looking through me

Tag: tradition



Ninety percent of the time I start writing with the word sometimes.

Sometimes I think . . .
Sometimes I wonder . . .
Sometimes . . .

Even as I type it I’m trying to edit it out, but if I don’t start with sometimes, I might not start at all. Because starting is hard. In writing. And in life.

Signing up for the class. Asking for help. Getting out of bed. Making the phone call. Breaking a habit. Making a habit.

Hard, hard, hard. The first step is a doozy.

The first word is no different. So I put on my floaties and wade into the water with the safety of sometimes.

Because rituals help. We need to tap the bat on our cleats before we go up to bat. We need to twirl our pen or rub our necklace. We need to put on the left sock before the right sock or take off our glasses before brushing our teeth. No? Just me?

I need the security of rhythms. I need to find the steady beat and fall in step with it. I need muscle memory to take over because my mind is filled with what ifs. What if I don’t have any words left? What if I can’t finish what I start? What if I’m wrong? What if it’s not perfect? What if I’m not perfect?

Sometimes is how I propel myself from stationary to starting. Sometimes is how I hush the fears and brave the waters.

And once I’m in? I wonder why I was so scared in the first place . . . sometimes.


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coffee memories

Six mornings a week I pour coffee and cream into my commuter mug. I don’t depress the button and drink the coffee until I arrive and settle in at work or church. Coffee is to be savored, not consumed mindlessly on the drive.

But today the commute was a catastrophe. Twenty minutes and two miles into a nineteen-mile drive any semblance of a routine day was shot. Waiting to get to work before enjoying my coffee became a punishment—not a reward—so as I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic I took my first sip.

And I remembered again that coffee is more than a part of my daily ritual. It hit my taste buds and triggered a flood of associations:

Coffee tastes like stepping into childhood and the aromatic embrace of Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Coffee tastes like watching the sunrise in the stillness of the desert.

Coffee tastes like quiet moments before the office fills with people.

Coffee tastes like curling up with a book on Saturday morning.

Coffee tastes like long, soul-satisfying conversations with those who know me best.

Coffee tastes like the band warming up before the service on Sunday morning.

Coffee tastes like lingering around the table on holidays.

Coffee tastes like the sweet communion of unhurried time with Jesus.

By the time I pulled into a parking space at work my mug was empty, but my well of remembrance was overflowing.


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