So much of my life is spent working my way through the interminable to-do list. Groceries, cleaning, making appointments, filing papers, etc. etc. etc. I long for the day when I scratch the last item off my to-do list and sit down to enjoy a book and a hot bath with nothing- absolutely nothing- hanging over my head, nagging me to complete it. I know though, that this day is not coming. The second I finished cleaning my house, the dogs would leave more hair on the floor for me to vacuum, or as soon as I filed every last piece of paper and returned every phone call, some household item would die or get broken and I'd be off to the store to replace it.
Work, both the paid kind and the keep-my-personal-life-in-order-so-I-can-function kind, isn't simply a tax on the 24 hours in the day, to be paid as quickly as possible so I can get down to my "real life." It is my real life. The hours I'm at school teaching 7 year-olds to subtract, or at the grocery store, or preparing dinner for my husband, or bathing the dogs- this is my real life. The week we spent in St. Lucia for our honeymoon, laying on the beach? Amazing, wonderful, beautiful. Not my real life.
But what I'm realizing more and more everyday, it is in this work that beauty and truth and love are revealing themselves to me. This journey called life, this Earthly pilgrimage, is a street I'm walking down and on this street there are errands to be completed, but there are also epiphanies to behold. Epiphany- the manifestation of God. The magic of this life is the intermingling of the errand and the epiphany. I'm silently counting to 10 before answering a second grader who is asking where the pencil sharpener is (even though it's been in the same place since August), and being struck by God's patience with my own refusal to listen and learn. I'm scooping the cat's litter box, trying not to gag, and learning what it means to love my husband (and his 18 year-old cat).
The Feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation of the infant Christ to the gentile Magi, called to me particularly this year, and I'm still meditating on it. The Magi found God in a manger, a feed trough. Where am I finding Him?
"The magic of the street is the mingling of the errand and the epiphany." ~Rebecca Solnit