myself, twenty two

I wake up earlier than I wanted to – it’s humid here, and there is a humming in the air itself, weightier. I think about coffee, about putting on the Nashville Cast soundtrack (yes, I think about that), about lying there for a while longer. With a groan only the Holy Spirit and I know about, I pull my sneakers out from the box in my closet and a pile of other shoes tumble to the ground. I groan again.

By this time, I thought to myself last year, I’d be one of those people who are more faithful with running. I said to someone in January I would run a marathon this year – and now the prospect of the 4.5 mile loop almost sends me back to bed. I meet my not-met expectations on these runs some mornings. They lope along next to me, commenting, “Gee, I thought by 22 you’d know more about what you believe.” “You’d know how to do a lot more than boil water and not catch yourself on fire while standing next to the grill.” “You’d write more letters.” “You’d have something published.” “You’d figure out what the HECK to do with lipstick.” “You’d do one of those spring cleanings with your closet.”

22 sounded like all those things to me last year.

But this morning, I just start to talk.

I talk and talk as I run, a stream of words as busy as the streams by my house. I talk to drown out the silence of the morning, and I talk because talking is reintroduction to the pattern of being with God, the pattern of knowing Him. I talk until I can’t talk anymore, and sweat drips down my back.

I tell God that the ducks swimming in the pond are beautiful and that the morning is beautiful and there is one thing more I must do, according to the Miss Rumphius book, and that is make the world more beautiful, and boy do I hope, Father, that you have some ideas for me. Because I’ll sow lupine seeds like Miss Rumphius or I’ll write papers about Lonergan’s philosophy of education or I’ll listen for hours to the stories – such good stories – of the people You allow me to know. I’ll do anything, I tell Him, only let me stay near to the beauty of You?

And I talk and spread my hands, all the way down the long hill, until, abruptly, the words stop. God enters.

Quiet your heart. I am speaking. 

I bite my lip – there is always one more question and before I can stop it, it trips off my tongue, and God, I think He laughs.

Quiet your heart. I am speaking. 

To stay in the beautiful a little longer. To linger, gently, in the morning, heart quieted against the fast-fading ideas of what I thought I would be. To hear the silence, again, that stillness that shouts His presence, to be steadfast to it above the noise.

I want to scatter lupine seeds across the plains of this widening world.



4 thoughts on “myself, twenty two

  1. Hilary, you do “make the world more beautiful”! I am so thankful that the Lord has led you to be at Gordon the last year and one or two more! 🙂

  2. i loved that book as a child, the one where she spreads lupine seeds everywhere, and makes the world more beautiful. It was such a sweet story, such a beautiful one, and a perfect metaphor for our lives.
    I’ve been running lately, and actually regularly for the first time in my life and I’ve discovered that when I go by myself, it’s one of the sweetest times of communion with God during the day. Odd how that works, when you can hardly breathe and you feel like your legs are going to collapse, how your heart can be still and resting in Christ. But it can be, and it doesn’t have to make sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s