Friday, June 12, 2015

sacred spaces

Most mornings, I wander into work, only partially awake. I stretch into awareness slowly, but first, I bumble around the kitchen, making myself coffee and giving myself simple, easily completed tasks. I engage in this dance with the rest of the staff, gently exchanging conversation, recognizing the fragility of the stillness of morning. We aren't too demanding of one another during these moments, we recognize the sacredness of the quiet.

An hour or so later, we will have our days mapped out. As of late, typically a group of us will be assigned to check up on families and individuals who qualify for subsidies to start their own businesses. We go to their place of business, or their home, and we ask how they are thriving -- or what they need in order to bloom.

Upon receiving our assignments, we will be in motion, the morning stillness will be broken as we head into whatever the day holds.

We charge onto public buses, where we are crammed in like sardines, desperately seeking air flow. In stark contrast to our previous modes of being, in this space, we are now guarded, hyper-aware. On particularly long bus rides, the flood of people will gradually wane, and the entire atmosphere is transformed. Suddenly, I find myself immersed in a space profoundly personal. Glancing around, I'll make faces at babbling toddlers, watch mothers take measured but rejuvenating breaths, and watch eyes scan morning newspapers. I feel endeared and deeply connected to everyone, as I recognize the humanity of these strangers during their oddly intimate moments.

Another jolt occurs when we arrive at our stop. We get lost in a maze of people. And then we wait to meet with our assigned person. This can take up to half an hour, as we are running on South American time. Never in a rush, we are given opportunity for deep exhales.

When we make contact with our person, we are invariably swung into arms, swept into kisses, greeted with welcomes. Afterward, we begin the trek to find their home. Trouncing through unknown territory, we trust in one another.

And then we are welcomed into homes. Sometimes greeted by barking dogs and other vivacious family members, other times startled by stark conditions. 

Crossing the threshold into another's house is by far my most cherished moment. It's a vulnerable expression of love and hospitality, and each time I feel endlessly blessed by it.

I love scanning the walls, and asking about decorations. Every piece of art is intentional, they each hold a story. Framed moments, framed emotions, framed legacies.

In the homes of refugees, I love seeing the art of their home country framed, posted in spaces that are frequently considered. Despite the violence that their home countries hold, they also recognize the beauty that their country holds, the beauty that they hold -- the beauty of potential. This way of remembering and honoring who they are, where they come from, what they are capable of, has left me astounded.

Our deeply personal moments and our deeply personal places are profoundly sacred. Each divine moment I witness I breathe out a prayer of thankfulness. It is with thankfulness that I continue to seek out the decoration of souls, the fabric of beings, the sacredness in the midst of the busy. And I'll fall deeper and deeper in love with each peek, knowing that there is a depth of being that I may never be privilege to know -- content with mere moments.