Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Prayer

I was the neighborhood babysitter when the kids were young. We often had a collection of neighbhood children playing in our driveway before school at our home on  Happy Hollow Court. The kids loved it. But as much as they liked playing with the "babysitting" kids they liked a little quiet time alone with me before the activity began. So they got up early. Very early. ( as sleep deprived teenagers they lamented their lost sleeping opportunities...) One of the favorite activities before babysitting friends, before school, was reading. Outloud. By me.
We could just feel the chill of the Long Winter as we read by our fireplace on those dark winter morning. I could hardly hold back the tears as Laura left her family home to marry Almonzo. The girls laughed at Nellie Olsons leaches on the Banks for Plum Creek. We all had our favorite book in the Laura Ingalls Wilder series ( Nobody really liked Farmer Boy though.) Time to turn the page? A "tap, tap" on the chosen childs head was the code. The funny little things that seem meaningless , over time became woven into something more. Something bigger.Our hearts and our bodies knit together on our couch transported our spirits. Our little cozy cocoon was also a prayer.

"Sometimes the best prayer comes out of reading rather than praying. Good reading touches all the questions of our life, stretches us beyond ourselves to find answers and brings us face-to-face with the Mystery that is God." -Joan Chittistero

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