The Rhythm of Life

Today I took the day off paid work to do the unpaid stuff like working in the garden and cleaning up all the stuff that I somehow couldn’t fit into my schedule last fall.

As I worked I rembered something a friend of mine, Robert Mearns said  a couple of years ago. I was having lunch at his house when he lived in Boone and we were talking about the church and the people of the church and our lives and how they related to it. In the course of our conversation he made the statement that many Americans had lost the rhythm of their lives.

I remember that very next Sunday, having thought about that statement all week, I had the sound guy turn the lights down and had Robert’s son Alan play classical guitar for several minutes while we closed our eyes and focused on God and left the busy-ness of the week behind.

I later heard that I had brought the “New Age” into the church. But that’s another story.

Lately, Sandi and I have been listening to some teachings that deal with Quantum Physics. One of the speakers mentioned the fact that we were mostly out of sync with the natural rhythm of life and that this situation was the cause of many of our illnesses and stresses. And I have to agree.

Not to make it sound Idylic, but I recall a time when I spent some of everyday in the woods, away from the noise of everyday life. No traffic sounds or the hum of 60 cycle electricity flowing into my head. I have to admit I felt a lot more in touch and calmer.

Today, I worked in the garden all morning and took a bike ride in the afternoon. I thought about the rhythm of life all day as I raked and hoed and piled corn stalks and dead plant stuff about seven feet high to await the big fire. I thought about the rhythm of life as I peddled my 15 miles get-in-shape-for-the-spring ride on Railroad Grade Road in Ashe County.

As I began to write this, I thought about a poem I wrote during a beach retreat about a year ago.

Hope you enjoy the ride.

The Rhythm Of Life – A Walk On The Beach

Rhythm: A measured flow of words and phrases – as determined by the length and stress on syllables (or) a regularly recurring sequence of events.

A walk on the beach with my wife
Early morning – damp air

Seashells piled in groups
Randomly assorted for us to choose

I am amazed at the shells that attract me
Ones with bold colors and interesting shapes
Those with intricate design

I am most attracted to those that are perfect or
Those with timeless character

Those with softly worn edges and sand and water worn surfaces

The ones in between, while interesting in their own way – the
One cracked or broken – don’t appeal to me as much
Even though they are on their way to becoming interesting – full of character – worthy of
Picking up and saving

It’s like youth with its spotless perfection and age with its obvious character – the years
In between lost to exploration and daily routine

Even though I know it is the years in between that develop the character that will be displayed later on

While in Africa, Samuel said that he would stop anytime I wanted to take a picture – yet
Made me feel like it was really an inconvenience

His explanation when confronted: “Everything is a picture to you!”

And in a way he was right
Everything has a story – each shell on the beach has its own tale to tell

Once alive – now dead – washed up and washed out – churned up and tossed about

Developing character – each one unique – some perfect – some not
So ready to be picked up and taken home – a treasure for the ages

From sea to shining sea

10/14/2005 – Emerald Isle, North Carolina

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