Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ah, Perfection...


Two perfect days, filled with nothing special- except…
    getting up without an alarm clock…
    eating meals on the screened porch…
    every window in the house open, inviting in the cleansing breeze…
    the continuous symphony of birdsong and wind chimes…
    completing one book and beginning another…
    the cleansing ritual of doing laundry…
    a visit to Starbucks, another to Barnes & Noble…
    wrapping birthday gifts for my best friend and two of the grands…
    cooking wholesome, simple, delicious meals…
    a phone conversation with a dear friend, the first in several years…
   venturing to the new Whole Foods Market…
   amazing, glorious weather with sunshine and blue skies...
   and hours of silence, free of human voices, human sounds, except at a      
       distance…
   breathing deeply, my breath a prayer for my precious sister, preparing for surgery; for my friend, Mary, undergoing radiation therapy; for my children…for all the dear departed…
   sitting quietly in the rocking chair, soothed by the motion, and breathing
breathing…breathing. Such is the shape of perfection…nothing special, everything special. Thanks be to God.

PERFECTION: a parable

Once there was a monk who was out walking in the woods on a particularly lovely day, when he happened to stumble upon a sleeping grizzly. Startled from his slumber, the bear began to pursue the monk, who gathered up his robe in both hands and began to run as fast as his legs would carry him. He ran and ran and suddenly ahead of him, he saw a cliff where the land dropped off to a river below. Coming to a screeching halt at the very edge of the precipice, he looked down to see hungry crocodiles on the riverbank. But the angry bear was closing in, so the monk did the only thing he could think of- he leapt, certain he was leaping to his death, with a prayer on his lips.

Imagine his surprise when his fall was broken by a bush growing out of the cliff face and to it he hung on for dear life. With an angry bear above and the hungry crocodiles below, he was contemplating his terrible predicament when, suddenly, there in front of him he saw a gopher gnawing on the stem of the bush. He broke out in a cold sweat as the impossibility of his situation became eminently clear to him but, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted something red and colorful and beautiful- a strawberry plant growing out of the hillside bearing one lovely, succulent-looking ripe strawberry. And, with the angry bear above and the hungry crocodiles below and the gnawing gopher in front of him, he reached out his hand and picked the berry and, bringing it to his mouth, took a bite. And, with the angry bear above and the hungry crocodiles below and the gnawing gopher in front of him, with strawberry juice running down his chin, he murmured, “Delicious! Delicious!”

Now, that’s perfection.

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