My fingers were numb with delight. Not the annoying type of numbness that comes as a symptom of my illness, but a more happy, childlike type. I decided that we don’t drive with the windows down nearly enough. Had our car’s air conditioning not quit, or had that first day of Spring not reached 90 degrees, they probably wouldn’t have been down. But I was glad they were.
The air flowed through my fingers as they danced up, down, up, down, in graceful rebellion. Wherever we were, I was so powerfully there that I was a million miles away.
The scent of the air seemed to be ushering in the new season, as did everything on earth in that moment. Momma cows hovered over milking calves. Budded trees swayed along to the earth’s lullaby. A sacred hush fell upon me, and I became one with it all. My favorite purple wildflowers blanketed the ground here and there, and the little girl in me begged to come out and play.
She reminded me of the road trips of yesteryear, of how the night sky would awaken a special creativity within my mind. Of how I imagined the blackened desert plains as an ocean rolling with tide. Creatures and the like filled its waters with life and joy. The traveling darkness was a playground for my mind’s eye, interrupted only by the stars above, which always led way to a whole new world of possibilities.
I missed the innocence of that little girl, but let the emotion move on. The moment was too precious for sadness to emerge. Besides, as dusk arrived, it continued to awaken a childlike imagery.
Was that a cluster of cows, or a gathering of trees? I couldn’t tell by now, but it didn’t matter.
I’d nearly forgotten I could breathe so deeply. I didn’t want it to end.
Why do I allow myself to disregard earth’s beauty without so much as a nod? Why had I let so many hours lapse since the last time I stopped to embrace the brilliance of God?
Sure, many days I stand breath-taken as the sun rises and sets. But the allowance of lingered inhalations at the fullness of a moment were far too spread out.
I habitually ran my fingers through my oldest daughter’s hair, which had been tickling my arm as I’d swallowed our surroundings. It took me back to a time when caressing her hairline nearly hypnotized my newborn baby girl. As my eyes flooded with liquid memories, I noticed that 15-year-old infant lay back, closing her eyes. Perhaps she, too, was reliving the sensation.
I breathed even deeper. I was entirely overcome with a peacefulness that I hadn’t felt in some time.
It was an interlude of time.
An awareness of my surroundings.
A practice in the art of the pause.
An embrace of this world that is ever present, yet rarely acknowledged.
My word for this year was surrender; my current chosen challenge, living a life of thank-you. Oh, how I had underestimated what could become of embracing each of those.
It shifted something within me, that night. And I’m incredibly grateful.
Rest. Surrender. Savor.
There is rarely regret to a voluntary disruption from the norm. Trust me.
I said to myself, “Relax and rest.
God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you’ve been rescued from death;
Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;
And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”
Psalm 116:7-8 (MSG)