, yet I sometimes book whole weeks without even one lonely hour of Sabbath...something I'm always nagging others to do!

Today I was given the gift of an accidental spiritual interlude.

You may have done something similar; I read about Aggie students at UC Davis selling flats of 30 eggs from their farm chickens at the terrific price of $4.00. The eggs are new-laid from the chickens the students raise, are only available on Fridays, and always sell out. I got there at 12:10, sure I was too late.

Actually, they open at 1:00. As I turned to leave, wondering where I would go and what I would do for 45 minutes (too short to go home and come back, too long to sit in the car) I noticed where I was. In back of the building I could see horses and mules in paddocks and a big, glossy chestnut being exercised in the yard in front of a barn. Adjacent to the meat lab was a grove of redwoods full of twittering and scampering.

Since we haven't seen sun for two weeks, I went and got my sketchbook out of the car and settled down in a sunny spot with my back against a tree. My intention was to sketch but for long moments all I could do was look, look, and look some more at the squirrels, birds, and shadows.

Gradually the rest of my senses adjusted. I heard the stubborn protests of a mule being handled by a student, the whinnying of horses, and the gossiping of tiny birds. Then the fragrances began to register: resinous woody smells, spring grass and a hint of livestock.

Sabbath had broken into my world.

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