The Fullness of Time

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The Dwelling Place Monastery is located on twenty-five acres of eastern Kentucky hillside. We live in the Appalachian rain forest surrounded by nature. And as so often happens, I forget the gift our home is to us. But not today.

Usually I do my reading and meditating in my room after breakfast but today I decided to spend that time on the back porch. The temperature and the humidity were both low and I realized that even though it is still August, summer is fading fast so I should take advantage of the day.

Looking out, I noticed the hills across the valley from us are not as green as they were even last week. Sap is returning to roots. Leaves are losing chlorophyll and turning, if not brown, less green. Soon they will turn red and yellow and fall to the ground.

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Then my eyes were captured by a falling leaf. The startling thing was this leaf was perfect–green, whole, not diseased or damaged. It just let loose from the twig and drifted to the ground.

“How strange that it would fall before it’s time”, I thought.

“Who said it wasn’t it’s time?” came the unbidden reply.

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To everything there is a season.  We think that a season is so many months or so many years but really seasons are as individual as snowflakes. Careers end, young people die, green leaves fall. Were they cut short? Or did they come to their fullness of time? I have no idea.

I know that I spend time regretting the past or fearing the future instead of being present to what is happening in the moment. But every once in a while I am captured by a falling leaf and find myself in the season of now, in the fullness of my time. And I am blessed.

 

Summer Fog

It is 9:30 in the morning here in the mountains but the sun hasn’t come out yet. The fog drifts between the trees and around the buildings reminding me that I don’t really know what is going on “out there”. My vision is limited.

Too often we charge into the day, the project, the relationship without really looking. The assumption is that everything is just as we left it last time so it is OK to put ourselves on automatic pilot and think about what comes next instead of paying attention to what is now.

This spring floods were prevalent in Floyd County. I knew that several roads in the area were damaged but was unprepared for the bump as I drove over a road that had been solid pavement only days before but now had sunk three inches. The really sad thing is that there were warning signs posted as well as the obvious break in the road but I was not there. I was someplace else.

So I am practicing awareness…again. I am trying to really be present to what is going on around and in me. I think to myself, “I am writing a blog post.” And supposedly that will keep me present and open to what God is doing around me now.

I have to confess though. This is a very short post and I have wandered off several times. I am writing a blog post on summer fog but really I am trying to learn how to live in the light of now.