“May we ever enjoy Your consolations.”

This morning I arose with a powerful need for some lecture notes from 2001.  Once breakfasted and into my files, I knew I was in trouble: Years and years of notes, in disarray.  Undated documents.  Dated documents scrambled.  The good news?  In making what year-stacks I could, the exhilaration of lectures past suffused me.  It was so wonderful, such a privilege, to be in all those decades of lecture halls. I’m so grateful for the fierce compulsion to learn.  I’m confident there will be more! The bad news? The very notes I need are not there.  Loaned out, I suppose.  But still, a trace of their excellence lingers, in my files.

One thing I’ve learned is the futility of attacking memory head on.  Memory needs to be approached obliquely, with clear breathing,  with easy expectation.  If Memory sees I’m moving casually about my business, she just may appear, with a wink and a nudge.  Or not.   I’m still waiting!

And the wait can be such a delight.  After much rain the backyard is drenched with sun. And activity.  What sounds like the corner of the roof being broken off is merely a squirrel, convinced he’s the one to master the baffle on the birdfeeder.  No, he is not.  A wild rabbit is easing along the hedgerow. A rollicking wren breaks cover, allowing a heart-stopping glimpse of his tiny self.  The teenage cardinals are pestering their parents.  All’s right with the world.

But where are those notes, and what did they say??

Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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