Sunday, June 04, 2006

Contemplative Living in Ordinary Time

Today I came across a collection of essays called The Lay Contemplative: Testimonies, Perspectives, Resources edited by Virginia Manss and Mary Frohlich. I want to share with you an excerpt from one of the essays called "Contemplative Living in Ordinary Time" by Barbara E. Scott:
Our home--a log house in the woods on a lake--is a dream fulfilled. The woods are a home to a multitude of forest dwellers....

In the morning light I have watched kingfishers diving and blue heron stalking the shoreline for breakfast. I have watched red-winged black birds guard their nests among the cattails, seen turtles of all sizes crawl out of the lake onto rocks and logs to sun themselves, witnessed loons teach their young to dive for fish....

I know where to find the bright yellow march marigolds covering swampy ground. I know where to discover blood root, trillium, Indian pipe and every kind of wildflower that grows in these woods. I have found blueberries and raspberries and know how to pick my share, leaving the rest for the forest dwellers.

Night is special any time of year. I have counted falling stars, traced the Milky Way, been surprised by a bolide, heard a meteor sizzle overhead and stared at dancing Northern Lights until I thought my neck would break from looking up so long.

These woods call me, again and again, to take my shoes off, for here, too, I am on sacred ground. Nature is my daily contemplative guide revealing to me the splendor hidden within my ordinary time.
Ms. Scott is blessed to live in an environment which lends itself to contemplation. But we don't have to live in a log cabin in the woods to lead the contemplative life. All we have to do is notice - really notice - whatever is around us.

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