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September 15, 2010: The Call of River Time

September 15, 2010: The Call of River Time

I’m sitting in the warm sun on the front porch… watching the breeze whisk yellowed leaves from the Sycamore trees. 
Fall is in the air and all living things are feeling the pull of gravity. 
It seems stronger as the days shorten.
How long have I been sitting here? The sun has passed the mid-sky point, must be afternoon.
I don’t know. I don’t care.
I am in Kairos time. Feminine time.  “Losing track of time” time.
I love it. I am at home here writing and pondering until my knees cramp and shade abandons me.
Moving out to the country was our last radical rejection of left-brained Chronos time- clocks, calendars, day planners.
Now the lambs wake us. Our exhaustion draws us to bed. Grumbling bellies reach for the refrigerator or vine. And our hearts stop us in our tracks at unexpected times…to breath deep and sing praises.  
Thirteen women have answered my invitation next weekend to pack up their journals, walking shoes and longings. To head west to Taproot Farm… toward still water.  
Touching Stillness” is what I call it- a restorative women’s weekend. An opportunity to leave the cell phone and planner in the car. To listen instead for the invitation of the meditation bell, the tug of the tired body toward the hammock…to drop below the chatter of the surface to the deeper wisdom and peace of the water table. A weekend of Kairos time. Nature’s time. Body time. Heart time.
This morning I am reminded of why I came to the river. Of how it called me in the middle of a busy, noisy, exhausting life “above the concrete”  and how naturally my daily rhythms now match the flow of the Cacapon. 
It was just a matter of letting go…as the Maples and Sycamores know so well.
 Here is  something that I wrote years ago when I felt the first call from the water table…  
back to Nature’s time.
Real Time
What if
            very early one morning,
            you could slip behind her dressing room curtain-
            before TIME has donned a costume for the day.
What if… you could see her naked, unadorned, as her natural Self.
What if… she is NOT that foot soldier
             buttoned up in a stiff blue uniform marching “left, right. left, right”, eyes locked forward.
What if, instead… she is truly a meandering child,
            eyes darting to catch the flight of a dragonfly dancing around her head,
            long before she knows her left from her right.
What if… she is NOT that tailor,
            bifocals slipping on his nose, intently stitching snippets of activity together to make a “something” for you to wear proudly; a cape of accomplishments in many colors.
What if, instead… she is really a knitter,
            contently rocking and humming to the rhythm of the clicking needles.
             “Knitting one, pearling two”, then happily watching her work unravel…
          delighting simply in the creation and re-creation of a single stitch.
What if… she is NOT the highway planner,
            pushing the surveyor’s wheel down the paved road-
            stopping to place mile-stone after mile-stone at points of arrival,
            leaning over with marking pen to label decades, degrees, phases of growth and deaths.
What if, instead… she wanders aimlessly
through the trees, along the shoreline, in her own backyard.
Placing a birthday candle at each spot that catches her imagination.
Igniting each tiny flame with an exhale of awe.
What if TIME is NOT
            a square on a calendar, a tick of a clock,
                                    a coordinate on a map, a notch on the coffin.
What if… TIME IS, in her essence-
a gentle river that slides under your feet on a lazy warm afternoon,
erasing gravity, carrying your tired body on a buoyant, pillowy raft.
Silently slipping you out to sea
while the overactive thoughts are left,
like gossiping aunts, to chatter on the shore.
And what if
as you are floating on Time
staring up at the sky,
you no longer can tell, as hard as you may try,
who is doing the moving- the clouds or you.
And soon all the questions remaining in your head
softly change shape like the clouds above:
                                                  From - “how fast am I going?”
                        to - “in relation to what?….
                                                                        -the cars on the shore?
                                                                        -the stones on the bottom?
                                                                        -my heartbeat?”
                                                From – “where am I going?”
                 to – “from which point?…
                                                                        -the dock?
                                                                        -my comfort zone?”
And, what if
as your sleepy sun-drenched eyes begin to close,
you glimpse,  floating by in the current,
a brass button… a thimble…. a marking pen…
What if… this once,
as you reach again to clutch those shiny ornaments,
your fingers simply slide through them like mirages
…until finally,
 riding along with Time herself,
you are able to just let go.
                                                                                      ~b. reese

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