My dear friend Erica wrote a beautiful post yesterday. And these words she shared, from the hymn “Come and Find the Quiet Center”, spoke right to me as I sat next to Alex listening to a Curious George book on CD, trying to quell the volume still ringing in my ears from the day.
Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead, find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed: clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes that we can see all the things that really matter, be at peace and simply be.
Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace, God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base, making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun, raising courage when we’re shrinking, finding scope for faith begun.
Frankly, even though my students have a rough time maintaining a quiet work environment, even when they ARE quiet, there still is the chaos, the clutter, the crowded, the shrinking. Space, courage, faith and hope seem very distant and unattainable. To go from that to home where screeching, constant need of attention and to do lists bombard you BEFORE you can even open the door….well, in the midst of all that noise, silence seems like a joke. Not a friend, but a carrot, dangling before me, impossible to reach.
There is an internal struggle for me….a struggle that wages deep. How do we find a space, a silence that allows for room to be made? Room for Hope to come in? Is it the tired thirties that I am waging against?!? The never-ending assessments, state-mandated standards or the basic, unmet needs of students that keep me from seeing and claiming that space? Or the insistent pull of my children, literally and figuratively, that holds me grounded to a stagnant spot?
And one thing kept coming to the forefront…the words of that hymn….we are called to action. Not insane, running a marathon, action. But called to….
It reminds us that…
Slows the pace.
God speaks and names. God lifts. God raises. God knows. God finds.
Today, we stand in this odd gap, the 29th of February. A time of transition from one month to the next, but a rarity in that we only find this date every four years. I see this transition in our family’s life today. Maybe I finally have enough time to stick my head up and breathe for a brief moment. That moment of silence that allows God to find, speak, life and raise.
I realized my Valentine’s flowers are turning and ready to be added to the compost.
And that the end of wonderful vacation and grandparent time has come to a close (Grandpa written notes in lunchboxes, dominoes/lego and block building creations, hikes and adventures, meals at In-and-Out, researching pop up campers online)….
Trying to soak in the goodness of transition, nonetheless….the fact that though squirmy, we can still hold Drew, and my parents might not be able to pick up the chunk of boy on their next visit if he grows at this rate. The transition to March and Spring, new life and growth….and St Patrick’s Day stickers at Trader Joes (the guy gave me a ROLL this morning to bring home to the boys!!!).
The fact that we got to enjoy breakfast (Tofu scramble! Thank you, Hobee’s) with my parents, WITHOUT the boys!!, this morning before their departure and trip to the airport.
These transitions, turning the calendar, ending a long-anticipating visit, moving from vacation back to work and school, seeing the kids grow up….they aren’t easy and are often missed or rushed through, unacknowledged. So, I’m attempting to find a quiet place to be silent. Let hope filter in and be seen and heard in the midst of the stampede. To mark the transitions with gratitude and open hands. And maybe, if the Spirit nudges, take a few leaps into the unknown.