Taking a walk was on the 'should' list. It's on the 'should' list because even though I usually enjoy my walk and am glad I went, I almost never look forward to going. But women of a certain age gain weight easily and exercise helps that. It also keeps us mentally sharp. And who can argue with walking on a morning that has bright sunshine, a gentle breeze, and temperatures between 60 and 70?
So I went, with Rich Mullins music on my mp3 player to set my pace.
My birthday is this month and I'm grateful for a September birthday because the wild sunflowers are at their peak in September. I caught myself feeling sorry this morning for people who have the misfortune to be born in any other month. The sunflowers seemed like a gift just for me. Alongside them were lower clusters of pale lavender clover plants.
It was too beautiful for the music so I walked with just the sound of my feet and the wind.
As I walked I thought about the Richard Rohr tapes I've been listening to. He speaks of prayer as being full surrender of the self to God. Our culture is so much about 'me'. We want to have formulas for prayer, even, so that WE can do it right and MAKE God show up for prayer. Could I be more in tune with this moment, with God, and less aware of myself?
I smiled as I remembered my so recent thoughts about the sunflowers seeming like a gift for me. Of course they are---but no more a gift for me than for anyone else who happens to really see them. It's not about me. It is about so much more than me. And that is a relief and a blessing.
Does God create this beauty for us? Maybe. Or maybe it is like when I push my hands into the dough of my bread. He just loves making things that are good. Or maybe it is so many things...a beautiful package for bird food, perhaps?
At any rate, the sunflowers are there. God is there. And I was in a place physically, emotionally, and spiritually where I could enjoy both.