As I get Older…

I’ve come to even more appreciation for this Orthodox way.

It’s not because there aren’t struggles and personalities and challenges. There are, and there are moments when I cringe. Still there’s something deeper.

I see the fluidity of history. Times change. The world changes and often not for the better. In the turbulence I seek a place of calm, a place that at it’s core is unperturbed by the times whatever they may be. A place where I can come out of the world so when I return I return knowing there is more and better and a destination other than being a child of my own time and place.

Time is a current necessity but timelessness is where the necessity can be survived. Along the Orthodox way there are moments of timelessness and if I cannot be in them at least I know that they, and some semblance of hope, are there.

I suppose that may sound esoteric but I know there are more years behind than ahead. That’s just the way of things.  And in those years behind I’ve seen and experienced enough to realize that holy, timeless, moments, those glimpses of heaven breaking through into time, are among the greatest of gifts.

What is money? It’s what people think it is and you never get to keep it. What is notoriety? Everyone forgets in the end. It’s just a matter of time. Even health, preserved by long struggle, will eventually give way. Any moment spent in eternity, in the presence of God, in God’s world, is worth more than all of these. This beautiful path, this Faith, can be a narrow and difficult way but it’s destination is worth the struggle and the moments when that destination meets me while still on the path keep my feet light and my face towards the sun.

 

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The Sky is Full of Spring…

today. The sun is warm, and winter is giving way to better things. There are places to go and things to see, music to be made, and poetry to be written.

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No more time for the recliner and the stale air inside the house. I have plans for a garden on the boulevard and where to to put my abundance of Brown Eyed Susans. Just a few degrees warmer and my bicycle will end its hibernation in the garage and together we will see what there is to see.

I am older now and therefore each spring is more precious, more unrepeatable. Walk while you can. Breather fresh air while you can. Make music while you can. Walk barefoot while you can.

Starting today.

I am learning…

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there is no perfect place, no perfect job, no perfect church, no perfect life. In everything and everywhere there will be moments of joy and moments of challenge and nothing will ever be just the way you imagined it would be no matter how hard you try.

There’s a kind of disappointment in this. Surely one thing in this existence could be at least close to what you imagine it’s supposed to be. Yet, while some things may come achingly close, nothing will ever be “it”. In fact the closer they come the greater the disappointment when the flaw that mars comes to the surface. Just when you thought you won the prize, the reality of life does something to pull it from your fingers.  It’s, perhaps, one of the most maddening things about being human.

There’s also a freedom, though, in this realization. Accepting there is no perfect anything on this Earth and in this life gives the gift of wisdom, of patience, and a release from the tyranny of perfection into the cool waters of grace. One can be set free to enjoy that which is beautiful and release that which is less so when you realize that a normal life will have parts of both. The good can also become more precious and the harsh can be more temporary when you realize all things pass and see life through this window.

And then there is heaven which seems, as I grow older, to be less like any image I have of it and more like an existence where I can simply “be” as I was meant to be because the presence of God will fulfill all my expectations and heal the imperfections and unrealities of my life. One of the great gifts of getting older is that having seen so much of the world over the years one realizes the quiet ache in your heart on even the best of days is a sign there is more and better and it’s closer than you think. Stepping through that door you realize you’re more at home there than any place your travels in this world may have taken you. Every beauty here is a sign of a greater one to come and every challenge is a reminder of a larger day when all such things will pass.