Thursday, July 25, 2013

the common life

"A cool and lovely morning, clear sky, ever-changing freshness of woods and valley! One has to be in the same place every day, watch the dawn from the same house, hear the same birds wake each morning to realize how inexhaustibly rich and different is 'sameness.' This is the blessing of stability, and I think it is not evident until you enjoy it alone in a hermitage. The common life distracts you from life in its fullness. But one must be able to share this fullness, and I am not for a complete and absolute solitude without communication (except temporarily)."

- Thomas Merton

I think I've expressed something similar to Merton at some point in the writing of this blog. We've lived in this house for 14 years, and I walk many of the same paths every day. My attempt to share this fullness, the richness of sameness, as Merton says, is my strange calling. One of my strange callings.

Of course, I'm not Merton, I'm not alone in a hermitage. But we can spend a little time each day reflecting on what is the same, what is different about our morning, or our lunch hour. How the light strikes the rose in the morning light, in the evening light. How that changes things. The common life, is never common, after all.

I'm grateful to our pup, Ace, for getting me outdoors every morning, in every type of weather, for a walk. Even when I'm tired, when I just plainly don't feel like it. When I have other things pulling at me. Still, we go. We walk, we look, we breathe. And it really is a good, good thing. 

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