Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Mornings Then and Now

Sunday mornings. Unwinding. Freedom for listening, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching. Slowness. Harmony. Peace.

For decades I diligently attended Sunday School and church on Sunday mornings. After scurrying to get husband and kids fed and dressed, I'd snatch seven minutes to dress myself including the frustrated yanking of panty hose over toes and legs, my first Sunday prayer being, "Please don't let them snag or tear." Red-faced from all the effort of a wife and mom trying to do the right thing I'd grab purse, Bible, and Sunday School lesson. In self-imposed sensory deprivation I'd hot-foot it to the car, family in tow.

Not a pleasant ritual. Six of us, in the car, crabby, struggling to put on our Sunday Faces which normally amounted to smiling mouths, scowling eyes. I take full responsibility.

I gave it up. Surrendered to a creeping wisdom. Something was awry in that routine, that conditioning. Awry in my attitude. I attend church on Sunday evenings now, when I can, and leave the Sunday morning church thing to others.

In loosening my white-knuckled grip on tradition I discovered enchantment.

Presently, in the restfulness of Sunday mornings dwells an easy concentration which naturally leads to satisfying contemplation. No panty-hose wars, hurried breakfasts, temperamental hair tamings. Time agreeably meanders.

Sunday's serenity has been there all along. Quiet streets. Animal skitterings. The soothing cadence of shoes as leisurely walkers pass my secret patio. Vibrant foliage interpretively dancing with the breezes. Beloved beagle sunning himself, perfectly still but for his breathing and dreaming. Cherished husband puttering peacefully after morning tea and an hour of news shows. Precious children, restful spirits, stretching bodies enticed by a day of freedom and possibility. For me, awareness.

And happy surprise.

Just now as I type on this sunny Sunday morning I am interrupted by Tom and his latest possum, who plays dead. The opossum, not Tom. This nocturnal creature who was in our shed - the opossum, not Tom - has been freed to wildness for his own safety. Random acts of Tom-ness.

For the enchantment of Sunday morning which offers rejuvenation for the workweek, then faithfully returns me home once again, I smile...


...and contentedly thank God.


deanna said...

There were four of us in the car trying to smile those many years; five in my family growing up. It was an experience I gave up so gladly!

And now I'm glad to read you again, Cherie. I've missed you, indeed. Surprising us with Tom's surprise possum is a treat this relaxed, sunny Sunday.

Cherie said...

Thanks, Deanna! It really was nutty the things I did to get ready for church. Whatever was the point? Seemed like I was defeated before I even arrived. Oh well. Them days is gone - thank God!