Just before, yes, there was the bath I so desired to have that I put on the kettle to warm the water coming out of the tub’s faucet, never more than tepid in the mornings as it seems the water heater, like the rest of us, takes a while to wake up. I went back to the kitchen only to find the kettle hadn’t had any water in it. Taking it over to the sink I set it on the dish drying pad for just a second or two while I turn on the water, and then, on picking it up, think how dumb I am that I didn’t realize how hot the pot would be, as I find a round hole of fevered polyester. I set the pot, then, in the left side of the duo sink, on top of another pot, so as not to further the morning’s first error by marring the porcelain and call it one more holy instant.
Well, not really.
I took my unfortunately quick and cool bath and then, dressed and ready, began my day with a walk to the cabin, flashlight in hand at 5:03. There, I turn the heater on and scoop feed into a cup for the bunnies waiting just inside of the yard. On my return, I know I will have nearly two hours before the birds begin to gather and the papers of my two elderly neighbors need to be taken from curb to door. I have for many years thought of this as my “free” time.
But what if all of time could be free? What makes us count the minutes of the day and the hour? What makes us stop? In ACOL’s chapter eight, Jesus spoke of what in ACIM was called the Holy Instant and reminds us to observe with our hearts rather than our minds. He says, “This observance will contain a holiness, a gift of sight beyond your normal vision.” C:8.19
He refers to our thought system as being either one of separation or one of unity and says, “The thought system of God sees everything in unity. God’s thought system is one of continuous creation, rebirth and renewal. C:8.25
On this dark morning, as I look out on a quiet world not yet colored by day, I am thankful for each shadowy limb, and see all in unity with God, the creation, rebirth, and renewal that is going on all around me and within us all. Then my memory of a tepid bath and burnt drying pad too are different. My gratitude doesn’t remain contained but sees everything in unity, and I arrive once again.
“In true relationship, mutual relationship—in relationship without hierarchy—we arrive at shared knowing and being known.” Mother Mary in “Memoria,” p. 281