wandering in wonder

sharing, on a pilgrims journey

doughnut miracle

If you’ve ever travelled on the London Underground (‘tube’) you’ll know there’s an unwritten, unbreakable rule that one does not, under any circumstances, smile or acknowledge other passengers.                      

 You may offer another passenger your seat, or help with luggage, but not strike up conversations or smile at strangers. It’s just how it is.

 As I am generally just on the tube for the day (i.e. not a regular commuter), I often play a game to push this rule to the limits – I give a smile to another passenger and see what happens (usually nothing – btw, it’s a polite, British ‘acknowledging’ smile, you understand, not a huge grin!).

Imagine my joy yesterday then, when on the Central Line I glanced along the row of seated passengers and saw a young woman looking guiltily at a sugary doughnut she was holding. In a moment of miracle, we ‘caught each others eyes’ and both laughed! She took her first bite and looked back to me again, and we laughed again.

So that was my doughnut miracle… little moments of human connection and shared joy…even on the tube!

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June 25, 2008 Posted by | Joy, Life, Light, People, Surprise | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘I am what I am’!

Today a ‘helpful’ friend who’s staying a while decided that being helpful meant picking up my precious piles of paper and ‘bits’ and wouldn’t stop despite polite entreaties.

I ‘have a system’ and rarely lose things. Why oh why should someone who visits my home feel the need or feel they have the right to insist on moving my things around, even throwing things away. (I will now have to go through bin bags – oh what fun.)

I felt mean and horrible when I had to ask for the third time ‘please stop, I won’t be able to find things if you move them around’. She meant so well and so intended to be so helpful.

No doubt I have character flaws, and perhaps needing to have my stuff left alone – even if it does look untidy – is one of them. I also procrastinate – I don’t enjoy the untidy bits, but I just don’t get around to clearing it up sometimes – other things, like friends and work, are much more important to me so that’s where my energy goes. I don’t share the house, so it doesn’t inconvenience anyone else if my stuff is in a pile somewhere.

Maybe someone else would have been delighted. I really, really wasn’t.

I may be alone in this thought, but seriously – being tidy does not have any moral high ground! It doesn’t actually make someone a ‘better’ person! This may sound obvious, but if you’re naturally tidy, have a think about it.

If you’re a tidiness freak, here’s a little message for ya!  – the untidy people in your life may be quite happy and not at all inferior for being untidy. It’s fine if you’re tidy – go for it, enjoy it, alphabetise your CD’s and iron your socks – enjoy! But we’re not all the same. I have so many other flaws to work on that really – being untidy is the least of my worres and trust me, when it comes to the end of the line, my big regrets in life aren’t going to be ‘I wish I did more housework’, or ‘I wish I’d been tidier’ !

I’ve stopped apologising now. I’ve realised it’s time to ‘come out of the closet’ (as it were) – I’m untidy and at least in my own home, that’s just how it is – I am what I am!

June 18, 2008 Posted by | 'Being', acceptance, balance, Life, People | , , , , , | 4 Comments

smell the roses…

Generally, in every day life, I’m pretty darned good at ‘smelling the roses’ – I notice little beauties of life and even literally stop to smell the roses when I’m walking through a neighbourhood and plants overhang the pavement/walkway.

What i’m being reminded of just recently is that I need to do that in my whole life too.

I have things i want to happen in my life – and i get impatient. I try not to ‘go on’ to God, but I kind of end up being just a tad repetitive in my requests (sorry God!).

What’s so easy to miss though, is the love and blessedness in my life now.

To be looking forward impatiently to a future i dream of, and miss the fact that my life right now (though not untouched by pains) is actually blessed beyond my imaginings. In fact, I’m ridiculously over-blessed.

For my future hopes, I have felt God tell me so many times, ‘It’s all in hand’, yet I find it so hard to ‘leave it there’ and get on with today.

 

                                          

rose in my garden - lean in and breathe in - you may just smell it!

I want to be better at ‘smelling the roses’ in my friendships, enjoy and savour every moment of joy that comes my way, to abandon myself to God in the ‘now’, to learn the lessons God is teaching me directly and through my amazing, beautiful friendships right now.

I mustn’t waste the lessons of now, or miss the fun of now, by only waiting impatiently for hoped-for future joys.

 

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Beauty, Challenge, Garden, Hold on, Joy, Life, Nature, Never give up, People, timing, Trust, waiting | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grey waters

Someone wonderful recently introduced me to R.S. Thomas… here’s one of his poems that I already love! (thanks SL!)

Sea-Watching

 

Grey waters, vast 

                        as an area of prayer

that one enters. Daily

                      over a period of years

I have let my eye rest on them.

