Monday, November 24, 2008

The human brain is a marvel...

Isn't it amazing what the human brain can do?  One sniff of a certain aroma, or one phrase of an old song can remind us of things in our past.  We can be transported back to a place or time that is linked to that smell, taste, sound or touch.

For example, I was sitting in the spare room in my cozy chair across from the husband...  I had just finished some accounting homework(fun!) and having left my book out in the hall, was searching the junk around me for something to do.  And there It was.  Sitting on a box of miscellaneous memorabilia was a pack of Belmont Milds matches.  Four matches remained in the little paper pack, so to do something I plucked one match off and folding the flap over pinched the match and pulled!  The "pop" was amazingly loud, garnering even my husband's attention (who is playing WOW with headphones on) and the smell was wonderful.   With my eyes closed I took a deep breath and was brought back to Naramata... Winter Session, Silent Nights, or even any random night, but mostly Silent Night to be exact.  These matches just happen to be the ones supplied to me at the center... and with my eyes closed I could see it.

There I sat in my corner room, the overhead light is off and all that illuminates the room is a bedside lamp(over on the other side of the room)  and the dozen or so candles I have sitting  around me at the desk.  The smell of matches is all around me, and the night is quiet.  You see, once a week we had a night of silence.  Starting after dinner, until the next morning after breakfast everyone was expected to be completely silent.  Any activities done were done in silence, and so I often found myself in my corner room, surrounded by candlelight and writing letters to my boyfriend(my now husband).  Those evenings often held a lot of checking in with myself in ways I couldn't do out loud, but seemed to do naturally when writing to my hunny.  The room was warm.... the feeling of safety and silence almost tangible.... and the sanctuary-like space that room became was profound.

And for that moment as the smell of the match wafted away and my husband asked me a question a part of my heart yearned for that time... a time of purposeful silence, with only myself and Jesus and whatever the pen wrote.  A place, a room, spartan in comparison to the junk heap I sit in right now... clean, safe, warm... no responsibility but to be as honest to and about myself as possible and to participate fully in the community we created together. 

And then my heart sighs a little (perhaps there is an audible one as well) and I bring myself into the now... and make a tiny promise to myself that a little of the person I was then would be held in the now, and I would find the silence in the every day, and hear what I am called to do and be.

All of that from a little itty bitty match. :)


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