“As I watch the stars of evening, and in the morning open my window toward the east, I shall observe the Ceremonial of quietness of heart, of simplicity, and poise of spirit, that I may keep my soul and the souls of others free from entanglements in the machinery of the day.” — Ceremonials of Common Days, Abbie Graham, 1923. (Discovered via Sarah Ban Breathnach’s beautiful daybook, Simple Abundance).
As the holiday shopping ramps up and many reading this have already had a snowfall or two, we can hardly forget that Winter is on our doorstep.
By astronomical reckoning, though, it is still Autumn. We are exhorted to go dashing through the snow, but personally, I experience these last days of Fall as such a sweet and poignant time, meant to be savored, slowly.
We need not rush the Winter; She will certainly come soon enough. And after the tinsel is all put away, She lingers another three months or so, and is much less popular.
So instead of being shoved forward into a winter wonderland whether there is snow or not, I will walk along my faerie path in our woods, and celebrate, giving my thanks that, “Yes. This, too, is Autumn.”
The push in our culture to hurry up and be on top of the next thing, long before the next thing actually comes along, seems to me to be very much how we become entangled in the machinery of the day.
We watch bleakly as our lives fast-forward, and we never quite get caught up.
So just for today, remind yourself that this common late Autumn day is actually quite extraordinary. There are so many treasures waiting in it for you to discover. See if you can’t allow at least some of it to simply unfold as a quiet string of moments, without your intervention or planning or management.
Let yourself taste today’s common, everyday pleasures deeply and slowly. See if there aren’t just one or two things on your list that you can forego. Not postpone, loading them upon tomorrow. But drop entirely, in order to create breathing space for the holy gift of this ordinary day. And the next.
May you find the sacred of the common day on this happily unparticular one. Blessings!