When May began, I was asking myself the question, "What in My Life Needs Pruning?" with the noble intention of letting go of activities and pursuits that took energy and time away from what I value most -- time and space for creativity, contemplation and nurturing the projects (like this blog) that repeatedly get pushed to the back burner.
My intention was to post more frequently, and I began assembling the components of a monthly newsletter which I hoped to launch at the end of May. But, I had not let go of enough to get that off the ground, so I took my own medicine and let that go -- for now.
It turned out that the most important pruning that needed to happen was more practical in nature. In anticipation of merging households with my husband later this year (friends please pray for his home to sell soon!), I determined my big project for the summer needed to be clearing out 20 years of accumulated clutter and making room for that which he would be bringing with him.
Much to my surprise, I found the process of clearing to be a contemplative practice as I sorted and shuffled through the artifacts of my life deciding what to keep and what must be let go. The process is still ongoing and will likely take the rest of the Summer and much of Fall, but I've been writing and processing through it all, and the fruit of this season should make its way to the pages of my blog sooner or later.
The month culminated in an anniversary trip back to our honeymoon spot in Cape May and some quiet time together at the beginning of June before the storm of activity that was and still is the summer of 2018. My mandalas continue to hold space as the most publicly visible evidence of the sorting and reassembling that is going on in my inner life
By the time I returned to Nashville, my son and my father were at work helping renovate my basement home office so I could have a separate space of my own for writing, contemplation and creativity. It felt vitally important that I do this now, before my husband moves here. Not only do I need a private space of my own in which to write, create and contemplate, but I needed to clear space in the main living areas of the house so that we may make my home "our" home in every way.
Of course, a whole house renovation will take more than one summer to complete, and I want us to do most of it together. But, I did want to tackle the master bedroom, which needed a fresh paint job and furnishings sufficient to serve two versus one.
With my husband putting his home on the market July 1st and with my household in renovation chaos, we decided for our sanity and in the interest of getting things done, we would cancel his visit home in June for my birthday and focus on taking care of business in our own lives.
Through this busy season of life, full of distraction and a fair amount of pressure, I've had the opportunity to cultivate the practice of constant prayer in the way Br. Lawrence wrote:
"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it."
God has indeed met me on the fly in the midst of all this change and upheaval, and I believe that my mandala practice has helped me cultivate a way of paying attention to the way God speaks. Through synchronicities, dreams, opportunities,and the people we encounter, we are rewarded for our noticing with flashes of insight that often come when our hands are busy and the mind is occupied with the mundane tasks of daily life.
My mandalas held space in July as a reminder that order will eventually return as all the pieces I've been gathering come together. It is crunch time for me now as bedroom furniture is set for delivery in early August and we are in the final stages of finishing my home office -- or as I'm calling it now, the SHErmitage. If all goes as planned, by the time I have another fifth Sunday reflection to post, I'll have put my life back together in a beautiful and harmonious way. Until then, I am...
Yours in Love,