Blessing the Day at the End of It All

Photographer: Erin Thomas, October 2015
Photographer: Erin Thomas, October 2015

It is the end of a Monday. While Sunday is the first day of our calendar week, most of us are conditioned to see Monday as our customary starting point. Mondays represent the resuming of our work weeks, the end of our Sabbaths, and the day-to-day drudgery that can sometimes consume us all.

I know today I was frustrated with my slow photographic progress (the amateur level you can see for yourself), my multiple mistakes in school work while at the same time feeling unchallenged or disengaged, and scattered about “busy work” on the job. Where to start? What to do? Does it really matter? Ugh…

And on the blog — oh this blog! — “what happened to your focus on human trafficking” (its shifted not from trafficking but towards seeking compassion and justice through a different lens); and social media (today specifically) sharing about how not everything happens for a reason, breathing in that truth for me but then be slammed by people in real time because apparently everything DOES happen for a reason (tell that to HT victims)… and the blood pressure rises.

Get it all done. Get focused. Get real. Get more. Get less. Get mindful. Get… GET!

Even the most truthful of voices in our lives need to be shut off now and again. Eventually, even our most trusted advisors and intuitions become simply talking heads. There’s a holiness in being able to say, in the course of a day, “Shut up!”

Since my elliptical trainer snapped apart, I’ve been forcing myself to get outside every day for long walks — at least 90 minutes per day. Today started nice and clear, but it quickly cooled off and clouded over. We had our first fall rain since Thanksgiving. Still, I piled on the layers, donned fingerless wool gloves, my trusty eco-beanie (toque made from recycled materials), my hiking shoes and set out. If there’s anything I love as much as a glorious sunset, it’s walking in the rain. I could smell freshly cut wood… fallen leaves… evergreen… sap. I drank it all in. (okay, I coughed a little bit when I smelled skunk, but better I smell it from a distance than up close, right?)

Today won’t come again. It’s life cycle is nearly through. Mistakes, boredoms, frustrations, exhaustions, expectations, calendars, deadlines, plans — even they must go to sleep at some point. We all must rest from trying to get ourselves back into our weekday routines. So I you leave tonight with another one of John O’Donohue’s poems from “To Bless the Space Between Us”.

My favourite verse?

“We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.”

And the blessing between us, for me, is sacred realized. Bread and wine, simple fare, bits and pieces of a Monday, all transformed into the holiness that this day is. I’m grateful for it, and grateful for the knowledge that in less than 3 hours, a new day will be born with more of its Table to share.

As Pastor Calvin would say: “May this be for you. May this be for me. Amen.”

The Inner History of a Day

No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.

The mind of the day draws no attention;
It dwells within the silence of elegance
To create a space for all our words,
Drawing us to listen inward and outward.

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.

Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.

2 thoughts on “Blessing the Day at the End of It All

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