“The sun comes up and we start again. The sun comes up and we start again… Be here now.” Mason Jennings sang me to wake this morning with words that I needed to hear and carry with me today.
They echo words from St. Benedict that I have tucked into my heart: “always we begin again.”
And Rumi offers a similar invitation:
Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come, yet again, come, come.
Every day I start again. Every moment I can start again. It’s not too late.
It’s been almost a week since I sat down to write. In between subbing, a baseball tournament, devouring a Louise Penny mystery book on Saturday, and sick kiddos at home yesterday and today, I didn’t find much time to string together my own words. When it’s been a long time, it sometimes feels awkward to start again. I can paralyze myself with guilt or shame for not making time to do something I really want to do, feel compelled to do even. Or I can begin again.
It’s been over a month since I wrote something for this blog. I’m hoping this space is more like that conversation you have with a friend where whether you see each other once a week or once a year, your conversation picks right up where it left off–deep and good-for-your soul. It doesn’t need to be awkward because “always we begin again.”
I’ve been trying to practice centering prayer daily for 20 minutes. Yesterday, I made it to 15; the day before that it was five minutes. But I don’t need to keep track of that. I start again today. While I’m practicing centering prayer, I usually need to begin again about 20 times, or even more. My brain wanders about flitting from what I should make for supper to composing a letter to my representative about all of the things that are making me angry in our political circus. Then I surface again. What was I supposed to be doing? Breathe in. Breathe out. I’m supposed to be here now. I begin again.
I snapped at my daughter. I breathe. I tell her I’m sorry. I hug her. I begin again.
I forgot to floss Sunday night. (I’m sorry Lezlie.) I begin again Monday.
Every day is an invitation: to pay attention; to open my heart wide; to receive love; to be love. Some days my head fills with fog, and I forget to notice the way that God is loving me through this day. I stop. I breathe. I start again. I pray for open eyes and an open heart. Whether it’s calling a friend, walking the dog (and myself), or taking the next step toward making a dream reality, every day I start again. Even if it’s been a few days, or a few months, I start again.
Starting again every morning, keeps me from getting and staying stuck. It helps me to be gentle with myself and with others.
If I forgot to show up yesterday, I show up today. I begin again. And that is always enough.