Today I'm writing from my back porch. It's hot, but I'm tolerating the heat very well. What you won't see in this picture is the fan that's blowing on me, in addition to a nice breeze.
I didn't know you could have a fan on a porch, till I overheard a conversation between some southern friends of mine. Then I realized that you can have a fan anywhere you have an electrical outlet! And in the evenings, it can help blow the bugs away. Last night was just dreamy out here, I've got to tell you.
So it's beautiful out here. Part of my job as a parish priest is reading and writing, pondering the mysteries of the universe. It's a great job! And it's the part of the job that can be done just as well on the back porch as anywhere else -- maybe better on the back porch!
Weight loss update: 63 pounds gone. I feel terrific. Most of the time I even think I look terrific! I have more energy, more time, and I'm "showing up" more emotionally. I really feel present to my life and other people in a way that I haven't in a long, long time. And there are other changes that have come about since I'm not eating and drinking addictively. For instance, I find myself cleaning things up. One day I walked into my garage and thought, "Oh, this is a mess." Before I knew it, it was cleaned up, the back of my car was full of cardboard for the recycling center, and I was sweeping grass clippings and spider webs out the door. The same crazy thing happened in my potting shed -- let there be order! The pile of old magazines in my closet has shrunk considerably. What is this, anyway?
My mind is clearer. I'm reading things that I've read in previous years, but it feels as though I'm reading them for the first time. I'm writing more. And I'm having lots of Big Ideas and Wonderings. And one of my wonderings is about the whole reason for this blog. Is there any real reason to continue it? Yeah, I've met some great folks who read, and whose blogs I read regularly. But I seem to spend less and less time reading blogs, and certainly not much time writing. But I do feel that the adventure of my life is worth sharing. I'm learning so much, realizing so much, and it's not as though I'm discovering anything new, but I do occasionally find resources worth sharing, and it would be great to have a few people to share all these thoughts and discoveries with.
So -- one wild and precious life. One. As far as anyone knows for sure, it's the only one we get. The only time around. I won't pass this way again, won't have this summer day, won't have this moment of seeing roses blooming and basil wilting, won't feel this same breeze. Wild. This isn't anybody else's life. It's mine. It can't be stuffed into someone else's conception of what it should be. For that matter, it can't even be stuffed into my own preconceptions. In some senses I am the driver of this life, but I also have the necessary luxury of just sitting back and watching what happens sometimes. So it's God's design and mine, nobody else's. I can't be tamed to fit someone else's standards. Precious. That hardly needs any expansion or explanation at all. I feel as though every day is a miracle. I look in the mirror and I'm amazed. I watch and listen and feel my own heart, how it has expanded in love, and I'm surprised, delighted, and oh, so grateful. Yes, this life is precious, and my prayer is that you who read these words realize the preciousness, the miracle of your own life. Go in peace, friend, go in peace.