[Vineyard, Niagara-on-the Lake, Canada, 2014]
Recently I “cycled off” a committee at my Quaker meeting I’d served on for several years, a volunteer job I’d gladly signed up for but which had required a lot of my time. Last July, for example, several of us on that committee were hiring a new staff person; even now, dear Reader, remembering that Thumbs Up /Thumbs Down hiring experience makes my heart race! (Apparently I am not cut out for personnel work!)
So I’m having a delicious summer. One perfect summer afternoon a couple of weeks ago, lying in dappled sunlight on a hammock, a Trollope novel in hand, I felt held, both that every-bone-in-your-body-support of a hammock, but also that deep and warm sense of being held by Spirit; of being loved unconditionally. Is this just summertime and livin’ easy bliss? I wondered. Or, because I’ve been toiling in the vineyard I’ve earned this blissful, peace-drenched, birdsong-sweet moment?
Part of me scoffed at this notion of earned bliss. “This is a broken world,” my mindful self reminded me. “And so much more you could be doing! When you get home. . . ” And, then and there, my mindful self ignored those puffy clouds and birdsong and the neglected novel on my belly to create a long To Do List for me.
Reader: I’ve pretty much ignored her list. And am taking great comfort in thinking about those laborers who, the parable goes, were hired late in the day but were nevertheless paid for a full day’s work.
I see an old woman with nut-brown, gnarled skin and stooped over from years of hard work. Of course the landowner didn’t chose her first-thing that morning! But when, grateful to be called to service, she put in whatever time she had left with vim and care, her work, like that other Biblical old woman’s mite, was priceless. (Or at least worth a day’s pay!)