WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

The miracle of life’s breath

Features

Margaret Orange
4 May 2012

She pours a cup of tea taking it to her comfortable chair in the lounge. It faces high, wide windows that open onto the garden.

Beyond the fence distant roof tops rise to vast blue sky where, today, early morning puffs of cloud drift lazily eastwards.

As she sips her tea she watches cheery sparrows and bossy blackbirds gobbling bread scraps that earlier she has tossed onto the lawn. Sunshine casts dappled shadows across the grass, a soft breeze stirs the crab apple tree and teases the roses climbing along the fence. There is a sweetness to the morning. Her world has been renewed by the quiet of the night just passed.

Time spent here each day has become a ritual. It is her leisure half hour when her mind and spirit are refreshed.

She closes her eyes. At once she is aware of her breathing, in and out, in and out. Muscles relax, her mind is stilled.

Enveloped in timeless space she listens to the silence, deep, rich and healing. It embraces her in a cocoon of peace. Sometimes she remembers, as from far away, an event from the past or a need for tomorrow. The thoughts are of no consequence; she pushes them away and focuses again on her breathing. On rare occasions she is filled with wonder at this simple act. Constant, regular, vital, through all the minutes and hours and days of her life it never ceases.

There was a moment, long ago and never recaptured, that filled her with an awe beyond words. As she breathed she became aware that all creatures, all life breathed with her. She, creator and creation were one – a unique and beautiful gift that defies all thanks.

Today there is no such moment, but the silence surrounds her and takes her into itself. As she absorbs the nothingness of time she becomes lost in the wonder of creation. The infinite worlds of galaxies, of stars and of endless universe where our tiny planet has its pre-planned space is more than human understanding can imagine. Yet, her own small yard teems with life, each tiny seed and blade of grass and insect going about living and pro-creating and dying, united by the bond of the Breath of Life.

But with inevitable persistence reality taps at the door of her mind. The thread that ties her to the silence of the room and to her innermost being is broken. She sighs, and, as she does every day, ponders on those she loves to wish them all a blessed day, that all will be well as they travel the road of life.

She opens her eyes. Last night’s dew has left sparkling jewellery on flower and leaf; sunlight makes magic in the garden. With enthusiastic energy a little bee dives headlong into the throat of a lily flower. In the distance a car door slams. High heels clip-clop on the yard next door; someone calls a greeting, intruding on the peace.

Today is beginning. She feels ready for what it may bring. What will happen will happen.