Wednesday, June 10, 2009

That Some Day We May Ride Bare-Back

In some ways my last two posts were about very small subjects, tiny cakes and vegetables, yet in some ways it's not small subject matter at all. I was reminded of that by several comments I received as direct emails. One especially made me laugh, from a friend who is pushing her self valiantly in preparation for a marathon. She says my repentance vegetable picture is helping her consider forgiving me for the prior post photos.

My brother S. often gets us all to laugh when he holds his hands out to weigh decisions in a justice blinded position, and intones very seriously his symbols to represent a variety of decisions: "broccoli or chocolate, broccoli or chocolate." My brother eats lots of broccoli, and probably only eats chocolate when he runs into it by fortunate happenstance.

Our daughter, S.B. also recently wrote as she was reflecting on various accidents she, family and friends have recently experienced, about striking a balance...
"I am thankful for the health and life of my family and friends. I have a heightened regard for life and health, and hope my friends and family are careful to take the necessary precautions in this world. Not to live in fear, but to truly appreciate the value of what we have and treat it with honor and respect. I make a renewed commitment to live a life full of fun and adventure and excitement, tempered with due reverence to the fragility of life."

And then one of my favorite masters of exploring the full spectrum of life's joys and sorrows left this message on the path. I happened upon it this morning on page 146 of A Year with C. S. Lewis ~Daily Readings from his Classic Works. It is a snippet of his thoughts in Miracles published in 1947.)

"To shrink back from all that can be called Nature into negative spirituality is as if we ran away from horses instead of learning to ride. There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room ( more room than most of us like) for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, 'Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot even be trusted with the wealth that perishes?' Who will trust me with a spiritual body if I cannot even control an earthly body? These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may some day be free of horses altogether but that some day we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King's stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else--since he has retained his own charger--should we accompany Him? "

It's always a great help to me when others put things in perspective. I
haven't been horseback riding lately, in fact I haven't even got to pet a pony lately, but I did fit into a wet suit a few days ago that a month ago I couldn't have squeezed into no matter how much help I got and therefore was able to once again climb down into that stone walled pot of soup I wrote about last week . This time I swam though the arch and out into the Pacific Ocean. It was very invigorating.If I should have and take the opportunity again I would hope increased health and strength would allow me to be more even more, as Lewis says, confident and rejoicing.

I suppose I could title this Bread on the Water post of broccoli, chocolate, inspiring quotes, horses and ocean adventures as "Fool on the Water," but images Lewis conveyed of joyful horsing around have stayed with me and so I leave you with a mountain rather than a coastal image. This is a picture I took years ago on brother L. and sister K.'s ranch. Those are the Marble Mountains of northern California. I hope the pure beauty of what I snapped can make up for the lack of actual pixels.



Nathan's Notes said...

Good words Jeannette, thanks!

Sarah Beth said...

This made me smile, and will probably keep me smiling throughout the day! I really enjoyed the Lewis quote too.