Was I waiting for something?

                                          Nothing

but that continuous waving

                             that is without meaning

occurred.

              Ah, but a rare bird is

rare. It is when one is not looking

at times one is not there

                                  that it comes.

You must wear your eyes out

as others their knees.

               I became the hermit

of the rocks, habited with the wind

and the mist. There were days,

so beautiful the emptiness

it might have filled,

                          its absence

was as its presence; not to be told

any more, so single my mind

after its long fast,

                          my watching from praying.

– R.S. Thomas

in Laboratories of the Spirit, 1975 

May 20, 2008 Posted by | beach, Beauty, Hold on, Nature, Poem, R.S. Thomas, seaside, timing, Trust, waiting | , , , , , | Leave a comment

grow

God, grow in us – your life in us, transforming our potential beyond our imaginings.

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Monastic Way

“When we look at the world around us we see

the earth,

the sky,

the water,

the plants,

the trees,

the animals

and people.

But what we have to do is look behind all these phenomena

and discover their hidden source.

Most people stop with the phenomena:

they appreciate the earth or sky or flowers

or the sun or stars,

they admire the beauty

but they do not try to find the hidden source of the sky and flowers,

of every single thing.

We see beyond only when we look with the eyes of the heart.”

– Bede Griffiths, OSB  

 

May 12, 2008 Posted by | balance, Beauty, Bede Griffiths, Desert Wisdom, Joy, Life, Nature, People | , , , , , , | 16 Comments

excellent investments…

Yesterday and today I’ve had the joy of spending time with one of my favourite 4 year olds (and his lovely parents!).

As a result, I’ve discussed dinosaur bones over dinner, filmed his ‘dancing’ (on request) and his air-guitar to Bob Dylan songs (where did he learn about air-guitar?!), been told I buy THE coolest presents ever (I scored mega with a £2 transformer toy I took for him!), and have pretended I couldn’t see him countless times today when he was ‘hiding’ in a garden (he giggles too much to be a good hider!).

Since his birth, he’s been one of the most healing presences in my world – there’s something about connecting with his wild world that completely ‘takes me out of myself’ and helps me to see a different perspective.

I thank God for that ‘little bundle’, who’s growing into a ‘big boy’…(or if he had his way, growing into a ‘Power Ranger’!). He gives so much love, and is like a literal tonic – everything seems better after a few hours with him! :0) 

I love his parents, and was quite settled that I’d love their child when ‘it’ arrived, whoever he/she turned out to be – I don’t think I ever realised I’d gain quite so much back. Good returns eh! Better than any other kind of bank I know!

 

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Beauty, Joy, Life, Light up my life, People, voice of hope | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

weeds?!

of all the lovely things in the garden, I confess I have quite a soft spot for some of the alleged weeds…

     

Eleanor Blakely Dickinson’s poem, ‘Forget me not’ ends with these words:

….Like thoughts of home in climes afar;
Like evening’s still returning star;
Like tears which fall when the heart is sad,
Almost as sweet as that heart were glad;
Like friendship found where we sought it not;
In bower and garden, in field and grot,
Spring thy fair flowers, Forget me not.

 

It’s not an original thought to wonder who decides which things are weeds, and who decides what ‘the right place’ for them to grow is anyway… maybe something beautiful always finds itself in the right place?

 

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Beauty, Garden, Joy, Life, Nature, Poem, special, timing, weeds | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

new life in old twigs

i literally jumped for joy when i saw that the tree outside my window was starting to leaf and showing tiny signs of blossom!

i love this time of the year when things are ‘coming alive’ or ‘waking’ again. it’s wonderful… and nature’s parable re-enacted: that the cold barren days, the waiting in darkness, the dry brittle twigs weren’t really signs of all-is-lost, but of things waiting for their time (their ‘kairos’).

this is the kind of thing i meant before (over easter) when i wrote about death and resurrection – the experiences in the ‘here and now’ which feel like endings and loss, the cold/lonely/barren times that feel like wasted time, that are sometimes actually just the gateway to something new. not always what we expected, or what we think we’d want, but somehow blessings of new life.  

April 26, 2008 Posted by | Advent, Beauty, Easter, Hold on, Joy, Life, Nature, Never give up, Resurrection, Surprise, timing, tough times, voice of hope, waiting | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

hold on for the light…

                                                              

“yes, I can see a light that is coming, for the heart that holds on,  

and there will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes,

still i will praise you, still i will praise you…”

                                                            (Matt and Beth Redman) 

                                                   

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Comfort, courage, Life, Light, Nature, Rescue, timing, tough times, Trust, voice of hope, waiting | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments