As one season comes to a much anticipated end, and a new one begins in less than a week, I am grateful for a small opening of space to prepare my heart for the next thing.
Yesterday marked the last day of a couple week job, that God-forbid I ever have to do again. I worked at an Amazon Fulfillment Center sorting packages to be picked up by delivery drivers. The name of the game there is speed. For those of you who know me, my competitive nature ate that up. And by that I mean, I was eaten up; the job was soul-sucking, if ever I’ve known soul-sucking. The truth is, though, millions upon millions of people do work of this nature just to live, and tragically, they don’t even make a living wage. How privileged am I, that I can step into this work one moment and step out the next…
As I ponder this particular transition amidst the greater transition of my life, I am humbled that I have the opportunity to spend my time this summer working for a cause that, God-willing, blesses others. For those of us privileged with the opportunity to choose where we work and how we spend our time, we have been given a tremendous responsibility. What is work, what is life, if it is not spent giving our gifts to others?
Next week, I will step out into a summer at the Grunewald Guild where I had the privilege of writing this past winter. The Guild exists for the purpose of exploring art, faith, and community. This summer, we will share meals together, we will create together (and alone), we will explore “the peace of wild things.”(1) But, above all, we will engage with what it means to open our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls to this gracious earth, to the stranger in our midst, and to the Spirit who journeys compassionately with us.
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work,” as Mary Oliver so aptly wrote over and over again. (2)
This is indeed our work.
To our bodies, may we listen.
To our minds, may we practice awareness.
To our hearts, may we attend.
To our souls, may we study.
To our neighbors, may we receive.
To the earth, may we practice wonder
To God, may we meditate–
And may we give thanks for it all.
Blessings on each of your journeys this summer. May your attention yield opening and joy… in abundance.
- Berry, Wendell. “The Peace of Wild Things.” Openings. New York. Harcourt, 1968. Print.
- Oliver, Mary. “Yes! No!” Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays. Boston. Beacon Press, 2003. Print.