I’ve been on my own little retreat – tomorrow, though, I go home. I will drive home, pick up the cat from boarding, zoom inside, feed her, get my music, and drive to choir. Saturday will be household-y type jobs, Sunday will be Cathedral and singing and friends, and then come Monday I’ll be plunged back into the day-to-day bustle and demands and chaos and stress of my regular work life. I can guarantee that my sugar and caffeine (and alcohol – ahem) intake will increase, and my hours of sleep will decrese, and it won’t take long at all for my post-holiday calm to fray.
And here’s what I need to remember: my spirituality is as inherent in my day-to-day life as it is in the deeper and quieter times. I dwell in the Sacred as much when I’m washing dishes or fighting with the computer rostering system at work as I do when I’m singing the Mass, or sitting on the edge of a lake bathed in the beauty of the sunset which inflames the sky and guilds the water in pink luminosity.
And the superficial layers of life are important, and the Sacred is present in them as well, because all that I do is underpinned by the Source and Ground of my being.
But – and this is a biggie – the superficial can very easily lose its connection with the Sacred unless “it springs from the depth of spirit where our whole being is centred, renewed, and daily refreshed”, writes John Main – Ahh, says Naomi. There’s my problem!
My problem is that, while I intellectualise that all I do is a sacrament, I often forget. I often let myself be drawn up in the demands, in the busyness, in the need (my own need, as much as others’) to constantly be moving, constantly be busy, constantly be stimulated. Because life’s busy, and there’s stuff to get done. Because I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts, my emotions. Because intellectualising is easier than feeling. And so I forget the depth of spirit in which I’m refreshed – I’m the person who, parched, doesn’t reach for the glass of water on the table in front of me because my head’s in the job in front of me.
I can’t say things will magically improve when I get back to my daily life. But I’m taking learning away with me from this retreat, and I’m going to try to open myself to the idea of things changing.
That’s probably actually all I have to do. I have a sneaking hunch that God will do the rest.