Today, as I was sharing about my week while sitting in the Observatory with good friends, one of them leaned over to her husband and whispered something to him while looking out the windows behind me. I figured one of the squirrels caught her attention, hanging upside down (as they often do) on the side of the maple tree. Dave then told me to turn around. I looked out the windows to see what so distracted them from my riveting story (sarcasm alert) and there, in my neighbor’s apple tree, perched a red-tailed hawk. Ah! Another of God’s divine intrusions, a gentle reminder of His nearness to me.
How easy it is to overlook these wonderfully simple, common moments, like watching my six-year-old son walking around the backyard this morning in the falling snow, looking like a mini Han Solo with his oversized blue coat with hood fringed in gray fur. As January ends and we stretch into the shortest month of the year, I invite you to find the rich contentment of the simple moments of life. That might require an intentional disconnect from the terror and oppressive narrative of these modern times, or just the decision to put your phones down, FAR AWAY FROM THE TABLE during dinner to simply look into the eyes of those you love.
Whatever it requires of you to deepen and slow down, I offer you a liturgy for the simple.
P.S. – When I saw this photo, I could not resist. It captures the concluding image of the poem, is one of the simple joys of life, and … I really LOVE bread!
liturgy for the simple
Vincent H. Anastasi – 2017
Could we but be content with blushing dusks,
With cat cries wrapped like scarves around our legs,
The potent scents of pine and earthy musks,
And just-pressed cider drunk down to the dregs;
Could stillness please the over-active mind
And we find joy in faces not on screens,
The pre-dawn call of rousing coffee grinds,
Familiar fit of faded oft-worn jeans;
Could autumn leaves restore our hope in life
Like ling’ring warmth of closed-eyed lover’s lips,
The wood thrush song surmount our wonted strife
And fresh-baked bread our boundless feasts eclipse,
Then might we know the simple, pure delights
And live complicit priests of sacred rights.