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On Tuesday, the sun shone with purpose, and you noted the burlap ground cover and vibrant blue sky. You found yourself standing in that Narnian place of seasons embracing. That holy wrenching mingling of the now and not yet.

Just a few days later, the winds whipped and the skies darkened — crowding day on either side, wrapping afternoon hours like a blanket.

As you drove down a familiar street in your minivan, a piece of tree struck the sunroof of your car with such force that it knocked the sobs right out of you. You expected a crack, but you found no signs of the impact, which isn’t to say you weren’t impacted as you pulled over to the side of the road to cry and breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth — your daughter sitting next to you, asking tenderly, “Mama, are you okay?”

The world feels an intense place this week. Maybe I’m not the only one. Right now outside my window, the sky looks innocent enough, though the trees are beginning to whip their circles again. Winds of up to 70 mph are forecast to hit this weekend. All soccer games canceled. Plans changed.

I dabble in the world of Facebook politics, and it is a storm. It all makes me weary.

On Sunday, I will fly to Denver. I am overwhelmed by the preparations and the awareness that I will be gone from my people for a long time.

As the winds whisper, then roar, I can’t help but imagine myself readied for take-off in a giant metal bird. And I must release my control, trust once again that the pilots will do their work as the lurching, lilting creature pushes its way through the elements, rises above them.

My senses are heightened. My feelings right at the surface, ready to blow out in any number of ways. I am nerves all piled up. A storm watcher. A batton-down-the-hatch-er. A come close and I’ll hold you, sweet child.

What is the prayer, Lord? What is the truth?

Draw near. Yes, always this.

Come close to me.

I am not safe in the ways you imagine, but I am good.

Curl up small. Breathe.

Do what I have for you to do.

Do not be afraid.

I drive a zigzag of a hundred miles back and forth across town, check my calendar numerous times a day so as not to miss any of the things. I am a woman spinning plates. I drop some, and they shatter. Sometimes you don’t see the impact.

I cannot live only as hyper-vigilant responder, nor as a woman stumbling through half-awake. And I cannot contain it all.

Can’t hold metal birds in skies. Can’t keep massive branches attached to their trees. Can’t perfectly spin breakable things. Can’t say all the right words all the time.

I curl up small in my humanity now. Remember the miracle of autumn glimmers and this breath in my lungs.

Fall explodes in theatre. It is extroverted, riotous color, and the leaves fly in mini hurricanes. Then all goes quiet — like the walls of a home sealed up against the storms.

Contracting, expanding.
In, out.
In, out.
Inhale, exhale.
Let the wind fill your lungs, release it like a gust.

________

If you are a subscriber, you will know from my newsletter that I leave for my intensive spiritual direction program this week. I am beyond grateful to go and soak up all God has for me there, and…I am away for nine days. Please keep my little tribe in your prayers? Bless you, friends.

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