The joy of the birds must be exuberant. A morning song of certainty that every rising of the sun holds new life. I was walking to the river as the birds made their melodies, and my neighbors were ahead of me. You know – the people we call “neighbors” but I really do not know them yet at all. I’m exercising; they are appreciating the gift of the day, a centering perhaps. My gym shorts feel a bit informal in contrast to their flowing garments in all colors of the rainbow. We are all as we are; it’s Monday.
My neighbors pause at the river, as I will. We pass one another there and I utter the only greeting I can say without thinking, “Namaskar”. I only know it because of the grace of my other neighbor who taught me how to say something in addition to “Namaste”. The greeting is a little awkward; unexpected, I think. We don’t know each other.
The river is quiet, and someone is already fishing. I offer gratitude for the grace of a morning walk, for the songs of birds and the dance of the river. My heart could stay a while, but my head moves me along. It’s Monday.
The route home brings our paths together again. “Namaskar” my mouth speaks and my spirit, by now, has been seen. “Namaskar!” they greet me. The smiles and joyful words I do not understand tell me: all is well. We have a small conversation where it is clear I do not know the language. Their English helps us along, but is limited.
We learn one another’s names. Well, we learn them for a moment. I suspect we will have to learn them again and again! The humility of grace is that today we could see one another, and it was enough. Actually, it was more than enough. Peace and gratitude are flowing, and the day has barely begun.
God thank you for the community you are creating wherever we are this week. Whether we meet in person or in prayer; on the street or in our homes – help us to see each other and your presence among us. We humbly and boldly ask for the presence of your Holy Spirit to guide us through this day. Like the birds, help us to sing with joy. And give us courage, Lord, to dance when we are invited.