As we move into winter and the days become shorter, I like to light candles. I light one on the kitchen counter on school mornings to cheer our day. I light one at dinner as we gather together as a family to reflect on our day. And, of course, I light one whenever I simply feel like it!
I have been noticing the clouds, and how they reflect the light of the sun. We use sunny days and blue skies as an analogy for happiness. But, it is when the sunlight catches the clouds that we can actually see the play of its brightness. It is clouds that make for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Yet, cloudy days are an analogy for sadness.
All of a sudden our grass has turned green again! For weeks it looked sickly, like maybe there were pests or the watering wasn’t quite right, or was it was just the hot hot southern Utah summer? I couldn’t quite make anything work. Then I fertilized, and that seemed to take care of it. I just mowed four days ago, and as you can see, it’s already out of control!
It’s one of the moments I remember so clearly. I was driving in the car with a dear friend a few months after my father passed away. I had helped my mom sort through his office, deleted his cell number, wept when a military convoy drove by (he was career military), and had been processing “goodbyes” in countless other ways.
“Better is a handful with quietness…” caught my heart as I read Ecclesiastes. It speaks of contentedness, of saying “enough.” One hand is full, while there is still the reality of another hand that is empty. But the focus is on the “handful.” And by saying “enough” comes the gift of quietness and contentedness.
“Better is a handful of quietness, than two hands full of toil and striving after the wind.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:6 (ESV)