February 21 – Rabindranath Tagore # 5
Most years I come here in October, to a little town and the place of a soul friend on the south shore of Connecticut; New England leaves are beautiful then and I can swim in the Long Island Sound about a mile away. This year October got too busy so here I am in February among piles of snow which begin to melt; weather.com says it will get windy later; not as strong as the 25 mph Detroit is getting but windy enough.
Winter or Autumn this place welcomes me with rituals of stillness. This is a Jesuit tradition, take some time each year to slow your pace to notice what St. Ignatius calls your “inner disturbances” — consolations and desolations. They elude one’s attention in busier times. This place and my soul friend who lives and works here have the ability to welcome me whatever my inner condition. Winter stillness works just fine, except that it’s too cold to swim in the Sound.
These short work day posts are meant to offer stillness too, for a moment during busy times. Tagore wrote Number 5 in Gitanjali more about short moments in busy times than about the blessings of a whole week.
I hope the rain and thunder and wind and wet do not beat up on your basement. Weather.com says Detroit will have a sunny day tomorrow. Have a great weekend.
I ask for a moment’s indulgence to sit by thy side,
The works that I have in hand
I will finish afterwards.
Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows
no rest nor respite,
and my work becomes an endless toil
in a shoreless sea of toil.
Now is the time to sit quiet, face to face with thee
and to sing dedication of life
in this silent and overflowing leisure.
Tagore, Gitanjali, # 5