I had the shortest retirement in history, two short months. Early retirement sounded wonderful, but hey maybe retirement is overated! I am so happy to be back at the hospital 20 hours a week. My goal was to build my creative business and be free to visit family in New England. During my brief hiatus however, I was able to rethink my business plan and actually had TIME to put some of these things into place. Then life slowed down to a screeching halt with the world-wide pandemic. Both of the shops I carry my furniture and home decor in closed, one permanently and the other temporary. All of a sudden we all hit a wall! Like a chink in a motor moving fast and strong. An enforced at home vacation that gave the term “cabin fever” a whole new meaning. But what came next was a quietness that was at first disturbing, then a calming of the soul. Too wonderful to be true. We all had time and plenty of it. I will never forget trying to make my own hand sanitizer, it sounded so easy. Pure aloe and alcohol. I cut up my poor aloe plant and was trying extract the aloe, and I’m lucky I didn’t cut my finger off. Trying to get those blobs of aloe into a bottle reminded me of the movie Flubber, it went everywhere, but the bottle. One of the things that has become an addicting activity is taking long bike rides on a railroad trail that runs from Maryland to Pennsylvania, glorious! This will continue, but I ask myself “why hadn’t we been doing this for years?” Well, soon enough, most of us will be back at work happy to be productive, but I don’t think we will ever forget, the quietness and time that was given, what a gift.
This is one of my favorite passages from Ann Voscamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”: Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time; when I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. And when I’m always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. And time slows, weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time’s river slows, slows, slows.Giving thanks for one thousand things is ultimately an invitation to slow time down with the weight of full attention.
This is where God is in the present. I AM – His very name. I want to take shoes off. I AM, so full of the weight of the present, that time’s river slows to a still…and God Himself is timeless. It’s not the gifts that fulfill, but the holiness of the space. The God in it. I may never wear shoes again.
Gen. 28:16 – I am Jacob and The Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it. And it is eucharisteo carving the moment into a cupola of grace, an architecture of holiness, a place for God. (If you haven’t read this book, take the time)