“In winter we are dormant, it is a a time for quiet generosities, and reflection on the endurance of inner light in the midst of darkness.” Sabbath (p.67)
Yesterday, I spent some time looking at the empty pages of 2016 in my new passion planner. After doing a little bit of research on what each season brings us through nature, I wrote some prayers for each month of this year.
For January, my favorite month of the year, this is my prayer:
Help me discover,
the quiet generosities
that are here today.
I don’t really know what I am looking for. Before page 67, I had not heard the phrase quiet generosities. Then, I noticed one such example in today’s chapter of Sabbath.
“At a retreat Seiji tells me he stayed up all night long, in the middle of the forest, waiting to hear the singular moment, early in the morning, when all the birds would begin to sing. He waited patiently in the silent stillness. Then, long before the sunrise, ‘I heard the sound of a gentle inhale, as if all the trees around me, together, took a long, deep breath.’ All at once, he said, as if in the unison with the exhale, the birds commenced their morning symphony” (Sabbath, p.74).
I want to be generous again.
When maintaining my own life takes more than I have to give it, there are no “extras” to share. When my time is already spent, when the money we earn is going to pay for last month or last year, when my energy runs out several hours before I can put my head to the pillow, I find myself not only lacking in practical resources, but sharp resentments fill the places that are desperately in need of kindness and gentleness.
Generosity that comes from a place of rest is a gentle generosity. It is not birthed from determination, discipline, or a mission statement. This kind of generosity it honorable and what I hope to come from any work I do with my life, but it is not the kind of generosity I am looking for in this season.
Gentle generosities are so unintentional they are surprises to those who both give and receive them. They are fruit, not of labor, but of stillness, intimacy, and slowness.
It is my prayer that you discover, notice, receive and share the quiet generosities that are here for you today.