My church calendar says it’s ‘Ordinary Time’. Easter lilies and decorated eggs are a distant memory. My artificial tree and ornaments sleep in dark boxes in the attic. Christmas is months away.
The calendar stretches out in shades of white. Weeks lay before me, brimming with open space, with the stillness of a flag on a windless day. No major holidays. Just the typical and familiar.
I went to the Arboretum today, and was reminded that the earth stands in this same season of transition. Summer flowers no longer stand tall and bright. Blooms bend down to the dirt now, the edges of the petals curled and spent. I can feel the last weak threads of summer’s pulse in the once vibrant gardens.
The trees are still green. Just a few renegade leaves turn yellow, tucked in the bottom of their branches. Fall is just beginning to tip her hand, not ready to reveal the full house of color.
It’s not summer. It’s not fall. It’s Ordinary Time.
Have you ever experienced a quiet season? You have if the blooms of your hurried pace wither, with nothing in the immediate future to urge your pace.
My Ordinary Time, like the calendar and nature, is now. The two grandbabies we expected were born in May and August. We visited my son in the spring, and spent a week with my daughter and family in July. Home now, with nothing special for a few weeks, I am living deep in the stillness.
I am aware that even though my church declares this time as ordinary, God still lives and moves and has His being. The motionless lake teems with life under the surface. My resting body covers the beating heart, the filling lungs. Ordinary still holds wonder and work, it’s just not as obvious.
It’s like the world, and all that’s in it, chooses to hide itself. It’s a waiting time. A gap widens now away from the busyness, creating time for holy repairing of my mind, heart and soul.
In the open air of the prairie, I can hear the waterfall before I see it. The wind isn’t howling, and not filled with the sunny call of the birds. In the stillness of the water’s surface, I see the small circles of wavelets made by the frogs and fish, soundless below the waterline.
The gift of quiet is handed to me in this slow and sanctified time so I will stop. Stop and notice that I am apart of a holy rhythm of life. Calendars and seasons will have a turn again to splashy, gala times of color and celebration. But not just yet.
It’s a dance for two now. Just me and the Holy Spirit, as the love of God pours and mends and revives. I barely detect the whispers of construction, the repair, the renewal. Nothing blares or shouts. I sit undisturbed and undistracted. It’s quiet enough to recognize that work is going on, but it goes on without me.
I am surrounded in peace, tucked gently in the Holy Ordinary.
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