Returning to Ordinary Time

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The week’s madness, following our peaceful holidays, was profoundly unsettling and left me feeling desolated, abandoned by the joy I normally choose to meet the new day.

Like so many others, I was shocked, saddened, and utterly unsurprised that we had arrived at this terrible moment. We lost 5 lives, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick; the People’s House was entered illegally and violently, and desecrated; members of Congress, most of them trying to uphold our democracy, were imperiled; and all of this was done by a deluded mob unable to disentangle bizarre fabrication from fact, led by a madman and his enablers. It seemed a most disheartening way to meet the New Year, given our many preceding months of loss, depleted energy, and low tolerance for yet more disappointment.

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And there was no peace in being right, in forecasting this would be the likely result of putting a man so small, offensive, corrupt, and incapable in a position that demands a working intellect, wisdom, and a finely-calibrated moral compass. But his spectacular failure, 4 years of it steamrolling through our democracy, flattening our spirits, severing ties, cheapening everything held precious, has been nonetheless stunning. And the weakness and complicity of too many made this week’s events a probable reality. We told them this would happen; we tried to prevent it; they refused to seize the moment and rid us of him last year; here we are.

So, I suppose my response should also have been predicted: We-knew-this-would-happen-outrage, followed by grief, and then long hours of sleepless desolation.

Desolation can be a proper response to the events of Wednesday’s evil, and it can be illuminating, but it is not where we’re meant to reside. “Enthusiasm,” after all, means “in God,” or the delight of conscious intimacy with what we believe to be sacred, and so, identifying an absence of joy indicated I needed rebalancing and required consolation.

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Long years of pursuing spiritual health and integration has taught me life is a journey of continual discernment, where the integration of heart and mind, emotions and reason, is vitally important to our choices and actions. What am I feeling? How is it experienced in my body and breath? And what are the “right actions” with which to respond? Where is Love leading me? What is the movement? Where am I being pulled? What am I resisting? What do my choices ask of my gifts? How do each of the choices before me serve Love and all the relationships it’s led me to form? Art work: music, movement, writing, painting, sculpting, photography…anything deeply right-brained can help us through discernment, as can contemplation/meditation, and a form of exercise that works for you. I especially favor walking and yoga.

I stilled and listened. And looked to the magical wintry Earth, waiting for me.

The new year has blessed us with many days in a world flocked with rime ice, coating every stark surface revealed by winter. We experienced several evenings of freezing fog, which allows supercooled water droplets to be held as liquid within the fog, even though the air temperature is below the freezing point (32º F). Once the droplets freeze onto surfaces, a white deposit of exquisitely feathery ice crystals forms rime.

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I grabbed my camera, and Phillip and I headed to the nearby state park to hike and and heal. It is a precious sweetness to have a companion so blessedly matched to my mind, heart, and spirit. The years have smoothed our differences and deepened our respect; we are content to be who we are with each other and that is gift. So, together, we roamed the land where others discerned their life questions a thousand years ago, roamed the landscape of our hearts, and observed the beauty of rime ice clinging to forms, and offering its art, freely.

And, as always, walking healed and rebalanced our spirits. And, from a point of balance, it was easier to see ways that the horror in our nation’s capital was met with an equal amount of blessing: for example, resolute leaders working through the night to ensure the country’s rightful and necessary transference of power. And when that transfer is complete, it will include a Congress enriched by two new members who will allow the wheels of legislation to turn once more and actually take care of our country’s people and the Earth during this perilous time of pandemic and climate change, when everyone’s gifts must be equally welcomed to the table. And we have vaccines that will save lives, if we can remain patient.

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And when we arrived home, a package waited at the door. My dear friend in the UK had sent it six weeks ago, and she had been so very concerned about its confusing journey and the increasingly likely fact it wouldn’t arrive by Christmas. I kept assuring her it would arrive when it needed to…and it absolutely did.

The poor box looked like it had been drop-kicked, several times. It had holes, crumpled sides, dented edges, and ribbons and ribbons of packing tape, applied in what surely must have been a final effort to support its survival. I really doubted anything inside would be intact, but there you go: just when your spirits need lifting, Love comes through. Inside was an oil diffuser and a box of glass-bottled oils, and both items were in perfect condition. Literally, tools for re-balancing, arriving at exactly the right time.

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We’re moving on. We’ll get through this; we’ll survive and do better. And there is much to be done. The majority of the voters in our democratic republic have decided the course we’ll follow for now. All are welcome at the table, and, if some choose to refrain from participating, the door remains open, but moving on also means moving away from here and now. I hope those who are struggling will travel with their own discernment, heal, and join us. We need their gifts.

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In the church year of my faith, Ordinary Time settles in after the joyful rhythms of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany, and its presence is most wonderfully welcomed by my spirit this year. I yearn for all things ordinary: For a country that’s healing and a government that works. For anticipated, unmasked, open-armed reunions and new gardens. For traveling. For a peaceful exchange of ideas. For healing walks and an appreciation of the Earth’s simple and complex wonders. For meeting new people, at restaurants. For neighbors and families in joyful relationship, and for the surprise of perfectly-timed gifts.

