I’ve come to realize that my life is layered in rhythms.

Rhythms written down on a schedule—
The racket of the recycle bin wheeled out on Thursdays
Hymns from YouTube worship at 9 a.m. sharp
Weekly discussions of chores, devotions, meals,
life together
Class at 8:30 a.m., greeting sleepy kids with “Happy Friday!”
Calendar notifications, a month beginning anew,
another post to write

Rhythms grown in the peripherals—
The glow of Twitter in the night
The gathering in front of the TV, reaching for the remote as if to ask
“And what will we watch tonight?”
Monday help sessions that turn into hangout sessions
The click of the laptop as I shut it down, moving fifty feet away to leave work at work
Common prayer in the mornings, setting my soles firmly beneath the dining room table
as if they will also anchor my wandering mind

Rhythms beyond my control—
Breath cycling in and out of my body
Sunrise, sunset
Blood in the bathroom, a monthly reminder
of life and its fragility
Church calendar,
from Lent to Easter to Ordinary Time to Advent and then back again
Grief, ebbing and flowing
Climbing peaks of sickness, rising spikes of fear

These rhythms meld, harmonize, bring forth anew.
Schedules succumb to the seasons,
vacations and unwillingness to work once the world goes dark
Spontaneous nights in the kitchen spring from scheduled meetings
Comments from class turn into jokes turn into a way
to say, “Hey, I see you. You’re here”
Breath studied in Wednesday night youth group becomes a new way to notice,
center, enliven the spare minutes
before prayer, before class, before sleep

I’m beginning to trace how they reach beyond me, burrow
their way into the world:
The emotions that cluster, fester, sequester together
The actions that replicate, the ones that alleviate
The people who also rise each day before the sun,
open their laptops to fight for a better world
The breath that fills our lungs, that warns of illness,
that still tells the story
of deep unjust divides
The turn of the season that brings us to remembrance,
to waiting, to hope.

As my life has shrunk to four walls and
loom large,
I can only resolve to peel back these layers,
discover where my harmonies reverb, converge,
and tangle together with the heartbeat of the world
Keep my breath a prayer, a gift, rather than a weapon
Rejoice in checking off to-do lists, tilling my own
square inch of creation
Love my neighbor as I can
through videos calls, garage doors,
nativity treks, porch waves,
and hope.

1 Comment

  1. Kyric Koning

    Rhythms and cycles–habit–can have a way of rolling over us and catching us up in their flows. In this piece, you are learning to step back, take a look at what those cycles are bringing, trying to find meaning. And in fine, not-quite poetry too.


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