Have you found yourself making faces like these two lately? I ‘m afraid I have. Plus my left eye started twitching wildly around 9 pm last night, so if you see me, don’t assume I’m flirting with you. (Though who could blame me, as fine as you are?!)
No, the twitching and the uncontrolled grimacing is just a sign that I need to turn off the news, take a break from political talk on the radio, from Facebook debates and general exposure to the wackadoodle, at least for a little while. My twitching and lip biting and my nagging urge to gather all the children I know under a tree to read Charlotte’s Web together, breathing in the bravery and sacrifice, is only my body telling me to take a deep breath. To focus on something beautiful and calming, something real and true, something that gives me perspective and reminds me that this too shall pass. (Unless some reckless person is allowed to be in charge of the world and gets us all blown to bits.)
But back to focusing on peace and tranquility…
I have just the thing to focus on. Something to stare at when we feel the freak out coming.
I’d like to share it with you, if you’d like to see it. It’s a little weird and wonder-full, so it’s a favorite of mine.
Here it is.
I warned you it was weird.
My dad pulled it out of a peat bog in eastern North Carolina back in the seventies. It’s a cedar root, dated to between 4000 and 10,000 years old. 4000-10,000 years old! I can hardly imagine what eastern North Carolina looked like and felt like and smelled like back then!
I love this root because it’s soft and smooth and sculptural. When I was a child, we’d set up our nativity set at Christmas underneath another root just like this, (yes, we have two- we’re such root hogs!) and it made a perfect cave, a shelter for the holy family. It reminded me that God was here before time began and will be here long after we’re gone.
I look at the root and I imagine it wiggling its millions of root hairs under the ground, anchoring a huge tree to the green earth. Absorbing water and nutrients, stimulating it to grow higher into the sky, giving shade to squirrels and insects and people. Being great by just being. Being great even in silence.
I look at the root and ask myself some questions, maybe ones you might want to ask yourself too:
Self, what is anchoring you right now?
What is giving you support? Feeding you? Quenching your thirst? Stimulating you to GROW!
Maybe wherever that happens is where you need to hover right now. Nestle in and breathe.
That’s part of what we’re here for, maybe. To support each other, recognize God in each other, nurture and love each other into being what we’re meant to be.
(The Traveling Baby Jesus in my pocket on a hike Saturday apparently likes roots too.)
Peace to you, friends.