May 7th - Eden

Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Eden is that old-fashioned House we dwell in every day."

Sometimes it's hard to imagine our homes as Eden, 
especially when so much of it is spent cleaning up after little people.

Start Quote
Poets, it seems, have waxed lyrical 
about the joys of domesticity for centuries, 
no doubt because they lived with loving, patient, 
and nurturing women who created havens of tranquil order 
in which they could work in peace and comfort...

'I don't go from home unless emergency leads me by the hand,' 
[Emily] wrote to a friend in 1854, 
'and then I do it obstinately and draw back if I can.'

How I long to draw back, too. 
To simply sit still for twenty minutes in the backyard 
basking in the sunshine, watching the birds build their new nests,
watching the cats watching the birds,
greeting the new blossoms in the garden,
and enjoying a fresh cup of tea and Miss Dickinson's letters. 

However, before this idyllic reverie can commence, 
I must clean.

I must pick up the debris of our daily life 
and bring order to this room, 
for I cannot stand chaos, clutter, and confusion here 
for another single moment.
There is simply no time for poetic musings.

Or is there?

Perhaps now 
-of all times-
when I am nearly bowed under 
physically, emotionally, and psychologically 
is the very moment I need the reverence of poets 
who bear witness to the sacredness of the ordinary. 

Then perhaps I shall see, not just other people's belongings,
but all the beauty, joy and abundance that literally lies at my feet.

If I can be still for a moment and fully enter into the experience 
of bringing order and harmony to my home
perhaps I can discover that the poetry of this afternoon 
is to be found in the perception of my tasks.

For what is the purpose of cleaning this room?

Is it simply to pick up trash and dispose of yesterday's newspaper?

Or is some inspired action at work here?

In the process of transforming this room 
into a safe and serene haven where my family can come together 
to enjoy the comfort of each other's company, 
am I not changing the perception of my work?

We are all given a choice each day.

We can react negatively to the demands made on us 
or we can choose to live abundantly, 
to transform the negative into the meaningful.

Attitude is all.

If I do not endow my life and my work with meaning, 
no one will ever be able to do it for me.

If I don't recognize the value 
of what I am doing here in this living room,
certainly no one else can. 

And if home caring is not sacred, 
then forgive me, 
for I truly have no conception of the Divine.

And so, to lift my spirits and celebrate my choice, 
I listen to a Bach concerto as I clean. 
I put on the kettle to make myself a fresh pot of tea. 
I throw open the windows to catch a spring breeze. 
Soon my family will return to this lovely and inviting room. 

before then,
I will carve out a precious interlude of time for myself. 
I will sit still for twenty minutes 
in the backyard basking in the sunshine,
with the birds, the cats, and the new blossoms and contemplate the blessings of having spent another day in Paradise.
End Quote

Gratitude Journal

1) Watching a new baby get blessed. 

2) Coming home and taking a four hour nap with my toddler.

3) Nachos.

4) Coming home to Eden.

5) Water. Cool, clean water.