The regular morning meditation kind of goes out the window when our favorite and only grandson Sam is here. Whatever time of morning I awaken, some kind of silent alarm goes off in him and soon he is ready to play. Then we keep going until he crashes at night. In the old days I could count on a late morning or early afternoon nap, and then I had a choice to either nap myself, or catch a few minutes of meditation practice. This pic caught him in one of those impromptu naps when he was younger. I probably joined him shortly.
But he is now six and those days seem long gone. This is not a complaint. It’s just that things take a big shift with a kid around. No wonder parents often say they don’t know when they are supposed to get in daily meditation. During the times we need it most, it is often the hardest to practice.
For this week while we get to have Sam around for an extended visit from his home in Alabama, I think my practice will be different. When he is playing, dancing, reading, sliding, hiding, running, and sleeping, my presence in the moments is my way of centering. And if I am fully awake, at least occasionally, I do know that being present to his moments are also God moments. It seems like God lives in short people, and if we just stay in touch with their aliveness and exuberance we can catch glimpses of God’s appearance too.
I have no experience with raising girls, either as a parent or as a grandparent. We have a son, who has a son. So what I know about is boys. And boys seem to have unending energy. They want to experience the world viscerally. They touch, jump on, tickle, pull apart, throw, lift, hide, and explore physical reality in every way they can. In the heat of summer they don’t even seem to notice the sweat, or if they do they exult in it. The aliveness of a boy is all adventure, every moment they are awake.
So I am surrendering to boyish adventures for this week. My meditation will be centering myself on the active presence of a six year-old tornado. The trip will take us through worship in a church, meditation groups, sacred yoga, poetry reading, feeding our street friends, and celebrating musical healing at Project Lazarus. Wherever we go we will go together. And I plan to love every minute of it, (until I fall exhausted into bed each night because I am dang old).
For more stories like this see Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture, available as a Kindle book.