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Examem of a Life.
.. contemplating God at my daughter's Library
I’m at a training at my son & daughter’s old high school. Every time I walk through these doors, there’s a rush of joy — of accomplishment, of love.. for every hurdle, for every success, for every day my children spent here. The building is square, boring, & architecturally displeasing, so as you roll up, you wouldn’t expect it to be so precious to me. Neither did I.
But as a relic person, I wonder — does being a Roman Catholic who lives, loves, breathes her God, His Church, and His (my) people, the Saints give me a better perspective of place, space, presence left behind? Does presence left behind even mean anything? Maybe it’s just what I carry in me — depth & meaning for my loved one because of my ability to love? Or for my capacity for Love that He grows within me?
So much could keep me from memorializing the paths where my daughter has trod. I could be grumbling about the weather (which I love), the traffic-trouble I had to get here (more time to contemplate), the boredom of my training (yet, here I am, conversing with you).. I could absent-mindedly disregard the building I’m in. It’s just another public school, damn this education system!
But I don’t.
In a minute, I’ll walk (again) through the library Lauren spent so many years as an aide. I’ll walk across carpeted floors and into bookstacks to observe the “edging” to this day she is so meticulous about. I’ll hear the same hushed tones of student conversation — study how slight pitches bounce off cinder-block walls along the entry, but then decrescend like the vapour of prayers in the far corners of the library. I’ll feel the wood moulding along the circulation desk, and wonder about the printer: she said it was always spitting out student work & overdue lists, is this an update? I’ll see the desk where she would have read while waiting for kids to check out books, and I’ll fight the urge to ask the Librarian if I can sit there to observe Lauren’s Library world from the same vantage point. I’ll go to the back workroom and sit at the work table where she covered books in that ungodly plastic film, wonder what she thought of, think of the friends I know she talked to as she carefully did such deliberate work. I can imagine Lauren’s life here in her high school library and think of all the ways the life lain is the life lived, now.
She still works at a bookstore, a care-ful guardian of her World of Words.
I love the idea of walking among the land of people I love.. where they were, what they cherished.. try to wish upon myself the same thinking, as though I could somehow pick up the same sentiments they had while inhabiting a space.
My daughter’s existence here is so, so precious to me. If it is precious to me, how much more precious is to God who created her..
Maybe this is what reading the lives of the Saints is. I’ve yet to pilgrimage to any one place and walk in their footsteps, but here I am, walking the way of a little one who I hope reaches heaven. I like to imagine this is the kind of life we live now.
How do we think? What do we write? How do we live? Where do we visit? Who do we love? Who will come after us to remember Who we lived for? Will they see a Purpose?
.. I think of my puny self & what offering I’ve to my Lord.
Are my Acts of Love indelible? Does my doing mirror Acts of Faith? Can my life be seen as Acts of Hope?
I am small and weak.. and forget.. but this is where binding ourselves to Jesus solves so much. Lord, all my life, all my scant offering of my past, and every iota, all Time purposeful & carefully ushered and all Time wasted, I unite to your Great Work on the Cross to Glorify You.
Even the little or the nothing I cast before the world will glorify God — because it shows how so merciful is our Lord.
My friend, what a wonder it will be when we get to heaven.. when we get to talk about where we’ve been, what we were up to.. how we made our way our way to Eternity.. how we contemplated the mundane to contemplate God.
Take care of my daughter Lord, bless her.. bless her future spouse.. protect him always. Let us make haste to love him, Amen.
In Spiritu Tuo, ad gloriam Patris. 11.10.2023. St. Leo the Great.