At first, I was struck by the finery of this hotel. Marble floors. Rich tapestries. Smiling bellman. I was awestruck at the grandeur – the mere size of this place.
And, then it was so obvious. While it was rich…. it was poor. It was busy yet hollow. People scurried up and down the hallways – all going somewhere – yet nowhere. There was nothing to ponder – to give me pause. Nothing to cause my soul to stir – to deepen my thoughts – to engender that inner stillness that my soul craves “More!”
I came to know that it was not the marble,
the tapestries, or the fanfare that filled my cup.
It was another kind of place that I had visited just the day before. A simpler place – one that left me the opportunity to be still – to ponder – to fill the spaces with thoughts and feelings and not outward elaboration and display.
Simple – almost bare – with a small bed, table and a couple of chairs. There was a window unit for air conditioning if you needed it but an open window allowed a breeze that brought in more than air but also a chorus of crickets at dusk. The sound of rain on the tin roof – the babble of a brook near my porch – a crackling fireplace – a symphony of birds outside my bedroom window at dawn – these things gave me pause and brought me stillness – and a presence with and beside me that only the Spirit comprehends.
We have to teach our children by example. It will not be the TV but the lack of it – not the computer games but life that buds and blooms around us. Not the gold and glitter but the warmth of life and the sound of living.
Not the artificial but the real. Turn it off – open a window and breathe. Walk slowly through – and deliberately brush by fresh herbs in a kitchen garden. Inhale their aroma! Find a pool of water. Skip a stone across the lake. Hold a kitten. Feed a duck. Hear the night’s chorus that beckons you to come out and simply ‘be’ with them.
We cannot teach what we do not know.
In order to teach your children how to find
solace in the world – you’ll first have to find it yourself.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as
He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day . . .”