All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone. – Blaise Pascal
In the corner of my dining room is a gray antique rocker. A thick, green-checkered cushion hides the lawn chair webbing that someone weaved in to replace the original cane seat. Over the rocking chair hangs a brown cane swag lamp with its switch a reach away. On the wall behind it, from the wainscoting up to the ceiling and the full length of the wall, a bookcase constructed of thick, rough timber, darkened with age and covered with several layers of clear finish and a thickening gossamer of dust, is crammed with two of my greatest loves: photos of my family and books.
The rocker sits next to a four-feet-by-eight-feet, triple-pane, casement window looking out on the front yard, with flowering bushes blossoming one right after another: azalea, lilac, mountain laurel, and rose. A wooden, six-sided bird feeder dangles from the branch of the maple tree 20 feet from the window, which reflects the tree and the western sky so well it fools the birds, which often fly into it. Here I watch the snow fly, the storm clouds approach, the leaves change, the sun set, the morning stretch over the field from yonder pasture to my front yard, where I saw two bears racing towards the woods behind the house one summer morning. Where I savor the seasons of the year and sense the passing of the seasons of life, uncertain of how I feel about it.
Surrounding my rocker are several baskets of yarn and projects-in-progress, three sewing baskets, a basket of my quiet time materials—devotional books, two or three Bibles (different versions), prayer lists, and my “basket case,” a wicker basket with 365 slips of paper with Bible verses; I take one a day to keep from going nuts.
There’s a coaster for my coffee, tea, or water; a radio so I can listen to the Pirates’ game while crocheting, a book or two for leisure reading, an old hymnal, a box of tissues, and a small basket of pens, pencils, and sticky notes.
Here is where I head in the morning, cup of caffeine in hand. Where I wait in the lulls of life. Where I find peace for my troubled mind, anxious heart, stubborn will, and battered spirit.
Here is where I talk to God, and where, in the absence of the roar of busyness and the static of the world, I hear His still, quiet voice. Where I weep with worry, pour out my problems, complain about life’s unfairness, deal with discouragement and disappointment. Where, impatient, I demand answers—something, anything, to hang my dwindling hopes on. Where I sing with gratitude when I finally see the answers, which are always so much more than I prayed for.
Here is where I finally “get it.”
This is my quiet time place. My little corner of the world, where I hide from the world to find strength to deal with the world.
Where I meet with El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Adonai, my Abba Father.
So that when I’m off my rocker, I’m not, well, off my rocker.
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. – Psalm 63:1 (NIV)
Read and meditate on Psalm 63
(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.