Sunday, May 29, 2016


"Amen," had been in my head all morning. That's not uncommon, it has been a mantra of sorts for years. An affirmation. Acknowledgment. Gratitude.

Tom Robbins wrote that there are only two mantras in life: yum or yuck. Amen has been part of my yum.

In church later that morning, the pastor looked at "Amen." Amen is "yes." And praying is you saying Amen (yes) to God, and God saying Amen (yes) to you.

That struck a soul-chord with me, as my favorite notion of prayer has been both the pray-er and God sitting quietly, listening to each other.

Amen. Yes.

To course corrections. To waking up and realizing what things, activities and people bring out the best in me. Amen.

Annie Dillard wrote that, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." And Andy Dufresne in "Shawshank Redemption" said, "Get busy living or get busy dying." For realizing and spending our days as we would spend our lives. Amen.

For the smell of honeysuckle bringing back childhood memories on a morning walk before work and for taking the time to notice and watch small, odd fish swimming in unusually clear water by the shoreline. Amen.

For the girls getting pulled into and excited about working on projects, even at the end of the school year and watching them think, create, and accomplish. Amen.

For spending a Wednesday evening paddling longer/farther than intended and watching skate swim under the board and Great Blue Herons flying overhead and calm, cool water and welcome sun, and Tred Avon memories. Amen.

For community gatherings and talks on Blackwater Refuge and carpe'ing the evening diem to go catch the tail end of the sunset after. Amen.

For understanding what "community" means and coming together to celebrate times of joy and newness and to grieve and help and support in times of sorrow. Amen.

For cutting grass, moving dirt, planting tomatoes, weeding gardens, yard-earned sweat and outdoor smiles. Amen.

For morning runs, endorphins, and sweaty-striding solitude appreciated in the moment and after. Amen.

For stars strewn across a night sky overhead, summer breezes, Chris Stapleton playing on the deck, arms wrapped around neck and waist and slow dancing, swaying, and storytelling and laughing. Amen.

For watching the girls appreciate and enjoy the town I grew up in, on their own, doing some (but not all) of the same things I loved doing. Amen.

And the pastor prayed:

Lord, I ask that you would speak directly to each one here; that you would give them each one word that they might know your presence; that they might know you are there, Lord.

As I lifted my head up and opened my eyes, I wiped away tears from my cheeks that I hadn't felt start.

I already had my word.


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