Sunset miracle and myseryWhat better way to start the new year than by reminding ourselves that life is a Mystery.  We can fight and struggle trying to understand and control everything, or we can embrace and embody the Mystery, live and celebrate it!  Some wise writers, mystics, and activists weigh in on the Mystery of life, and of living it, alone and together.

“Imagine if your New Year’s intentions weren’t about fixing or improving, but about deepening and transforming, about embracing the holy mystery at the heart of the world.”  Christine Painter, who has a rich and inspiring website, “Abbey of the Arts”, goes on to say, “Living into the mystery of things helps us to release our hold on needing to know the answers.” Oh my.  This can this be scary, but also a great relief.  Surrender. Swim. Float. Sense. Breathe!

Mike and I have a new practice.  We have begun reading aloud to each other.  It has been very rich.  It slows me down (!), creates connection and a shared experience between us.  And it enhances the book to read it aloud, to feel into the pace and flow of the writing, the characters, their voice, their points of view — to try on different emphases and expressions.  One author whom we have enjoyed is Marilynn Robinson, and we’re into the third book of her trilogy consisting of Gilead, Home, and now Lila.

Robinson observes this about M(m)ystery and miracles:   “I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of the miracle is here, among us.”  

How often have we heard this, and how easy is it to forget:  there is magic, miracle, and mystery right before our very eyes — to be seen, felt, touched, treasured, right here and now.  I give thanks daily that I am blessed with seeing many sunsets (more about this in a later post!).  We also see the pre-sunrise glow as the mountains come alive, the snow lights up, there is fire in the hills as the sun hits the windows just right.  And just this very morning we watched a pair of eagles, and some seagulls playing in the thermals, rising higher and higher in the blue.Miracle and mystery at dawn

We are coming to know that our earth, all the planets, stars, forms and manifestations that we see and can’t see, know about and don’t know about, arise in some mysterious way from the very ground of being.  Talk about something bigger than ourselves to connect with!

What better way indeed to start a new year, to live a life, even, or maybe especially, in times of conflict, confusion, discouraging developments and global challenges, than to open to the mystery, the magic. the miracles.  To let our hearts be cracked open by a sunset, a smile, the sense of being part of a larger whole.

I will let Authur Rubenstein close this piece:  “To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings — It’s all a miracle.  I have adopted the technique of living life from miracle to miracle.” 

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Your feedback, forwards, tweets, likes are most welcome.
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