You know that feeling when you suddenly encounter something that feels like home? I've been feeling that way as I read through Esther de Waal's book on Celtic Christianity. The Celts, she says, were a people "living close to the earth, close to stone and water, and their religious worship was shaped by their awareness of these elemental forces....They were a warrior people, a people whose myths and legends told them of heroes and heroic exploits. Above all, they were a people of the imagination, whose...skill with words flowered in poetry and storytelling." Is it okay, I wonder, to lay claim to people who are probably not your ancestors, but are certainly your spiritual kin? I am in love with the way their lives were a continual song of prayer, from morning through the night. They had prayers for everything from stoking the fire to milking the cow to making the bed to sailing their boats. Wonderful.
"Bless, O God, my little cow,
Bless, O God, my desire;
Bless Thou my partnership
And the milking of my hands, O God.
Bless, O God, each teat,
Bless, O God, each finger;
Bless Thou each drop
That goes into my pitcher, O God."
It's been a wonderful read, and it's excited my faith in a way few things have over the last months.
The last two weeks at home have been so restful. I find my thoughts turning more to prayer throughout the day, instead of turning to the old quick fix of the click and escape. Standing at the kitchen counter one day last week, I found myself suddenly realizing that this whole thing might be part of God's plan and not so much my own idea. Today's reading hit me:
"Prayer was not separate from poetry and from song. These were people who were singing all the time, from the start of the day until its end. Prayers were keened or crooned or sung under the breath - they were not said silently. This would have an incalculable effect on children, who from the start of their lives must have been aware of parents praying, would watch and hear prayer as a natural part of every day life....When Carmichael tells us, almost in passing, that this ended as people became more talkative, he is saying something the significance of which we should not miss."
Do you feel, as I do, that something important is being lost in our world? I'm just listening, still exploring. These are the little snippets that come to me day by day.
much love to you.