West Virginia Morning: Fierce Convictions

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Already the heat clings to the windows, resting heavy on petals and leaves. Every blade of grass drips. In the meadow, the goldenrod is nectaring and the ironweed waves good morning. I stand among the flowers and listen to the honeybees begin their long day of work.

The light slowly spreads and I feel a sense of urgency. I am Niggle, coloring in his leaf, and time is water. I want to drink deeply; I want to stop the fast arc of the second hand. Yesterday, I listened to Dr. Dan Allender talk about how play does this—slows the ticking. When we play, “[T]ime no longer seems to be binding,” he said. It’s when we allow ourselves total abandon to the moment that we are able to stay fully present within it. I lose this awareness so easily in trying to hold too tightly. It’s only in the letting go I am able to transcend the chronos and be filled with kairos moments.

There is no hurry, I tell myself, as I bend to study the way light reflects the world in a drop of water. There is more than this one life, I remind myself. Eternity is written on my heart and I can feel its steady pulse with each breath I take.

But how do I live an extraordinary life right here, right now? I think of Hannah More and all that she accomplished for this world in her one wild and precious life. Poet, philanthropist, slave abolitionist, women’s rights activist … Did she feel time like water as I do? Maybe the answer to the extraordinary life is hidden in each ordinary moment. When we surrender to each moment, let go of the lists and plans, when we are fully present in each passing breath … isn’t this when we are able to make the moments matter?

The birds are leaving. Last night, as we walked, I felt small as I watched great flocks cross the sky. Everywhere is the feeling of summer giving up the green, fading. From glory into glory, each season its own currency.

I promise to notice it all, to write it all down and live the saturated moments. This, my fierce conviction: make this one-leaf-life beautiful.

In honor of Hannah More’s extraordinary life and the contribution she made in support of the founding of the school we are taking Teddy to this weekend, I’m giving away a copy of Karen Swallow Prior’s beautiful book Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist. Just leave a comment for a chance to win. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday, 8/26.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Laura, Thank you for the links provided in your story. I look forward to reading Leaf by Niggle, and listening to Dr. Dan Alexander’s podcast on play. I love your line, “It’s only in the letting go I am able to transcend the chronos and be filled with kairos moments.” What a wonderful reminder to live the extraordinary in the ordinary. Very rich.

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Wow, I have never heard of this woman. I gain so much inspiration from the past, and now, with all the racial unrest and the need to take a stand with conviction for reconciliation (especially in my hometown of St. Louis) and my love for poetry (to help us make sense of life), this sounds like a really timely book. Wisdom, conviction, and courage, from whatever era, are always timely . . . and needed. Your son will go to a school that apparently has made its mark, just as Teddy will make his. And, of course, who hasn’t heard of Laura Boggess! I feel so blessed to have discovered your lyric legacy-writing, Laura. And oh, the leaves that you add with each blogpost to your lustrous collection, are so lovely. That aspect of your piece reminded me of what I wrote here, which I share *only* to show you how much I resonate with all you have said. http://enthusiasticallydawn.com/2014/09/05/random-journal-day-44-with-lynn-d-morrissey-and-a-giveaway/#more-1793 Let’s keep looking and keep collecting our leaves. They comprise our history. And I pray that the leaves in my collection, like the leaves of a book, will demonstrate the kind of courage and conviction that you always do, Laura!
    So much love,
    Lynn

  3. says

    Oh… Leaf by Niggle. I remember that. 🙂

    I don’t have Karen’s book yet. It’s on my wish list. I loved, loved, loved Booked. So pick me! Pick me!

    P.S. I feel summer giving up, too. I’m not ready to let her go. Praying for your mama heart. Miss you. And love you big.

  4. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Oh, Laura: I had meant to ask . . . Have you read Dan Allender’s Sabbath? It has a marvelous section on play. I love this book! And I really enjoy other books by him as well, especially To Be Told: God Invites You to Coauthor Your Future. Enjoy!

    • says

      I haven’t read any of Dan’s books yet, Lynn. I was privileged to hear him speak once at Jubilee and wanted to buy some of his books then, but, so many books. He’s on my list and now I know which one to start with!

  5. says

    Laura, you captured the waning days of summer so well….. I, too, have Karen’s book on my list-it would be a joy to receive a copy. (I had no idea Teddy was going to the school she founded–coincidence or on purpose?) Wow.

  6. says

    Said it before. Saying it again. I love reading your words which are always probing yet tranquil even in the midst of hard heart tugs. Your one-leaf-life beautiful makes my own ever more so. Blessings and hugs. And…regarding our most beloved SUMMER…even though the green is so slightly fading and I have to pull myself away from the longing that it might be endless one day, it AINT OVER TILL ITS OVER 🙂 on September 22 and I am going to cling to her for all she’s worth. xxoo

  7. Judy says

    Looking forward to reading this book on a fall afternoon. I just haven’t purchased it yet. Eternity in our hearts seems to be the theme for my year – everywhere I look it is there -yet not quite as beautifully said as you just did. Thank You.

  8. Sharon Hans says

    I am heading to West Virginia for the first time next week…to visit my niece who recently moved to Mathias as a newly wed. She married a turkey farmer who moved her from the city to the country, Love your writing, and love Karen’s too. I would love to read her book. Here ‘s to West Virginia and her beauty…..may she treat my Jenny well !!

  9. Sharon Hans says

    I am heading to West Virginia for the first time next week…to visit my niece who recently moved to Mathias as a newly wed. She married a turkey farmer who moved her from the city to the country, Love your writing, and love Karen’s too. I would love to read her book. Here ‘s to West Virginia and her beauty…..

  10. says

    Praying for you and Teddy…today and throughout this weekend. May you embrace the beauty of this moment – each smile, each hug, each box carried, each tear shed. May your momma’s heart find strength in Him because there you will find the joy unaware. This moment is a sacred one – a rite of passage both for Teddy and for you. May you walk into it with joy-full expectation. My prayers go with you.

  11. says

    What a stretching challenge for the beginning of his higher education. May we all handled the catalysts that ignite uncomfortable forward movement with grace and hope. Good read. Prayers for your re entry into your home of one less.

  12. says

    I have never heard of this women either but her life must speak volumes because of all she went through. Though I have never wrote a book I am ever so grateful for those who do so that I can gain insight and wisdom for my journey and pass it on to others.

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  1. […] year, in honor of Teddy’s first year of school I hosted a giveaway of some good reads I’d been enjoying. I think this is a nice tradition. This year, I did a […]

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