When the broken cells in your body, and the long and lonely moments in your life are rearranged, there enters a necessary silence, one that allows the re-membering to take place safely, securely, root deep.
I observe the same cycles this summer as I did last year: pickling the radish, blanching the beans, weeding the same flower beds, trimming the same stubborn saplings that appear under the hummingbird bush. I move around the place in the same scuffed boots and the same dirty jeans. I come in sweating like always and drink from the same jar of sun tea, the one that leaks into the crisper underneath it. I wash my hands and forearms in the same well water and stand under the same ceiling fan in the kitchen letting the mechanical breath of it cool me.
Even though there is the appearance of sameness on the outside, I am entirely new under the shelter of this love. I know all of you have felt the same transformation, the one that gives a certain intensity and depth to the creative act of being alive.
Eight pounds of peaches are sitting on the kitchen counter, soon to be spicy, sweet preserves, and there are two loaves of zucchini bread on a wire rack, evidence of a late night of baking. Together we're finding the delicious things, vibrant things, the things of life that speak and feel and risk and give and love. The amnesia is wearing off. Thank you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you...
We are moved toward newness, loved kindly, cultivated through attentiveness, handled gently. In the same way, wobbling children learn to walk, moving away from what is "safe" in order to touch that which asks us to grow. (We're all just wobbling children in so many ways.)
And as the earth is reformed into climbing vines of heart-shaped leaves and the flowers find their color in the sun, Nora's cells are rearranging, too. Her legs are so much longer this summer, though her skin has found the same rich shade as last year, the kind that speaks of hours at the local pool. She knows new words. Her heart is still wise. She still invents brilliant contraptions and speaks with the kind of wisdom I know comes from the way God has been speaking to her from the very beginning, the same way a younger version of myself heard the still, small voice that whispered into my cells as I peered over the edge of the mesa, watching the grass move in waves that made it possible to see the Silent Breath I heard inside me, the kind that rearranges you.
Every morning, I still pull out my stacks of books, the blank page of a notebook and a mechanical pencil, and I study, and sit, and think and pray. And I am beginning to understand more and more each day that I'm not trying to "get to the bottom of things." How deadly. How impossibly small. I am simply trying to be brave enough to allow my cells, my soul, my life, my self to be rearranged, to be willing enough to release this person into the space of a life with her heart beating strong into the lives of those around her, her hands working good into the hours given to her.
The garden continues to give itself over to me, and I give myself over to it on my knees in the prayer of labor pulling the dead leaves and greedy weeds away from the living stuff. And I am doing the same work inside of me. Or I am allowing this work to be done to me, through me. Healing is a kind of mystery that occurs when one opens to the moment of being loved even as far as to the seemingly unlovable edges of yourself, near the border spaces where you've been sitting too afraid to call it home. Perhaps it is the space of the margin where I sit looking in and out, perhaps this place is just as right, too.