I’ve been volunteering lately at a small Catholic church, helping an elderly priest manage the office. It’s not my church – I’m not even Catholic – but it’s been rewarding in so many ways. I see a way of life not motivated by money, or even concerned with material things. And every time I go I relearn two important lessons:
1. Time can be plentiful
, if we let it. Most of my life, I crowd my time with to-do lists, schedules, activities and plans for the future. It feels very cramped, pressurized. When I go there, time flows like breathing. There is no hurry, but everything gets done. We are focused on the task at hand, and not worried about everything else clamoring for our attention. And we have time to talk, to share a cup of tea.
2. Everything can be sacred
, if we let it. The simplest snack, the shortest note, if prepared with care, with mindfulness, can be a complete expression of who we are. It’s the source of our satisfaction in a job well done. Sometimes it happens for me at home when I cook, or bake a loaf of bread from scratch. I first found it rock-climbing. But there I find it just typing a letter, or paying bills.
6°C (42.8°F) Just two days ago the ice was impregnable – winter triumphant – and now it runs in the face of a glorious hot sun.