Friday, November 20, 2009

as best we can...

for some reason i am thinking of a few moments... the first one comes to mind, it was the september of the world trade center bombings, i was sitting on the grass on the sheep's meadow in central park. a young man came up to me and began talking to me. he said that he and a group of young people had come to new york to pray with new yorkers in light of the tragic happenings of september eleventh. you know me... i thought how sweet. i asked him how it was going...

he was curious about my background. he asked if i went to church. i explained to him how i had always been attracted to church. really. i remember as a little girl, maybe i was three or four years old, asking my mother if i could go to church. on the city block where we lived there were two churches. one directly across the street from our house, and the other, down at the corner at the end of the block.

i remember my mom dressing me for church that morning in my pretty little dress, white socks turned down at the ankle and patent leather mary janes. she held me by the hand, walked me across the street (it was a small street) and told me before going into the church alone to have someone cross me back across the street and come on home afterwards. and i did. the first time, that i remember, going to church was alone when i was about four years old.

the trappist monk thomas merton, who was also an artist and poet, writes about how churches in new york are a kind of oasis, a cool quiet place to sneak into to escape the chaos of the busy city. i always remember this when ducking into a quiet sanctuary.

when i shared this story with the young guy who had come to new york to pray, he looked at me and said... so you are called. i'd never thought of my love for a contemplative life of prayer which includes the wisdom of eastern philosphy, and my love of writing that inspires, as a calling, but there you have it.

i just think of these little instances when i was seemingly too little to know... when i think and wonder what this guy could seemingly see that i had not. i get to wondering if i've had a kind of angel with me always, not only leading me into seemingly unfamiliar places and spaces, but looking after me in difficult moments as well.

i remember as a little girl too, i/we must have been about four years old. this was when parents could let their children go out to play seemingly without a care. we were a group of girls. i remember, there were about five of us. and i can see his apartment door now in my mind. he lived on the first floor of a six story building. the buildings on our block had big lobbys and we would play inside them, and too go outside to play on the sidewalks. lots of room for play! this man on the first floor used to invite the little girls inside his apartment and give them a quarter to touch them. i know, horrible.

i have no idea why, but i never went in. i would wait for the girls outside the apartment. i remember them coming out to show me their quarters. we would all wait there until we were all together again and then go on with our playing down the street. to this day i have no idea why i never went inside that man's apartment. i never was even tempted. i also don't know why we didn't tell our parents.

just thinking that sad things happen in life...and we do our best to keep on keeping on.
not sure why this story came to mind today. maybe it has a bit to do with feeling light blue, and remembering how even when we don't have that perfect slant of light, perfect upbringing, or when freaking planes fly into buildings, we still find a way to keep on as best we can...


Angie Muresan said...

Sad things do happen in life. Some people choose to dwell on them, victimizing themselves further, while others move on. But I do feel that you are blessed Audrey. From your childhood on you were wrapped in a cloak of protection and wisdom. I can sense it in your spirit, and see it in the way you write, in your thoughts. Whatever God has placed in your future is great, and everything leads to that.
My grandmother had a prayer that she would pray for her grandchildren, and I heard it many times being said as we left the house. God's angels be with you and keep your bodies and minds safe from all harm. We grew up believing that nothing could touch us. Perhaps a soul in that sanctuary recognized the soul of that four year old girl you were and prayed for it wisdom and protection, because you have it, girl.

l'air du temps said...

Dear Angie, I am beginning to feel that you share the blessings of your family with me, with your readers. You have had a rich, beautiful, and blessed upbringing, and deep connection with your family. when you share your stories and your prayers with us, i feel blessed, comforted, protected, and reminded of the vivaciousness of life. thank you so much!

Irritable Mother said...

I love that story about your mother getting you ready for church. And I agree with Angie - perhaps someone was there and saw you and prayed for you in that moment, asking God to protect you throughout your life. Maybe that's why you never had the desire to go for one of those quarters.
I don't know who was praying for me as a youngster - but I am so thankful for God's protection over my life!
I am so thankful that even though my life has not been perfect, even though bad things happen, even though life is still hard now - God gives me the grace I need to live each day. His love is amazing!

May you sense His peace and presence today.

Love to you!