Every now and again in the headlong rush of everyday life I suddenly find myself in an encounter with Stillness, and in that Stillness, sometimes I find a Moment.
Oh, I know what you're thinking - in modern parlance a woman who is 'having a moment' is losing her cool and emoting all over the people who happen to be nearby.
But my Moments are not simply a quiet time of reading a book, or daydreaming while doing a task, or even losing my cool. They can more easily be described with phrases such as C.S. Lewis' "Surprised by Joy", or even the verse from the Bible "be still and know that I am God".
I never know when a Moment will come, what shape or color it will be, or what scent it holds.
The Moments come suddenly but gently and always fill me with a supreme content. I feel completely at peace, secure and cared for as I must have felt as a tiny infant held in my Mother's arms. Nothing is wrong, no matters are pressing, no regrets, no sorrows; no chores cry out to be done, the weight of responsibility no longer lays on my mind or my shoulders. I am free, and still, and quiet, and happy.
These Moments do not happen frequently, and I feel them so deeply that I can remember them for years. One time that still lives clear and bright in my mind occurred near Christmas when I was but six years old. I was in my room in our old farmhouse, the upstairs bedroom with but one window and sloping ceilings tucked under the eaves of the roof. I was laying on my bed, my head cushioned on a favorite stuffed toy, it's plush fur soft on my cheek. In my hand was clutched a book that I was struggling to stay awake and read. My gaze fell on a decoration on my dresser, which was a small Christmas tree of silver tinsel with a bright red ornament on the top. The tree sparkled in the light and then the sparkles seemed to surround me with warmth and joy. More than forty years have passed, but I can still feel the joy of that Moment. I think even then I realized it was something special.
Today I had another Moment. I came in for dinner after cutting the grass, but wasn't very hungry. So instead of eating, I sat in my recliner, leaned back, and closed my eyes, and there it was. The sting of sunburn on my arms, the music of the birds busy about the yard, the gentle tones of the windchimes on my porch; the scent of freshly-cut grass and the lily-of-the-valley in the fence row, the rich fragrance of baking bread coming from the kitchen, and the soft caress of the breeze flooding through the open window all surrounded me in a zone of comfort and peace and joy. For just that fleeting Moment, all was right with my world.
I treasure these Moments. They often seem perhaps like a gift from God, just the tiniest foretaste of what heaven will be like.
Today I planted corn, onions, and peppers in the garden. The tomatoes and squash I put in last weekend seem to be doing well, and some of the potatoes have sprouted. I've gone back to using landscaping fabric for the whole of the garden. It's expensive, yes, but when I look at that cost vs. the cost of time and effort to deal with the weeds and cultivating while working full time and trying to keep up with other chores I've decided it's worth it. The garden is smaller this year, as well. We finished putting the fence up and now I have to fashion a gate. The eternal hope of a gardener - this year will be better than last! Last year I didn't use the fabric and never got time to put up a fence and I ended up with a fine crop of weeds and the rabbits ate all my beans. Not this year!
Spring has been a busy time, the snow was slow to melt and then the rains came, so the garden is late this year and I've been dealing with flat tires, broken pins, and other mechanical issues with my lawn tractor and attachments. It took two days just to get the weedeater to start and it still isn't running right. Then there's the whole 'windows left open during a torrential downpour' incident. Life is never boring on the old homestead!
Strawberries should be coming on soon, and I hope I can get two or three flats, at least. It's getting harder and harder to find good local sources as several of the farms I used to visit have closed down. Just thinking about fresh Michigan strawberries makes my mouth water, they're so good, especially after a long winter of only dried or frozen berries.
I've also been going through my pantry storage to see what I have and what I need to stock up on and what I want more of so I know what to put in the garden. Somehow I managed to run out of pasta just when we wanted our favorite hot-weather tuna salad dish. Now I know most people don't get excited about pantry staples, but I've been so very happy to find non-GMO flour at the local Mennonite store! It is truly wonderful stuff and my bread has never tasted better. It's more expensive that the regular GMO flour, currently around $30.00 for 50 pounds, but oh is it worth it!
Well that brings us up to date - I am sorry I haven't written more, sometimes life just gets in the way and I've had to travel for work a lot lately. I hope all of you are doing well and have your gardens in! God bless!