It’s a bitter cold morning, around 16 degrees, with big winds whipping among the trees and old leaves racing across the winter grass – a good day to give thanks for a warm home.
Today, I want to focus on appreciating the majesty of the thoughts that somehow arrive in my life moment by moment. I’ve been re-reading the Christmas story in the Bible, and the words “the angel of the Lord” started me thinking about the thoughts that, you might say, announce themselves to me throughout the day. By far, most of my thoughts today will probably center around to-do lists, plans, memories, concerns, worries, and miscellaneous daydreams – not the kind of thoughts that are going to sound like special announcements. However, what I want to do today is be alert for the occasional powerful, liberating thoughts that do seem like momentous declarations – thoughts like “this present moment is brand new” or “kindness cannot possibly be defeated”. These are the angels in my life, and they come from what the Bible calls “the Lord”, but which, to me, is simply the infinite Universe, which, in some unknowable way, sends countless ‘angel thoughts’ my way moment after day after month after year.
We attended our bi-monthly centering prayer group this afternoon, and, as usual for me, it was an hour spent in generous, satisfying silence. In the midst of a life spent in almost non-stop thinking and doing and talking, it’s always refreshing to open the door to the vastness of silence. It’s like I walk into a whole new life for that hour, a life with no boundaries or limitations or separations, a life that spreads out to unknowable distances while I sit silently among friends for those 60 minutes. And being with friends in that silence greatly multiplies the satisfaction, since we’re a close group going together, for a splendid hour, into the cosmic distances of life.
Later, we went to the Quaker meeting house for our monthly poetry gathering, and I, once again, felt fortunate to be with good friends for some very mindful minutes. There were only five of us, but the poems we read and the words we spoke seemed special in their simplicity and wisdom. It wasn’t a silent 90 minutes, but it made me feel the same sense of bigness and greatness that silence sometimes does. I felt filled up full with good fortune.