Each morning during a quiet time, I've been reading a book I found by accident at the library a few months ago titled A Year with Thomas Merton, Daily Meditations from His Journals selected and edited by Jonathan Montaldo. The daily entries drawn from journals spanning nearly three decades are short and simply stated reflections on the everyday life of a Trappist Monk. Sometimes I become captivated and want to leap ahead to read the next entry. When I slow down, read, and reread the words for the day, I realize the message is profound and intimately connected to my life.
This morning's meditation created a vivid image I will carry into my day:
"Bright morning - freezing, but less cold than before - and with a hint of the smell of spring-earth in the cold air. A beautiful sunrise, the woods all peaceful and silent, the dried old fruits on the yellow poplar shining like precious artifacts. I have a new level in my (elementary) star-consciousness. I can now tell where constellations may be in the daytime when they are invisible. Not many, of course! But for example: the sun is rising in Aquarius and so I know that in the blue sky overhead the beautiful swan, invisible, spreads its wide wings over me. A lovely thought, for some reason.
Since Hayden Carruth's reprimand I have had more esteem for the crows around here and I find, in fact, that we seem to get on much more peacefully. Two sat high in an oak beyond my gate as I walked on the brow of the hill at sunrise saying the Little Hours. They listened without protest to my singing of the antiphons. We are part of a menage, a liturgy, a fellowship of sorts." February 13, 1968