Grace and Peace to you.
Returning from a couple weeks of vacation I know now I’m supposed to get back to work. I’m supposed to jump back into the busyness and noise and anxiety we call normal. But the sea still chants in my ears; the lake still holds me in its soft hands. The purpose of a vacation, or sabbath, or a lunch break, is not to gather steam for the next chore. It’s to be fully alive. This is the purpose of life, and attempting anything else harms us.
So I will return to this setting where I work, but I won’t speed up, get anxious and identify with my accomplishments. I will be fully present here, just as I was swimming in the ocean, feeling the dance of the waves. I will be as attentive as I was floating on the lake, listening to loons and watching the clouds. I will be as immersed in the holy amid phone calls and program planning as I was underwater in the lake in Maine. And at the end of the day I will quit and go home and be there, too.
Of course I will often lose focus and forget my purpose and start to identify with my work and try to be in two places at once, or try to be someone I’m not by doing something I “ought to.” So I will stop now and then to remember. I will come back to my prayer seat over and over to keep practicing. Whether I’m hither or yon, the point is to be here, fully and deeply present. After all, holiness is everywhere; the divine enfolds us every moment. All we have to do is go slow enough to pay attention.