shift

| May 14, 2018

I sit in the sun and wait for the shift to happen.

The lilacs are nearly blooming. Their heart-shaped leaves flutter nonchalantly in the breeze, like they’ve been there forever rather than just a couple weeks.

The pine is tall and sturdy as ever, a backdrop to the lilacs, backdrop to the yard and the driveway and my life.

But that’s the shift I’m waiting for.

I’m waiting for the moment when I remember that this wildness is not a backdrop to my life. I long to remember that I am a part of this vibrant world, not its centerpiece. I want to feel in my bones how small I am and how vast the universe is.

I confess that I have been perched on the edge of my life, analyzing its comings and goings, trying to make improvements, trying to be the best version of myself, whatever that means.

Today is my Sabbath, and this yard is my sanctuary. I have made no plans, and I find myself sitting here, waiting for You to wake me up.

And then the shift begins. I see the wind in the pine, and it is no longer merely sturdy but alive. I let myself take in the sun green and the shadow green, the fern green and the willow green.

I hear the birdsong and realize that the songs aren’t mere adornments for the atmosphere; each cry comes from a particular place and a singular creature. The songs aren’t for me, yet they resonate through me.

I feel myself to be part of the whole. The bumblebee hums from dandelion to dandelion. The goldfinch pair glides in perfect unison. The crow calls from high above us, king of all he surveys.

I am the only one who has been waiting for this moment. The others know without knowing that they know.

As a wise friend has told me, we have our waking hours and our sleeping hours. This wakefulness is not a permanent state. Still, for now, my heart echoes the hymn of e.e. cummings, whose words I offer here.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?


(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 e e cummings 

 

Category: beauty, journey, outside, the seasons

About the Author ()

Hannah Lynn Mell grew up a missionary kid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Now she lives in Rowley, Massachusetts with her exquisitely kind husband David, their plucky three-legged cat Thomas, and a needy-yet-lovable dachshund named Birdie. She's worked with singers since 1998 and loves to help people of all ages free their voices.

Comments (2)

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  1. Catherine says:

    I know this feeling well – it’s the way I feel during a thunderstorm: small, insignificant, but in this way that is meaningful and right. I have purpose, but that purpose is woven into something larger than myself. So grateful for these moments of quiet like yours. Without them, we’d never have these beautiful realizations or writing!