A Deep Breath in Dappled Water

Image Claude Monet, Waterlilies, c. 1916. Public domain, commons.wikimedia.org.

The past two weeks have been busy…so much so that I’ve not had time to write.

There were an MRI and doctor appointments, contractors and an unexpected plumber. After which, within the following five days, I had two presentations and a conference.

It was Tuesday, the last presentation over, about an hour away from home, when I stopped for lunch at a roadside diner—it was past 3 p.m. and I was exhausted. I order hot tea and waited for my meal.

The walls and display cubbies in the restaurant were filled with the work of local artists. Each piece was carefully tagged with a story and a price. On the wall opposite my booth was a lovely impressionistic painting of water lilies that reminded me of Monet, and the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The teals, cerulean, magenta-pinks and whites were stippled across the canvas. The composition felt alive. I could imagine beneath the surface Hopkins’ “rose-mole…trout that swim.” The painting gave my senses repose. I breathed deep and quieted while sipping tea. It was in that quieting that a quote by St. Julian of Norwich came to mind:

As the body is clothed in cloth and the muscles in the skin and the bones in the muscle and the heart in the chest, so are we, body and soul, clothed in the goodness of God and enclosed.

I had not realized how tight I’d been strung these past two weeks. How disrupted my personal space and routine of prayer and study had become.  We all live, worried or calm, busy or at rest, enclosed within the goodness of God. I felt gratitude for grace through the layering of time and gave praise “…to God for dappled things…”

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