My spirit play friends were busy “working” with our story last week, with many children absorbed in various activities. One friend worked with a rubber band board, a piece of wood with nails pounded half way into it to make a grid. She showed me and then added to her work and then called me over again.
“Tell me about it”, I requested. She told me it was the day God made us. Now that is something you don’t see every day. I asked her to elaborate, to tell me more, but she had no grand story to match her work of art. She asked me to look and see the vertical stress and then to look and see the stress to the sides. “Look at the stress lines.”
I had many more questions, but she wanted to move on to play with other things. I wonder though, what day she was talking about. Was it the day of the big bang? Was it the day of our conception? Was it today when we woke up? Is it right now as we inhale?
And what kind of stress must have been present at any of those moments, or days? Do new life and creation always flow from stress or tension? If so, how might we view those experiences in our life with more positive regard? There is an idea in spirituality that we should regard all our difficulties as teachers and those hard things in life as invitations and opportunities to grow. What does the stress of trying to create a calm space for several wiggly 3 and 4 year olds have to teach me? What does the discomfort of my own internal judgement invite me to learn? In that tension, what do the stress lines look like? What new creation do they make possible?
These are things I have been sitting with this week. And I have taken those questions into my teaching practice. And I have taken those questions into my own meditation practice. Sometimes we can’t know or see what kind of new life may arise as we sit and reflect. Sometimes we can only make it through the tension of the exhale as it invites the next breath. In this moment I am made and made anew. That looks like evolution and growth, imperceptibly, but always changing and being transformed. This is the day. This is a new day.