God Speaking Through Grinding Teeth and Tasha Tudor

My morning begins by looking through an old daily meditation book.  I find out that today, June 23rd has been set aside in Europe as Midsummer's Eve.  I am also reminded that my childhood heroine Tasha Tudor had established this day as a high holy feast by an imagined sect called the "Stillwaters."  I walk into the living room and pull out a Tasha Tudor book of holidays and flip straight to the month of June.  Colorful, whimsical pictures of simpler times of joy fill the pages as children and adults prepare for festivities of Midsummer's Eve.  I begin to feel a deep longing being stirred up inside of me as I sit looking at these beautiful scenes.  I then pull out another Tudor book: Tasha Tudor's Garden.  This book is full of photos of her New England country lifestyle.  She pays attention to the smallest of details in her surroundings, using them as models for her artwork.

I take these images and stirrings of longing with me as I travel to an early morning dentist appointment.  You see, a filling needed to be replaced due to me grinding out the previous one during sleep.  It takes no mental giant to see that the image of me grinding out the filling and the longing that was stirred deep within from the Tudor images, are speaking to each other.  I am awakened to the fact that I have fallen out of rhythm and need to reconnect to my soul.

As a spiritual director, I talk with people often about the need to listen to all voices, intrusions, and stirrings of the body in order to discern the callings of God.  Today, my body through the grinding of my teeth and the  longings stirred by Tudor's images are calling me back to what is most real - to what is most true.  Tudor reminds us that life is something to be enjoyed, not something to be saddled with.  The first commandment of the Stillwater religion is to take joy from every day.  Jesus said, "I came that they might have life and have it abundantly,"  (John 10:10)

The seasons are a wonderful reminder to us of the rhythms in life.  Allow summer to teach you to slow down, unplug, and take joy from each day.  I am preparing for vacation - a time of rest and rejuvenation.  My body is already anticipating the slowing down and unplugging!  I intend to soak every ounce of joy from this time and bring it back as we continue to move through the rhythms of our life together.


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