Friday, July 18, 2008

A Room With A View

Friday.
Dearest one is done working nights.
We are going to spend the day together,
travelling in his car to places north and west.
I love driving with him.
He is fun to be with.
Last night we caught a ride with friends to visit some other friends who were working nearby at a Bible camp.
As I got in the vehicle the door unexpectedly swung closed behind me.
I said, "Watch, dearest one is going to comment that I didn't leave the door open for him."
As soon as I said it, dearest one opened the door, got in and muttered in a half jesting tone, "For pity's sake I even have to open my own door."
We all errupted in laughter.
I told him it was good he was so predictable.
He is fun to be with.
Later on he went for a walk and came back into the dining hall with his hands cupped.
He motioned for me to open my hands to receive what he had to offer.
I hesitated. Was it a grasshopper? A frog?
I got ready to scream.
"Trust me," he said.
Into my hands he dropped two very tiny wild strawberries.
They tasted so sweet on my tongue.

I'm leaning against the wall as I type. Above my shoulder is a small window. Every morning the sun shines on my face as I write these posts. I read once in a book on small spaces about how people often want a bank of windows to look out in their home. The writer challenged the idea and talked about how a view, however small, has a story of its own to offer. A snapshot of sorts. There is a little piece of one of our livingroom windows that was left exposed when we put the air conditioner in. This tiny piece of glass was something I looked through whenever I did a certain yoga pose in my yoga routine. I'd turn and bend and hold the pose. My gaze out the window revealed a sturdy tree trunk and then trees in the distance behind it. I often thought about how I would be watching the changing seasons through this bit of a view. I never spoke of it. It was simply a comfort every time I did that pose.

Then dearest one covered it over with a blue file folder. Blue file folders may fade in the sunshine but they remain static. However small the view out this piece of glass, I looked forward to its stability. When I wash the dishes I look out another small window and observe the fields, the trees and in the distance, a bit of the highway as it curves up the hill. On winter days I can guage the road conditions by how much of the highway's black ribbon is visible. Other times there's a long string of lights and it tells us there's most likely been an accident. Occasionally a huge harvest moon appears for a few moments in all its orange glory as it crests the hill. The same view with subtle changes on a daily basis. All I have to do is open my eyes to see.

Last night we met at the Bible camp a man we used to spend quite a bit of time with when we were new Christians. He and his wife were missionaries nearby, ministering to people who were raised with a different view of Christianity. Hospitable people, rigid, very rigid in their beliefs. I liked rigidity back then. It made me feel safe. Over time that has dissipated. Occasionally I still find myself drawn to it. When that happens I know I am afraid of something. Now I worship in a setting with the very same people this man spent so much of his life trying to convert. Because of this I found myself feeling on guard last night. I realized I was holding my breath and tensing my body. As if ready for flight. Which really says more about me than him. I had to remind myself to breathe, to relax. This morning I wrote in my journal that I needed to give this man the benefit of the doubt. That in the interceding years since we last met that perhaps he has softened his rigid ways, that maybe he's changed as much as I have. I believe the people who I feel the most threatened by are my best teachers. They show me parts of who I am and where I am on my journey. I usually embrace those as opportunities after the fact. In the moment I tend to want to run the other way. I hope that one day I will be settled enough in who I am and where I am that I will embrace whoever I meet.

We all look out our windows and see the same sun, sky and moon.
Depending on where we are in this world, we see them from
a different perspective.
From a different view.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see you. I want to see you.

4 comments:

annie said...

I hope your friend has loosened up a bit.

Your post was beautiful and so serene.

dirtydishes said...

I love that song Hope. I will be thinking of you looking at the same full buck moon tonight as I am. (*)

Jim said...

Always...the lessons are as much about ourselves as they are about him.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Hope. The phrase "windows of our soul" is floating around my brain now. :) Thanks for allowing us anonymous commenters, again.

I got your email and hope to answer soon; I hurt my shoulder and can only type slowly and for very small amounts at a time.

Mich