Rhythmicity

Five Minute Friday
Prompt: Repeat

Our solar system pulses with rhythm. Every 365 days, we make a turn around the dance floor, spinning all the way. Ever in a hurry, Mercury makes the trip in 88 days, while Pluto takes 248 years. (Perhaps Pluto’s pace explains why cosmologists decided it no longer deserved the title of “planet”).

Today, I looked out of my office window and beheld a tree dressed with fire. She clothed herself this way last year too, celebrating the fall gala. Yet even amidst the rhythmicity, this year is entirely unique. The leaves’ arrangement approximates, yet does not copy, last year’s gown.

What a wonderful world where rhythm’s repetition still manages to make things brand new.

This post is part of the 5-minute Friday linkup.

The Pause

Write 31 days, day 17
Writing Prompt: Pause

“What happened to my day?” I wondered aloud as I walked through the nurse’s station at quarter past four. How could it possibly be this late? The day was not particularly overburdened patient-wise, but I’ve been at my desk for over nine hours, minus the brief visit with my wife over lunch. Patients were seen and reports were written, but without a break to catch my breath.

Normally, I take time to pause. Before the workday starts, I sit in the corner chair, eyes closed, and ponder Christ’s presence. Later in the morning, or perhaps mid-afternoon, I take a walk. A slow walk. I saunter. Amble. I listen to the leaves and watch the birds. I feel the breeze upon my neck or the sun upon my face. I breathe. Life is better when I am not hurrying through it.

For consideration: take five minutes to pause today. Or thirty. 

In the Little Things

Write 31 days, Day 10
Writing prompt: How

Each day, every one of us faces the question, “how will I choose to live today?” Some of us approach the question with intention, though most of us, I suspect, simply drift through our morning routines. Let me suggest, though, that even if we never have consciously considered this question, it still shapes us. We choose whether we will take a shower, surf the Internet, or greet our spouse with a kiss. We choose whether to walk with our shoulders back or staring at the ground. We choose whether or not we will think poorly of those who believe differently than we do.

For me, it has been beneficial to intentionally consider how to approach each day. Borrowing from Chuck DeGroat, I ask myself “how can I be an ambassador of shalom today?” or from my friend Curt Thompson: “am I living as an outpost of goodness and beauty?” I firmly believe that we can make the choice each day, indeed in each circumstance, to strive toward wholeness and peace or to degrade toward bitterness and division.

Last night, when I came home from work, I was irritable. Perhaps 20 minutes later, Heather asked me if I needed anything because I “seemed short.” She was right, and I told her so, but it was for no reason I recognized. It helped me to own that emotion and ask myself, “how does my attitude toward my wife, my son, and my dogs press toward shalom?”

None of us will get this perfect. We are all broken. Yet our imperfections do not disable our capacity to strive toward wholeness. I pray that more and more people will strive to embody truth, goodness, and beauty in their daily routines, and that those choices will push back a little bit of the darkness.

Reflection:
What daily rhythms help you to live toward wholeness?  How can you stretch toward deeper wholeness this week? 

Each Breath, Inspiration

Write 31 days, Day 9
Today’s prompt: Inspire

To inspire is
to breath life.
So often we wait
for something…anything
to energize us
to get creative juices flowing.

But are we paying
to the present
moment?

-To criss-crossed rakes, slumbering
beneath the blanket
quilted leaf by leaf.

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-To a 9 year old
contemplating the rain or perhaps
multiplication’s complexity.

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-To ducks
upon ponds and puddles
contemplating the rain or perhaps
multiplication’s complexity.

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-To a benevolent Dane
enthroned upon
a burgundy dais
overseeing the play
of his loyal subjects.

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Each whisper…each blink
a breath
an inspiration.

For reflection: 
What inspires you in this moment?

Morning Greeting

Today is National Poetry Day, which is as good a time as any to share one of my older poems, written in 2015.

Black birds in black trees
     wings and branches
     stretched heavenward in morning praise
     silhouetted against the pastel Southeastern sky
A world awakening
     coming alive

Venus looks down from her heavenly seat
     the last nocturne light to retreat

Leaves fall
     crows caw
          squirrels having a ball
greeting the morning with glee
chattering aloud, “Come see! Come see!” 

Autumn’s Bouquet

I smelled it today
for the first time.
Autumn’s bouquet
carried on wisps of wind.
Fallen leaves–
yellow crescents–
shuffle along the roadway.
Some still dressed
in vibrant greens
hang on to life and limb,
yet when I pause
beneath the drooping canopy
and listen
I hear death’s rattle
in their breath.
Sleep comes soon to them all.

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