Graymoor 1: Against the Cedar

I come today, tight in my chest, tense in my hands. Restless. Unhappy to be here; this was not my choice. The session opens. I look at the floor, close my eyes. Half listen.

They send us off for a half an hour, to meditate on Psalm 23.

I go outside. Trudge down the road behind the building. Find a hill, snow-laden, brambled. Climb it. My bag is heavy, changing my center of gravity. I am weighed down. Unbalanced. I keep stepping on my scarf, which makes me stumble. The hill is slippery. I grab branches. Stomp my feet into the snow to get a hold. This is no way to climb a hill. I find my way down the other side, walk behind a water tower, under pipes, over wires, going nowhere...so it seems.

Around a curve I find a plateau that overlooks the valley. I stand, take it in. This is where I will meditate. I move to the edge of the clearing, where a thicket begins, sit down on my day's agenda folder, lean against a cedar. Look, listen, breathe. Write, this...

Cold air. See my breath. There's an old, red plastic flower half buried in the dirt— the fake amidst the real. "Knock, knock, knock," a wood pecker searching. And little birds, black velvet, brown velvet. Snow and the droppings of animals now gone. Birds passing through. Flitting high. The ground hard, snow crunchy. A bald spot of earth, littered with pebbles. The breeze. And a "chip, chip" from a black-capped chickadee. The chickadee is pecking at branches on a leafless bush. A sudden splash of red to my left— a gift, a brilliant cardinal in the muted browns. The Lord is shepherd of all this and of my soul with its requisite seasons, its wastes, its wants, its flights, its highs, its cold places and the bright red warmth of hope. The Lord, the Lord of All is my shepherd. His rod and his staff, they comfort me.

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Blogger nannykim said...

amen--thanks again!


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