Friday, December 25, 2015

Forecasts, full moon, and zen thoughts

For some time recently, the weather-guessers have predicted rain for most of the days in the next two weeks.  The forecast was a downer for me, thinking about winter rains at a time when I'm always stricken with Seasonal Affective Disorder at its worst.  No, I've never been professionally diagnosed, but if it walks like a duck....

Meanwhile, Facebook prognosticators have been eagerly looking forward to a rare Christmas Day full moon, which of course wouldn't be seen around here, thanks to torrents of rain.  

So far it's only rained on one day this week, a scant two-tenths of an inch.  In fact, a couple of those days for which precipitation was predicted have been bright, sunny, and unseasonably warm.  So much for the weather guys, although I freely admit that they are more accurate than they were in the past.  Also, I realize that it's hard to pin down a forecast for the Midwest.  Storms often split around Kansas City, or head off to the north or south altogether.  

Yesterday Cora's mom was off work for Christmas Eve, so the two of them loaded up a couple of mares and went to ride with a friend.  That's how nice the weather was.  When they brought the horses back after noon, Cora wanted to come and say hello to Cliff and me; within five minutes she had dumped out her sizable tub of Legos and decided she wasn't going home.  I offered to give her some lunch and a nap here, if her mom didn't mind.  Cora and mom were all for it, so I made her a cheese-and-butter sandwich and when she had finished with it, went to lay down with her.  That's when it hit her that she really was going to have a nap, so there was a little protesting, but she was asleep within 10 minutes, and slept for over an hour.

After she woke up we played more, and along in the evening her dad came to pick her up.  Before they left I went out to shut the chickens into their house and, heading back to the house, I saw that big, perfect, round moon just popping out on the eastern horizon; I hadn't given it much thought because, you know, we weren't supposed to be able to see it due to clouds and rain.  Cora's dad had her coat on her ready to go, so I fetched her out to a spot where she could look at the moon.  It's the first chance she's had to gaze at the moon with me, since she is always here during daylight hours.  The timing was fortuitous, because within an hour clouds covered the moon, and it's still hidden this morning.  

I was glad to witness a little miracle with Cora, one of many we've shared that I take for granted.  For instance, the time she helped me dig potatoes.  I'd sink the potato fork in the ground and bring up potatoes, and she would excitedly pick them up and put them in a bucket.  I found it interesting that she preferred the tiniest, most useless potatoes to pick up first, ones that I personally would have left.  She seemed to enjoy the baby potatoes best, enjoying their "cuteness", so I left her alone.  (The thought just occurred to me, I hope God enjoys the most useless humans as much as Cora does the tiny taters.)

Stay with me now.

Being an introvert, I tend to "zone out" around people, gazing off in the distance and withdrawing into my own thoughts.  It isn't a thing I plan to do, it just happens, and I only think about the fact that I've done it later, when it's over.  I'm worse at this, the older I get.  

Reading a poem in the book "Zen Prayers for Repairing Your Life" this morning, this verse stood out to me:  

I open myself
to genuine contact
with each person
I meet and
to treating them
with utmost respect
and genuine responsiveness

By the way, I don't consider these "zen prayers" as prayers at all, but "positive affirmations".  Buddhists, for the most part, aren't even believers in a deity.  I'm not a Buddhist, just so you know.  

I read the words over several times and realized how opposite that would be from my zoning out ritual.  I probably even do it with Cliff, more than I realize, and he has to live with me.  Then I thought to myself, "The only person I pay that much attention to is Cora; she can hardly take a breath without my watching in awe."  

Wouldn't it be nice if, today, I would pay attention to others the way I do to Cora?  

It's probably not going to happen, but I'll think about it.  I happened to read this in a Psalm a while ago:  "May my meditation be sweet to Him."  

It sort of goes with my thoughts, don't you think?


  1. Merry Christmas. Beautiful thoughts today. Glad you got to see the moon! What a gift !

  2. I think I need to read that book.

  3. Interesting thoughts to ponder. I saw the moon a few times. :)


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