"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." These words by Walden inspire me to live life fully. I, like Walden, do not want to come to the end of my days and discover I missed life.
I embrace this idea of living each day by various means. Sometimes living is sitting and listening to a friend’s hurts and concerns. It is taking a morning out to pray for those ill with cancer. It is walking through the golden leaves and feeling the carpet was laced just for me. Other days, it is reading poetry and pondering the earth’s pangs of destruction. Pondering is an important part of the day. It is taking a “time-in “as opposed to a “time-out”.
In this pondering state, I don’t necessarily meditate, but I do sometimes. I just take a period of time where I am not multi-tasking. I am just intentionally in a space where electronics and technology cannot control me. I don’t answer the ringing phone, look at a clock, listen to music, or check my texts. I just am. I am reaching into the deepest part of my knowing and pulling out a memory, a thought, a sound, a smell, or a dream. I begin to fondle it like a lover. I caress that memory and try to pull from it all the thoughts I can. I recollect how I felt when I sat by my father’s side. I can smell the cherry tobacco from his pipe. I can feel his gentleness, and hear his soft, low voice. I just stay there and reunite with that time in my life. If my mind tries to escape, I push it back into that day. If it is a childhood memory, I try to recreate the innocence in which I looked at life, at the little town where we lived, at the teaching given to me by my father. I embrace the presence of that moment and feel the warmth, or sometimes I discover a hurt with which I have never dealt. If it hurts, I may shed tears. If it is affirming, I may bask in that feeling of acceptance. I try to grasp what this moment in time taught me about life. Perhaps this is a whimsical activity to some. To me, it is becoming aware of those moments that shaped me, that formed me into the person that I have become today.
Oh, how I would like to go to the woods and live for two years as Walden did. He pondered how a pine tree’s odor permeated his pores. He observed woodchucks and made them into visitors in his lonely abode. He realized that morning was the most significant time of day. He said, “Let me have a draught of undiluted morning air. Morning air! If men will not drink of this at the fountainhead of the day, why, then, we must even bottle up some and sell it in the shops, for the benefit of those who have lost their subscription ticket to morning time in this world. But remember, it will not keep quite till noonday even in the coolest cellar.” I am inspired by Walden’s affirmation of the importance of the morning air. Morning is the most blessed time of the day. We awaken clear minded and in an almost pure state. If we listen to the news, read the paper, or enter into any aspect of worldliness, the freshness of that moment is lost. We must breathe in that “undiluted morning air” and practice being in the presence of the Lord.
I begin each day with writing morning pages of my wanderings. I sometimes begin by reading scripture and God highlights a specific word, thought, phrase or parable. I may have read this many times before, but it is in this morning time that I realize new truth and application to me life. I discover new goals for my life. I realize my shortcoming as God’s word shapes me in the mornings. It is in this molding and shaping that my life has taken direction. Just as in my pondering times mentioned earlier, I begin to wonder how I would have felt at the foot of the cross. I try to recreate the shouts and cries in my head. I see with my spiritual eyes Mary weeping, struggling, begging, and seeing her son dying in such an anguished way. I stay there in that vision. I pull myself back into the vision, the message, and the inkling within me. I stay there and ask God to reveal to me what lesson I am to learn. How can this truth make me really live life? I , like Walden, do not want to come to the end of my journey and discover I missed my morning messages. I don’t want to discover I missed my destiny. I don’t want to regret that I have not lived deliberately.