In Which I Want to Hear the Story All Over Again

These are the days when I sit down for the morning’s prayers at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Liturgy and laundry are the work of the people, according to Kathleen Norris, and now I can bear witness: the line between sacred work and secular work doesn’t exist anymore when the Spirit lives and moves within us.

These are the days when ritual and liturgy shape my life but sometimes those rituals are breakfast preparation, bathing tinies, and getting dressed, and the liturgy is in the retelling of “The Three Little Pigs” or the 30th time to say “in-our-family-we-use-our-words-to-love-each-other” to the tinies and to the woman in the mirror.

These are the days when I light a candle to remember to pray, even (or maybe especially) in the midst of the chaos and noise of family life. I’m remembering you, my friends, the votive is flickering on the mantle and I remember to pray as I move.

These are the days when Joe is building legos by the hour, and Evelynn is filling up an old Dora suitcase with everything she finds interesting, and Anne is taking her sweet-fancy-Moses time getting ready for the day ahead, and I want to sit here, in the slow morning light with my hands wrapped around a cuppa tea for just a while longer because the sun is coming through the windows and I took the time to make loose-leaf this morning.

These are the days for bath water on the floor, and laundry waiting to be folded, and a gone-cold cuppa tea and the sacraments of showing up and paying attention every-day life.

These are the days when I try to do a bit of good, and it feels like one small pitiful candle in an overwhelming darkness of never-ending Fridays.

These are the days when I close the night with confession and prayer, with a plea for Jesus to draw us all into His love and deliver us from fear.

These are the days when the dormant is waking up, when the skeleton trees show faint signs of life for the one that is looking through the grey.

These are the days for those of us who know that the desert is cold and grey with hard ground, we incline our ears towards the hardly-believable birds now singing and we want to shriek out loud with joy when the first daffodil pokes through cold earth.

These are the days when the death of winter, the stripping away of it all, is humming towards the renewal of spring and we can feel it, feel it right from the dirt and the water, the trees and the very air – life is coming, blooming, and God, it’s beautiful.

This week is a thin place, isn’t it? Every morning, I read the stories of Holy Week, all over again, and every year, on this day, I reach that line: “Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end.” And I cry, all over again, right through the stars in my eyes.

These are the days when I think about making homemade bread. If we’re going to read the stories at the supper table, if we’re going to pour out red wine, and if we’re going to remember during the breaking and the tearing and the passing tonight, then I want to remember with bread I’ve made with my own hands, and I want my house to smell like yeast, and I want to hear the Story all over again, in the mouths of the ones I love best.