A movement caught in the corner of my eye this morning, I looked over and there they were, four fawns leaping swift through our field and then a doe and then another, mothers in the wings watching over the children as they played. And, my heart leaped too. In the leaping it felt like breaking. It had all gone too far, the joy-grief undid me there. Awe seems to be like that.
This morning we all woke to a new dawn—in more ways than one. It is one of the biblical calendar’s New Years. Yes, one of them, there’s four in one year technically, because when we’re honest about the brutal loveliness of this human experience, everybody knows there has to be new beginnings more than once a year. A date to celebrate it on the calendar offers a jolting reminder that, in truth, e v e r y d a y we can be born new.
There is a part of me that wants to make a qualifying statement after that last sentence…something like, “everyday we can be born new if…” if we want to embrace it… if we choose… and as true as it is that our choices make our days and us… I know that the bigger truth we’re invited to is a question before us. A question of whether or not we’ll dare to simply be in awe that we’ve been born here at all?
We can talk all day (all our lives, that is) about what we embrace or do not, the consequences and the gifts of those embraces or rejections, to boot. Oh, Lord, how good we are at talking. But what on God’s good earth could an embrace look like when you so desperately need a restart, a revivifying, when your hands and legs have both fallen limp? When there’s no embrace left, what then?
Where does that leave us, even in a new day? Especially a newborn day, tiny, unfurled us, now here — fighting the demons that will demand that now here means nowhere, watching our fight all drained to the earth, because now here we just need nourished, and YES WE DO. We need the mothers in the wings, we need the watching, *seeing*, we need to be embraced, held here. now.
And now perhaps this feels like a curse for certain, because who is there to hold us?? I know these questions by heart. There are times I’ve been held by a tree. Yes I have.
I’ve seen many things. Trees felled—their good days seemingly dried and gone—making children laugh again…
…displaying a glory never possible before they came to the end of themselves, kinda like us.
Out here in the PNW there are ginormous rocks cut and carved perfect by rivers, they have hollows waiting for the arrival of young hearts to lay within their heart. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.
But I also want to say today that I’ve lived a lot of places now. I haven’t always met nice neighbors or even big enough rocks to curl into. There were places that I’ve only known the ground. Finally though, finally I knew the ground. I saw the way even when there was no chair, or tree, or carved out rock or soft or open arms, the ground has always been there, holding. us.
Do you see it? the way the whole world, all of creation, is breathing and heartbeat-syncing together, how it’s carrying us and us one another by virtue of being born here? and how we don’t even know to say thanks? It’s simply how it is. We’re afraid to stand in awe of this, I know the joy-grief catches in our throats at the leaping.
The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things. -Hans Christian Anderson
To stand in awe would mean it is all alive, it would mean we are alive, here now, held now, welcomed home, born, needed, perfect, close — not far away, not abandoned, not alone.
Dare to believe it with me today?
Happy New Year, 5782. May God, Who has made all alive, be praised. And may you, new-born-this-day-you, entirely independent of any “if”, may you know you are held.
For the next ten days the biblical calendar invites us into a space of wonder, a time of turning and returning home. Wanna travel together? Subscribe to get my travel journal updates here or follow me on Instagram here.
P.S. Thank you, always, for reading, and for sharing. If this post speaks to you please continue to do so. I would like to continue to grow my reach as a writer and I am so grateful for your help in doing so.
P.P.S last but not least, a song for you: Rich Mullins, Land of my Sojourn; a liturgy, a legacy, and a ragamuffin band