My friend Laura and I were chatting back and forth on Voxer last week, and I mentioned I was basking in a sun spot while I waited to pick up Rowan from school. I know the exact spot in which to sidle my mini-van to the curb so that I can rest with the engine idling and the heat blasting, close my eyes, tip back my head, and feel the sun warm on my face through the driver’s side window. That’s right, I hog the sun spot, every day. I purposefully get there early so I can snag it. I fully realize no other parent knows they are in a race for the rare and coveted sun spot, but I know, oh I know.
Anyway, after I told Laura about my sun spot she Voxed back and said she liked my habit of “finding the sun spots and basking in the light.” Which got me thinking about the unexpected gifts of the wilderness.
I don’t know that I am ordinarily a seeker of sun spots. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll snap up a good sun spot if one comes along, but I don’t typically seek them out. Yet walking through this period of uncertainty and angst these last few months, I find myself seeking these pockets of light through my day. It’s a survival mechanism, I think – to look for moments of unexpected joy, warmth and comfort, tiny oases of shimmering color in an otherwise drab landscape.
Truth be told, not a lot happens in the wilderness. There’s some wandering, some questioning, some discernment, but mostly the wilderness is a time of waiting — waiting for God to reveal his plan, waiting for our circumstances to move in a discernible direction. There’s a lot of hunkering down, like the Israelites did in the desert — passing the time in their tents, waiting for God to lead them in a new direction. Time moves slowly in the wilderness, one day unfurling into the next, and the next, and the next.
I don’t love any of this. I’m a Triple Type A, Take Action kind of girl. Waiting? Hunkering? Abiding? Nope, not in my wheelhouse. Yet here I am – waiting, hunkering, abiding — and I’m discovering there are gifts to seek and embrace and rejoice in, even here. Even in the wilderness.
I think all the slowing, all the hunkering and abiding that goes hand in hand with the wilderness allows us the rare opportunity to slow down and notice. The barrenness of the wilderness compels us to seek out these small pockets of warmth and delight we might not typically have time for in an ordinary season of productivity.
And so I find myself moving toward the sun wherever I can find it on these drab, slow-moving days. On the sofa, with the stark winter light pouring through the dirty panes. In my car, heat blasting, sun streaming between skeleton tree branches. On the front step, the cold of the concrete seeping through the seat of my jeans, the sun warm on my face, chickadees calling from the pine tree.
Q4U: Tell me, where you are seeking and finding tiny oases of light and warmth these days?