Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sacred Space

Some days I get up at 3 in the morning and work for 18 hours or more before I sit down.

Other mornings I get up at6:30, get the kids off to school and work steadily through a more reasonable 8 hour pace.

Today I woke up at 5:15, got up, made pancakes (4-grain, freshly milled organic, with real maple syrup from Michigan, thank you Raymond) got the kids to school and went back to bed and slept for a couple of hours. Well. 3 hours plus.

Part of me wanted to berate myself. But the other part rolled over and closed her eyes after she reminded the other part how hard we work on a regular basis.

At some point I got up, gathered my things, took care of some business, spoke to some customers who came to the door, then loaded up the rest of my paperwork because I decided I couldn't be in the house for another 15 minutes.

Here is a true confession.

I hate to do it because I don't want to ruin my reputation.

OK, here goes.

I drove over to Sonic to get a cheeseburger because I felt kind of depressed and needed some comfort. And yes, I asked for the whole wheat bun, but who knows how much whole wheat is actually in that whole wheat bun, and why bother when you are getting a fast food cheeseburger anyway, but there you have it.

I don't know why, but it has been a pretty hard few days for me. I have felt sad and tired and maybe all the work of still adjusting to new town and new business and new single-parenting and all that is still catching up with me. So I grabbed my burger and diet Dr. Pepper (don't you love the oxymoron) and asked God to please tell me what I needed to do to feel better.

Thursdays are kind of my day off, since I work so hard over the weekend. I try to get a plan for what I need to bake, come up with an ingredient list, return a few emails and rest.

For some reason Fort Davis kept coming to mind, so I pointed the car that direction, stopped in the Stone Village store to grab a couple of items I needed plus a cup of locally roasted Big Bend Roaster coffee then went back toward Alpine. Around halfway between the two mountain towns is a little roadside picnic area. I remember parking at those little tables over 20 years ago to enjoy some solitude and beauty.

Cup of coffee in hand, devotional book, journal and scratch paper, I sat down at the solid concrete table and benches.

At first I couldn't hear a thing but the voice in my head, rattling, rattling.

Then the skitter of a leaf caught my attention.

I paused to breathe in. Breathe out.

A truck and trailer rolled by.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

I opened up my little devotional book which reminded me to be still in God's presence. Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, and now my invisible friend, suggested that "the more hassled you feel, the more you need this sacred space of communion."

So I was still for a moment, breathing in, when all of a sudden my attention was caught by the lovely cottonwoods surrounding my little private retreat center, I mean, the public picnic spot by the side of the road. I have always loved cottonwoods. In southwest Texas, if you want to know where some water is located, just span the horizons for some cottonwoods. Their bright green leaves were turning sunshine yellow, around the tops of the trees, and occasionally one would be flung loose, floating toward the ground, skittering across the pavement.


Funny that I didn't notice the leaves turning until I took the time to breathe in and out a few times.

After a few moments of peace and still, I prayed and threw out my concerns to God, while listening to the whirr of a cricket across the road, the bawl of a cow a few miles down at Calamity Creek Ranch, the scratch of a few leaves being blown in the parking area and the whisper of the cottonwood leaves, sounding like the Holy Spirit.

Then I got to work and put pencil to paper, taking care of business.

Shortly after, the coffee was gone, the list was done and it was time to head back home. I ran to the store to pick up ingredients I needed for tomorrow, then helped Rose work on her science experiment. She is comparing and contrasting freshly milled organic spelt and whole white wheat to store bought organic spelt and whole white wheat, using the same recipes and techniques. We will see if one or the other rises higher, has better crumb and see how they result in blind taste tests (thank goodness we have plenty of taste testers in this house.)

Then it was time to meet up the some new friends at a Home and Garden meeting at the Saddle Club in town.

I feel so much better after getting my tank filled up, at least for the moment. Tomorrow will come early and will go long. But I am thankful to have a job that contributes to the health and well being of my family and neighbors. And thankful to have a job that allows for time to breathe in and out and notice the change in the leaves. And thankful my kids are big enough to fend for themselves a couple of hours so I can meet some other gals and get to know my neighbors.


Kelsey said...

What beautiful writing! I love it! Breathe in. Breath out. Isn't it funny how many days we can go without really stopping and enjoying life and the simple pleasures. Oh, and Big Bend Roasters is part of my morning bible time! Amen sista! Good to see you at the Home and Garden party. Looking forward to coming in tomorrow to the bakery. I sure you have lot's of work ahead of you! Have a great night!

Anonymous said...

That Sonic Burger and coke sounds like comfort food to me, don't think it will hurt too much.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Sometimes you go one step forward, then one step back, two steps forward, one step back, one step foward, two steps back. And then the next thing you know you have arrived. You've figured out a way to live your new life without so much sadness and grief and mostly joy in the things like the leaves and good memories. Sometimes you have to recoup your batteries and take a good long nap. The way you work, I'm surprised you don't do it more often!

Holly said...

Hurray for fall, and hurray for food science! Are you familiar with Harold McGee? His book, "On Food and Cooking" was the text for my food science course. I'll bet it would be very helpful for Rose's project.

mononokesumaseba said...

I don't khow why I was beginnig reading your journal, but it was so interesting. After another sentense, I wanted more and more... THks for this breath!
Mononoke Sumaseba