Hitting Close To Home: Touching The Tangible

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A small pottery container, made by a child, sits on the robin’s egg blue kitchen counter in my home. Mersea holds memories well. In it are shards and pieces, broken and ragged. A collection is held here in this pottery mug. Primitive, grey and made from clay the earth holds pieces of the earth.

We find the shards of broken porcelain from a hundred or more years ago when we dig in the soil. We touch the past and celebrate. We share the discovery. And we go dissecting, cutting into the ground for more clues of what went before. With each uncovering we shout hallelujah.

We are amateur archaeologists uncovering that which is nearly in plain sight. We walk all over the past. Trounce by the treasures that are one shade away from being in the light. The former things and the present things are co-mingled. A story is waiting in one small yard. A beautiful story lies under my feet.

I am hungry for the tangible. I want to touch what’s real. My soul longs for tactile connection. My senses are longing for smell, the taste and the touch of smooth and rugged. I want more dirt and less plastic. More real and less virtual. I want to be awakened to lovely. Reawakened to the lovely things.

I am hunting for the faded, in the fields of memory. My sights are set on tangible beauty. I walk to the garden and smell the basil and wonder if there is anything more magnificent. I hold a warm pink egg newly laid by my bantam hen, she needs a name, I’ll call her Louise, and I am lost in wonder.

The pileated woodpecker hammers like a piece of equipment laboring under the worn and wrinkled hands of a Brooklynite in Manhattan. He is determined, loud and a noisemaker. And yet he reminds me of the concrete work of this world. The natural world, one God created and set beautifully in motion.

As I dead-head my pansies, I see life and death sitting side by side. I read the story of a woman who failed to nurture them, and they are suffering at her hands. I remedy and restore and ask forgiveness as I have not stewarded well. Like the shards, they are broken and yet given a second chance at being beautiful.

All I need to know and learn is here. The stories are endless, filed in no particular order. Each one a lesson in life and love. The space is small, tiny when place juxtaposed next to everything else. And yet this microcosmic world is full. And worth a sacred journey into the unveiling.

I am on a hunt for stories in the soil of here. I am longing to discover what is lost under the soles of the busy.

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And I Heard Be Still

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I heard you arrive. Your breathes, some rushed and hurried. Some slow and halting. You stepped across the threshold to this place. And when you came you brought yourself. As you are today. In this moment now. Let’s capture this day together. It must be an art, no science, this noticing. It must be practiced and possibly never perfected. But there is joy in the practice. Ready, set, go notice.

Aren’t we all archeologists digging in the soil of our very lives. Chipping through the rock and rubble looking, even longing for the shiny. The diamonds in the rough and rocky. Ah but there is beauty in the rusty patina places. The layers of living leave their beautiful marks. They paint strokes of story and telling, leaving whispers, shouts even of what has happened here. Don’t we long to know what lies just below the surface. The untold story. The unseen beauty, hidden art, waiting glory, buried treasures of extravagant grace.

We the curious seek a soul knowing. Early on we toddled around touched everything, put everything to our lips and in our mouths to answer the question what is it. Why do we slow down in our discovery. Halted by age, slowed by a deliriously jadded heart. Frozen by complacency. Settling for the whatever.

Seeing past the very surface, the cliches, the what is clearly showing brings joy and gratitude. I saw the spanish moss last night, dripping in all its grey glory, majestic like cashmere scarves thrown over the shoulders and limbs of the oaks. And I saw God’s creative wonder, His very intricate design. And I said yes to His world, anew again.

I was in the Presence of The Living God. In a world watermarked by the wispy strokes of His creative hand.

I am dancing in a place of quiet searching. I am looking with a hungry heart. I am slowing down to see and listening to the whisper of be still.

We prayed last night to the sound of crickets and cicadas. Our little village bible study. Our first night. Doors wide open. Fall sneaking in to still our frenzied hearts. We struggled with our calendars to make a schedule for our group. Oh the irony. We are studying simplicity and are calendars do not want to bend into the schedule of twelve weary travelers.

But the chorus of night’s choir calmed. And a  soliloquy of sudden singing soothed us while we prayed. And I heard be still.

Listen with me, see with me, in the middle of the messy living. Cry out with me, pray with me in the still of the fallen night. Look with me into the deep crevices of wonder. Find with me the lyrical and the lapping rhythms of the day. See with me past the surface, into the God places slightly hidden from view. Wonder with me at the treasure trove of buried beauty. Excavate the layered living. And mine the God Beauty of this day.

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Push it. Examine all things intensely and relentlessly.  — Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

(This is day three. Are you following daily. Let’s notice together. Visit me on facebook, on twitter, or subscribe to this journey. Click here to read all posts in this 31 day series. Did you notice I said how grateful I am to have you here. I am grateful you are here. Truly.)