Stand Still, Let Go, and See
"We both saw it. A wonderful yam, a perfectly glorious fat, firm, root," says Gertrud Nelson in To Dance with God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration.
I've already been thinking about seeing this morning. (In relation to how to be a better writer.)
But Nelson admits that she almost misses the moment. Almost misses seeing. Her daughter, teenaged, gapes lovingly at a yam she has spontaneously brought back from the grocery store, because it's beautiful. Nelson reprimands though. The purchase is absurd, impractical, doesn't go with the planned meal.
Suddenly, happily, thankfully she is won over and can say, "We both saw it. A wonderful yam, a perfectly glorious fat, firm, root."
Nelson concludes, "The ordinary, not having been noticed by anyone else, becomes wonderful. For a moment, my practicality threatened to be the enemy of the numinous. It always is. The vision that we long for lies just on the other side of the practical." A few sentences later, she hints at the root of our stubborn practicality, "Have we packed our lives with such a frantic pace in search of elusive happiness that God cannot get a word in edgewise?"
In the hours that follow, I still myself. Let these words instruct. I open my eyes to the azure blue of my daughter's shirt against her marvelous smooth tan skin. I note the tilt of her lips. And how she has chosen a silver heart necklace today. It shines like her eyes. I lean into her, smell her brown hair, kiss her round cheeks. I feel her warmth and embrace the ordinary moment. I pray that I will remember. God in the quiet moments I can choose to stand still for, let go in, see.
Blue Wildflower in the Woods photo, by L.L. Barkat