Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What Cheer! What Cheer!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the little bits of beauty that surround me here in my near-the- big-city neighborhood. One of the things I mentioned was the cardinal who sings me into my car each morning. As soon as I posted that, he seems to have disappeared...until today. When I arrived home and stepped out of my car, I heard his familiar, melodious "What cheer! What cheer!" Quickly, I grabbed my camera and searched him out for a picture. Certainly, he brought me cheer after an 11-hour day at school.

My mornings have become more beautiful this week, too, as the sun is just rising as I'm driving to work. Today, I started out with just the moon standing out against the sky. By the time I got to school, the sky was like an artist's pallet, different in every direction I looked. It was glorious.

The sunset tonight was stunning as well. I am indeed fortunate to have a west-looking window in my condo. Each evening I am home, I sit and watch that sun sink behind the starkness of the branches. Watching it centers me. Resets my focus for the rest of the night. Once it's gone, I can go about the business of life in my cozy condo.

This nightly ritual reminds me of a week I spent one spring break on Maui (about 20 years ago this very week). Each night, small clusters of people, my friend and I among them, made their way to an isolated spot on the beach (for us, it was just across the street from our hotel) to sit silently and watch the sun slide into the ocean. It was a glorious sight. Once the sun was gone, everyone just as quietly melted away, back to whatever the rest of the night held for them.

A few weeks ago when I was at the writing retreat on the Cape one of the women in the group who lives there on the Cape wrote about a similar wordless ritual she and her husband have each night watching the sun set into the ocean. There's some kind of healing that happens when you take time to sit quietly and think. For the woman and her husband, it brought them closer together. For me, it drains all the dross from the day.

Imagine that. God-given daily therapy!

1 comment:

Sunny said...

OH, he is a darling! I just love cardinals. We don't seem to have them out here.