Thursday, July 7, 2016

Swimming with the Almighty in the Dark

Today is going to be a crazy, hectic day, the kind of day where I leave the house at 7:30 a.m. and don't return for 12 hours--and not much down time along the way. 

I knew that to get any exercise, I needed to get it done early.  And so, at 5:30 this morning, I went out to the pool and started swimming my laps.  I'm not usually swimming for exercise in the dark.

As I swam, I thought about how my experience was a metaphor for life with God.  In the following meditation, is God the pool, the dark, the swimmer?  All of the above?  Something else?

As I swam, I thought about how familiar it all was and also, how different.  I was comforted by the sounds of the birds singing in the trees, and creeped out by the unfamiliar and unexpected things my fingers touched (mainly leaves, with the occasional dead bug).  In the dark, the landscape looks like I remember, yet so different at the same time.  I heard the rustle of the wind in the palm trees, and I didn't flinch, but when I heard a different scampering, my brain went to fear.

I was held up by the water, never in danger of drowning, since the maximum depth is five feet or so.  I was in the safety of my back yard.  And yet I live in an urban part of the country, with millions of people never far away.  I never truly feel safe, but I go forward, hoping for the best.

In the dark, it's easy to feel a mystical presence.  It's easier to live with the fact that I'm not as sure of my senses, especially my sense of sight, as I am in broad daylight.  It's easier to believe that there might be more, much more, beyond what my senses tell me.

There are delights that come with the daylight, to be sure.  This morning, I saw a cardinal in a papaya tree--that, too, seemed a mystical miracle.  I was eye to eye with a baby lizard, a creature I wouldn't have seen in the dark.

Let me continue to sing the delights of all creation, both the one I see clearly, and the one in the shadows.

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