Minor MiraclesPosted: March 17, 2012
I believe in miracles.
Of course I can’t explain the miracles in my life, but they are among the things that make life so intriguing and wonderful. I’ve had many small serendipitous miracles and a couple of breathtaking larger ones. Whether a Supreme Being has at times intervened in my otherwise supremely ordinary life, or whether the connectivity of the universe and the spirits in it–I simply am too human to know for sure.
What I do know is that no matter how darn dismal things have gotten at times, something has always happened to pick me up, or maybe Someone did. Thus, I am an ever-optimistic, hopeful person. It seems a happy way to be. So I send you this little tale of serendipity, as an example, and as a little hope if perchance you need one:
Leaving my home was killing me. Literally. I felt like a wilting flower. I was leaving my gardens, the rooms I had lovingly painted for my children and where I tucked them into bed each night, the swing where I pushed them and sang to them, the yard where they played kickball and ran with their friends. I was leaving the warm kitchen where we baked together and sat around the table laughing, talking, eating, playing games or doing art projects, the large windows where we watched the birds and the bustle of the neighborhood.
My children were grown and on their own, but I saw their young selves in every room. I had hoped that they would always return for the holidays and someday bring their own children, my grandchildren, to play.
Yes, I know a house is just a building and there can be others; home is where the heart is, after all. These things I knew, but still I felt as if I was depriving my children of a home base, of stability of some sort–a homestead, the ancestral home, if anyone has such things these days.
So, there I was, so sad, walking through empty rooms, making sure all boxes were accounted for and each shelf and closet cleared and cleaned. Room by room I went, sunlight shining on the bare hardwood floors and inviting me to dance a last dance.
The hardest room to bid adieu was my bedroom, a large beautiful open room for which I had always had an affection. Hardest because it was never my room, it was our room. This was good-bye not only to my home, but to my marriage. It felt like a good-bye to my life.
I was (probably miraculously) devoid of tears ’til now. I was brave, and proud of putting one foot in front of the other and looking forward, but now underneath a milk-glass light that I’d never again see, I cried, hard shoulder-shaking sobs. Oh dear Lord, I hope that I am doing the right thing, I thought, I prayed.
I could hardly bear to be in that room and was rather grateful that my tears obscured my vision of it.
I turned and walked out the door and down the stairs.
Walking towards the bright kitchen window, feeling a pang not to see the little vase where I always kept a wild flower, a weed, or a winter twig, it dawned on me that I had not checked our bedroom closet.
I hurried back up the stairs.
In the middle of the floor that I had swept clean was a white paper, a slightly crumpled letter-sized piece of paper in the center of the bare wood floor.
Of course I was puzzled if not slightly jarred, thinking I had missed some bit of garbage, here. I walked over, picked it up, intended to crumple it more and add it to the garbage bin in the garage.
I caught my breath. On the paper I saw my own pen-and-india-ink lettering of a verse or poem. I have no idea when I copied it, or why. I don’t remember it at all. This is what it said:
“Miracle * (in large cursive letters, next to which I had drawn a star)
Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks, then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but You shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.”
I don’t know where I had kept this, I don’t know where it came from or fell from in the midst of my moving madness and sadness, I only know that I found it. I found it in an empty room, and at a time when I felt empty.
Yes, I now keep my crumpled miracle paper on my dresser. Whether extreme serendipity or minor miracle, I gratefully accept it.
I try to be worthy of it, of the “And You shall be a miracle…” and of the wonder of the life that has come to me, by the grace of God.