"When you can lovingly be present to yourself,
your presence to others takes on a deeper quality".
I read it in less than two hours. A magnificently languaged, numinous book by Wiederkehr, a Benedictine monastic. I admit the title pulled me into this book. The idea of seeing the 'holy in the extraordinary' has always been appealing to me.
She calls this process 'harvesting angels from the crumbs' while living in a theophanous, rather than corporeal, world. The hallowedness of nature becomes apparent early in her writing as she strives toward intentional awareness of life, cognizant of those tiny miracles which are so easy to overlook, yet within with are contained the truly extraordinary: a spider's web, morning dew, a falling leaf, or a tree full of angels.
Mostly, one chapter resonated with me: Little-Great-One, Come Home.
Little-Great-One, Come Home.
I repeated this several times.
Little-Great-One, Come Home, Little-Great-One, Come Home, Little-Great-One, Come Home.
Myriad gravel paths of interpretation in that simple phrase for me. Probably different than for the author, yet still meaningful.
Near the book's sunset, she cites an anonymous quote: When we walk to the edge of all the light we have, and we take that step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen... there will be something for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.
To soar from the darkness of suffering? Pain? Even Death?
Certainly the book is Divine-God-focused. Yet, it seems that even secular humanists who have been to the edge of all their light would appreciate this book.
Because there is a contradicting humble, holiness in nature and her miracles. Because there are morsels of holiness in those every day moments with our loved ones. Because a leaf dancing to the ground or a raindrop falling from the sky or a dragonfly skimming water or the sound of a running stream are all truly sacred experiences. We need only walk to the edge of all our light to truly see. And one day, our ruptured hearts - the ones that have seeped onto the floor and into the crevices beneath our feet- will be transformed by this darkness of which she speaks and be able to look past the mundane into the miracle.
And we realize with certainty that the extraordinary is wrapped in the ordinary.
Yes. She was. Yes. She is. And yes, the Little-Great-One came home.