Thursday, January 26, 2012

Glowing sunrise, glowing ruby: How is your January?

I am up before dawn most mornings and I sit by a lit candle and look out a window into the bleak darkness. My window faces west, and as I write this, the sky is dark gray. Eventually there will be a pink or orange glow on the Ragged Mountain range a few miles distant.

The sun will rise to my back behind our house, and will soon see its reflection on these mountains as I look at the window to the west. Each morning, I often think of the people I love who are beyond those mountains who will see that sunrise a few minutes, or a few hours later. I feel very connected to them by the glow of the sunrise.

Later today we are heading north to Reston for the annual Diocese of Virginia Council, the gathering-in-convention of clergy and lay delegates for the business of the diocese. This year's Council has no major controversies that anyone has seen. The Council's main business will be to thank and honor Bishop David Jones upon his retirement after 17 years as Bishop Suffragan. I will be blogging from the Council, so stay tuned to this space.

I leave you this morning with a gift from our friend Karen in Tennessee. This poem is on the sensual side, but our bodies are temples from God, so I hope you will take it in that spirit. I also give you Karen's commentary that went with it. Enjoy your day:

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January is an unusual time for all of us in the spiritual sense. One the one hand it provides us with a time of cleansing and redefinition. But this month also reminds me of a quote about alcoholism, "When you stop, the problem is that you have to deal with yourself." No one wants to deal with their own self in January. But this is the gift that is given to us in the bleak and cold and dark- this grace period of opportunity and beginnings.

The Sunrise Ruby
By Rumi

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved wake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, "Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth."

He says, "There is nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight." The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.
Photo by Vidal Peterson of the Ragged Mountains at sunrise.

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