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Happy. New. Year. Be safe and well.

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

18 thoughts on “Returning to Ordinary Time

  1. What a wonderful, thoughtful post! I felt soothed while reading it. And the pictures of that poor package after its apparently crazy journey made me laugh! So glad everything inside survived the trip.

    1. Thank you so much, Tammie.

      Yes, I’m afraid my photos didn’t do justice: that poor box! What stories it could tell! And it was just amazing how pristine everything was on the inside. The sweet box did its duty.

      It’s so kind of you to take time and share, Tammie, and I appreciate it.

      Be well and safe, and gentle peace.

    1. Ha! It’s really not too cold, Sam, but I know it depends on comfort levels.

      Thank you for your kindness; I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling more hopeful! Take good care and be well, Sam, and gentle peace.

  2. Thank you Kitty, your words always inspire me and this week I so needed these words. Peace be with you and thanks for your gift

    Pam Wood Sent from my iPad

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    1. Oh, how kind of you, Pam. Keep taking tender care of yourself. There really are so many people doing great good in our world. I’m sure you’re one of them! Gentle peace to you. Be well and safe.

  3. Looks like a beautiful winter wonderland over there. Enjoy these times, and may the coming spring further accelerate the healing and renewal needed by your nation (and the world as a whole).

  4. Thank you, Yacoob. Your good wishes are welcome and characteristically eloquent. The need for healing is great. It really is my constant prayer that these angry, violent people will encounter peace and discover ways to set those terrible burdens down.

    I love winter’s beauty. As always, the Earth restores. 💖

  5. I have much appreciation for this post. I echo all thoughts and experiences you have, although I am no longer religious.

  6. It is kind of you to write; thank you for taking the time to share your response. I’m so glad you you found affirmation in my words! Be well and safe, please, and gentle peace to you.

  7. Another beautiful, thoughtful, hopeful post. I just love all your pristine snow, I am hoping we get a least one good snowfall. Oh my, my package truly was in the wars, I’m amazed the contents survived!!! Huge hugs and love to you all.xxxx

  8. Thank you, Snowbird! Everything in that poor box looks like it’s right off the shelf of a lovely store. Perfect.

    I guess you could say I’m watchfully hopeful. I think there are some tough days ahead, but ultimately, truth and community will win out. 💕 Joy to your new week, dear friend.

  9. Thank you Kitty for your insightful words. You are all in our prayers in the UK for a peaceful resolution to this challenging time in your country’s transition.

    1. Oh, you darling dear; thank you so much. Your words offer such great comfort to my heart, especially today, as our Congress continues its important work to rid us of the catalyst of this violent poison’s spread.

      Thank you for your kindness for everyone struggling with their anger and fear. Many with the appearance of adults are “leading” from utterly childish wounds, desires, and egos. My prayer is for mature, intelligent, creative and compassionate discernment.

      Be well and safe. Thank you for easing the ache in my heart. Gentle peace.

  10. Kitty, I am utterly enchanted by the beautiful photos with the rime ice. I see that occasionally here, but not very often. It is simply magical. Thank you.
    I was on a business conference call when the Capitol was stormed, oblivious. When I hung up, I received a notification and tuned in. I, like you and so many more of us, was devastated. I watched the news in the evening in disbelief, tears streaming down my face. And like you, I couldn’t believe it, but of course, I could. But even I was surprised at the intensity and rage. Yesterday I was sent a link to something that broke the pall – it’s very long, but if you search for nj.com-Andy Kim, it will come up immediately. One humble Congressperson (from NJ, too), picking up trash from the Rotunda floor because he loves our country and needed to do something.
    I don’t know if I am in balance yet. Very restless. But I am comforted knowing there are others “out there” who look to healing and renewal. Stay well.

  11. Oh, Jeanne, I know; it’s a very hill-valley-hill journey for me, and now, I have to remember to breathe and relax my jaw as we head into the next week. I am stunned by the anger and the lack of logic, or “higher purpose” to all this. There seems to be an immense failure of eloquent articulation regarding the reasons and scope of goals and common sense, as though only the angry mob rules this group, and its members flow from one destruction to another, utterly lacking in maturity, compassion, or a grasp of consequence. It sickens me and breaks my heart.

    I did read about Mr. Kim and was so touched by his humility and love. A stellar public servant. I envy you such a gift.

    Thank you for being there, in touch and taking time to offer comfort to me, way out here. 🙂

    xoxox
    Kitty

    1. The comfort is mutual, believe me!! 😊

      I don’t understand how so many people – SO many! – have been drinking the Kool-Aid. I did read a very interesting article a few days ago – maybe the Washington Post? – about how people end up buying into conspiracy theories and embracing them. Multiple reasons, but a lot of people who don’t have answers to what’s going on around them, and someone shows up and gives them to them, no matter how untrue. And we know where that got us in past history. At least, more legislators are starting to take a stand now. Stay safe and be cheered … love always wins in the end. ❤️

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