31 Days in which I am Saved by Beauty – Day 9

This circle walking.
And circle praying.
Tonight I was a little distracted.
This is the season for the acorn drop,
and there are hundreds of them,
all over the paving stones of our driveway.
Can you see them in this picture?
The one below these words?

Earlier this fall, my grandgirl Gracie and I picked up a few,
and put them in a bowl on my china cabinet.
We don’t usually see their small caps,
just the cylindrical bodies.
But this year, early in the dropping season,
we found a hundred or so that had their hats.

My husband believes that 
the number of acorns on the driveway
is a good predictor of how rainy it will be during 
the winter months here on the coast of California.
So far, he’s been right. 

I think maybe we’re in for it this year.

They’re in every crevice, 
cracking underfoot as I turn circles,
round and round.
And when our cars drive over them,
they break open,
revealing the nutmeat inside.
a small brown bird hopped out
from his hiding place under the
jumping into the space I had just left.
He began busily picking at the broken pieces.
When I’d get within about 15 feet of him,
he’d hop away into the bushes again.
He did this on almost all of my 36 circles this night. 

I like the crackling sound these acorns make as I walk.
That noise, these small objects – they remind me
that it is now fall,
even as the changing angle of the light
helps me remember that the seasons
are shifting.
We don’t have a lot of other clues in 
central California, 
just these subtleties, these small things.
To me, they are beautiful
and evocative,
reminding me of how things
stay the same,
even as they are changing.

If I have planned well,
and begun my walking early enough,
I can finish my time outdoors
by sitting in this swing,
which hangs across the yard.
It’s a beautiful spot,
sheltered under the oaks,
and the swing is strung up by sturdy chains,
wrapped around a large, twisting branch. 

If I have planned well,
I try to spend between ten and twenty minutes
in this swing,
focusing quietly on one or two words
from scripture.
I breathe carefully,
with awareness, trying to stay
in rhythm with both the words
and with the swing.
It always feels to me like I am
Secure, cradled.

Even when the words are these:
“Mercy, Lord.”
Which is what came to me tonight,
for a long list of reasons. 

I choose to believe that God hears and answers.
And even when I don’t particularly like
the answers,
there is still mercy to be found. 

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  1. That is a lovely swing! Maybe one day when our trees have grown up, I might be able to talk my husband into making one…
    I’m praying also for mercy and grace and answers for you and whatever your situations are that need them.

  2. We love our swing. However, it needs a really good scrubbing and I am too lazy (an forgetful when I do have surge of energy!). Thanks for your prayers. We’ve got a few weeks to wait on results yet.