Sunday afternoon I collapsed and I really didn’t move much until Tuesday morning when I decided to stay home and spend the day to catch up with myself. Yesterday I stayed home all day to catch up with myself and am a new person today for it. A hundred thank you’s to my colleague, Elder Wanda Hosea, for introducing me to this phrase. We were leaving a meeting and she tossed off the phrase, “Well, I’m going home to catch up with myself.” I didn’t ask her what she meant, but dropped the phrase in my pocket all the same.
Last week was Vacation Bible School, you see – the one week in the year I work about 70 hours (which I know some people work every week - blessings be upon you!) and never see the inside of my office or my kitchen at home. For 70 hours I mostly cook and clean and shop and clean and play with kids and clean. I laugh a lot and enjoy my job and these people altogether. I don’t do anything but VBS the whole week long, and I love, love, love, love it. I’m also thrilled when it’s over, at which time I collapse for about 40 straight hours. Then I get up and catch up with myself.
Other believers talk about their centering practice or centering prayer. I think they mean something like catching up with myself, but I also imagine them as profoundly spiritual people sitting cross-legged on the floor thinking no thoughts, just inhaling silence and exhaling calm. People who, when they are active, speak of quotidian practices and finding meaning in the ordinary.
To catch up with myself, yesterday I made lists. Then I ordered the items in the lists by various criteria: indoors, outdoors, upstairs, downstairs, home, town. I sorted papers on my desk and organized my journals and notebooks. I might have a teensy addiction to buying new notebooks and journals. I made a list called things to think about with items like what to plant by the driveway and what to preach this fall. Then I thought for a while. I wrote out a few bills, balanced my checkbook, pruned some lavender and started weeding around my tomatoes. It quickly got too hot for that, so I went back inside and read about Sherman’s march from Savannah, Georgia to Columbia, South Carolina. I wrote in my journal and called Coco to see if she was in labor yet. Nope. I ate some VBS leftovers. I petted my dogs and watched a hummingbird the size of my finger drink from my geraniums.
These are the longest days of the year and my favorite too. Long enough that by sundown, I was altogether caught up with myself, head and heart and body all in one place and time. Head and heart and body all feeling as tidy as the ground around my tomatoes and the shelves beside my desk. Maybe that’s what the profoundly spiritual people gain cross-legged on the floor. More power to them. More power to us all! Summer is surely upon us.
~ peace & prayers, pastor annette