Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lady Liberty and the Morning Monster

Prayer. It is a simple word that can reap stupendous results. I do it every day and it works, but not in the traditional sense of “Dear Lord” and “Amen”. Those formalities have been replaced with “Good Morning” and “Thanks”. No stained glass windows or hymn books in sight either and definitely not one of those mega McChurches that pass for cathedrals nowadays. My prayer spot is someplace between the door of my garage and the mailbox with a pause near Lady Liberty so I don’t appear to be talking to the shrubbery. Not that I am against talking to one’s plants. I do that too and it seems to work. Of course I talk to cats, paintings, vacuum cleaners, the radio, drawings….whatever happens to be nearby. Good thing that Bluetooth headset was invented so the GP is desensitized to other people talking out loud to nothing and no one in particular. As long as I don’t have a scraggly beard and a paper cup I guess people will not be too concerned. Although if I had a scraggly beard I supposed that would be a reason for concern……anyway…back to the power of prayer.

My “prayer spot” as I call it, is along the way in my daily ritual to retrieve my morning papers. Two of them are in the mailbox thanks to my long time dedicated delivery lady who goes early in the morning to pick up afternoon papers. Perhaps she is as impatient as I am. We used to meet at the box when my kids rode the school bus. Now I just find the droppings (pun intended since we are speaking of the press) waiting for me. Paper number three is a treasure hunt. Sometimes the star pitcher must be delivering it and other times, it probably just fly off the stack in hopes of reaching the curb. Usually it comes wrapped in a plastic bag or two, fortunately orange in color during the winter months even though I still find a couple come spring that I missed along the way. (Sorry for those calls about not getting my paper that day.)

Going to get the papers is better in the cold and dark winter months because a pair of boots and a big black faux fur coat with a hood will sufficiently block anyone’s view of the morning monster. Spring and summer present more of a challenge. One has to time the trot outside so as to avoid the neighbors going to work, joggers, dog walkers, school buses or any construction/lawn services that might go past the house while the morning monster is in full morph mode.

The prayer process begins with a commentary on the daily weather and a request for some particular precipitation event. Next up is a moment to enjoy wildlife such as the cacophony of birds in the spring, animal tracks in the snows of fall and winter (and spring), or the rustling of some large animal in my woods causing one to wish they had made a pit stop before venturing outside. The rest of the walk to the box and back is taken up by asking for various things related to my family. Nothing big, just guidance or support, or opportunities, or intervention, whatever happens to be the need of the moment and then the ritual is completed with a thanks for things related to my own personal circumstances. I direct the comments towards the moon if it happens to be out, the stars if they are still visible on a crisp winter morning, or just to Lady Liberty most of the time. She is my replica of the Statue of Liberty that I brought back from a show in Texas and now functions as both a neighborhood landmark and a gas light. She has been America’s symbol for the dreams of millions of people over the years so I figure my own statue is good substitute for the Lord’s presence.

So why am I talking about this today? Well…..I’ve been working at it pretty hard over the last several months to keep my requests focused and attainable, and by golly, I’ve hit the grand slam. Actually, I did not do anything but swing at the pitches as they came at me but Lord of the Mound was kind enough to toss easy ones. If you don’t care to read a shortened version of a Christmas newsletter, you can stop reading here. But if you don’t mind a mom bragging just a bit, by all means, hang in there for the next few paragraphs. If you are leaving now, then I leave you with the advice to find a place to chat with God everyday (not with a “damn it” after it either, like in traffic). Say thanks every day, not for anything specific, but for just being alive to say it. Okay, bragging rights time….

Son number one will begin his internship on Monday with a Fortune 500 company. First apartment, first time paying rent and some utilities, cleaning his own bathroom, filing out tax forms and all that stuff which comes with growing up, and in this economy, we are blessed that he may have a foot in the door of his future.

Son number two is off on a weekend adventure to rub shoulders with a bunch of influential techo geeks including dinner with the VP of a major mobile communications company. We are blessed that he has a hobby that dovetails with his career choice, he has adult friends that will be good influences on him, and he has learned to be independent, respectful and appreciative of life’s opportunities and is not afraid to make things happen for himself. In exchange for doing his laundry however, mom retains rights to computer help.

My husband is settled into his career but not settled with it. He is still on the forefront of where medicine is going and with an eye out to where he can go with it too. His gravitas and experience are sought after and he is not willing to ride out the rest of his life on a drifting raft. We are blessed that we are both willing to row a boat together with or against the current to get where he wants to go.

As for me….I have been the one on a drifting raft for the past couple of years. Yesterday, I claimed the whole prayer spot ritual for myself. Only a few hours later, the ring buoy was tossed at me so hard it about knocked me out. I grabbed it. For the first time in 28 years, I will have a satellite offsite studio/gallery space in the hub of the sandbox. I attribute all of this to prayer. Each opportunity is exactly what I had been seeking guidance for and each need has been met. That is both scary and reassuring in that we don’t know what life will bring, but we can believe in the fact that something greater than us has a handle on things. Amen.

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