I woke early today. The house is so quiet.
I’m standing by the back door looking out on the garden and the field beyond. Rain is softly falling & I breathe in deeply, that sweet earthy scent that fills the air when it begins to rain. It’s so quiet and then a distant growl of the approaching thunder sounds.
I’m not sure how long I’ve stood here with my cup of tea, just gazing out but it’s a moment that I keep finding myself in, realising I’ve been absent mindedly stopped, waiting, looking, breathing. Just being still.
The rain is harder now. And I notice how as it drops, leaves bow under the weight of the water.
The climbing frame, glistening in the rain and long out-grown, stands reminding me of the usual bustle & noise of the house. And a last, lone, pink rose stands out in its glory against the greyness of the morning. Across the field a glimmer of sunlight blooms, bringing hope for the day.
Just being still.
Another moment… As I lay resting in the garden two birds swirl overhead in the June sky. The seem to dance together whirling in slow motion, effortlessly twirling again and again in and out of each other. If their trails carried colour they would be creating beautiful ribbons of patterns across the sky. I wonder if they are Buzzards, once rare in this area but now more common. I strain to see, to recognise some markings but they are just too far above. I watch as they gradually drift out of view and close my eyes again, against the heat of the day…
Just being still.
As I walk the path I’ve walked a hundred times I notice the newly grown crop beside me. It’s been weeks since I was here. The broad beans just starting to burst into their pods surprise me, can it be that long? This field was empty when I was last here. Ahead a tree has shed a majestic branch into the pathway. I’m confused, it is not recent, the leaves are dead and brown. It blocks the open view towards the South Downs and I am momentarily annoyed at how this one fallen branch has changed the expected.
These moments have littered the last weeks. As I have lain, then sat, and gradually walked, I’ve become so much more aware of my surroundings, and I could say something trite here about how we take things for granted but really it’s so much more than that. In the stillness, the little things, the markers, the sounds, the smells, the things that stand out, have taken on so much significance. My mind is unusually empty. The to do lists are gone, the schedule practically non-existant. Day, time, hour even, seems unnecessary. And it is in this emptiness and stillness that my senses are drawn towards these glimmers of glory, all around me. They fill my senses, overwhelm my mind, taking over as if everything else shuts down while I take in each moment.
Just being still.
A bright yellow flower stands in the spotlight of the evening sunshine, I cannot help but stop and admire it, the striding boots replaced with gentle steps. I stop and marvel at its brightness, and then of the purple of a thistle standing tall against the clear blue sky.
Let everything that bad breath praise the Lord!
Just being still.
This is a life I never thought I’d lead. One I never thought I could embrace or be happy in. It’s temporary of course (God willing) and perhaps it’s providing me with me a place in my head to come to in the times ahead. A still place where I can know God with me. Where I can marvel at his glory in all its simplicity and yet all of its grandeur and greatness too.
However long,I know that I’m not yet ready for it to end. I need to be still a while longer and just know that He is God….
Juliet LeachJuly 5, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Be still and know that I am God……it is a hard but important lesson when God centers the clay of our lives through suffering illness or bereavement. Thank you for your thoughts from the still place. God restores us and recreates a better pot by these times. (Jer 18 4). Knowing he is going to use you powerfully in His time. Trying to learn what it means to celebrate stillness too so thank you for your blog. xJuliet
JulesJuly 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm
Thanks Juliet 🙂
Feeling very restored even though physically I’m not! He is just sooooo good 🙂
ukviewerJuly 5, 2015 at 2:05 pm
Do we stay still or quiet enough any day to ‘be still and Know that I am God’ or do we busy ourselves to distract ourselves from the thoughts that our own ego’s are the centre of our universe, rather than God?
I love those quiet moments when thoughts just wander in awe knowing that we aren’t as alone as we think- where holding our hand or with a hand on our shoulder or just leaning close is Jesus as Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Mentor, Teacher, leader, inspirer, spirit and friend.
The words of the Psalm ‘where every hair on my head is numbered’ really brings home how precious we are to him, and how precious he is to us – if only we could physically, see, touch, smell, taste, hear him, that palpable feeling of reaching out for a hand to be held, instinctively of a friend or lover – that’s the experience we/I seek and imagination helps so much with it.
“One day, all will be well” – words of Jesus to Julian of Norwich – to ponder on.
JulesJuly 6, 2015 at 5:38 pm
Such wonderful words Ernie, so true and that’s the challenge for me now certainly – to carry this through as life gradually becomes busier again. I really want to allow God to reshape our lives through this rather than just ‘getting back to normal’, to really include the stillness. How that will happen remains yet to be seen but I am sure he has it in hand!