With school starting up this week, I've had precious little time for writing. I love the start of school--the books, the students, and the anxious parents (this year, I got to be an anxious parent, too). The adrenaline keeps me going for about three days, but by the fourth I am exhausted.
That's when I realize what a creature of habit I am. And that's when I revel in habit, routine, and little things. Suddenly, a quiet afternoon at home doing laundry, dishes, prayer, and watching Miriam "get married" sixty-five times is bliss.
Because, oddly enough, it is when life has its rhythm and ordinariness that my soul can soar to thoughts of eternity and dwell more with God.
My routine at home--as in a monastery--is like my school uniform. The culture will tell you it's deadening, a "phase you'll get through," self-effacing, on and on. But I will tell you that in the rhythm of daily life I have found the freedom to live with God in my heart. The challenges and surprises of work and exotic travel (as the Scientist Dad confirms) are stimulating and also provide their special graces, but we all need a place where the essentials of life are cared for, our basic needs are met, and our holiest duties performed in peace. Then our interior is truly free to "lift my eyes to the hills."
Now, we cannot and must not become a slave to this rhythm (I have a tendency to panic when I can't get my "quiet time!). The routine itself is certainly not my salvation. It comes and goes, changes drastically or gradually with new loves and new joys and new responsibilities. But it is not to be feared. Contentment with one's vocation is to be honored and sought after.
So ends my panacea to habit. It is now my habit to fold laundry until the end of naps. Enjoy your next step, and keep your eyes lifted to the things that last.