Notes from Jan

Holy Holes

September 23, 2021

Life’s full of holes. Not all, holy. But reminders that even emptiness is good for something. Take silence, for instance. Music needs rests. Art needs space. But often, we shun silence, empty spaces. We pipe in music. Buy vacant lots to do something, almost anything with. It feels wasteful to have nothing happening out there, or worse, in us. Schedules need filling and time needs spending.

Well, my reflective mood started Sunday afternoon. But on Saturday, two bumper stickers left me shaking my head. Stuck at a long light, I stared at the back end of a Prius. The left side of the bumper read:”Question Reality.” And on the right, “I brake for hallucinations.” I’m still in California.

But back to Sunday. Often, when I visit Heather and Matt, they plan a special outing. This time, we drove northwest, shun-piking to enjoy farms and ranches off the beaten path. Eventually, we wound our way to an ancient forest, near Occidental, California. We drove as far as possible by car, then on foot following a rain-dampened path into a coastal grove of giant redwoods. Slivers of sunlight, poked holes into the dense forest. We inhaled nature at its dewy best. Surrounded by majestic trees I felt the lift of insignificance and the anchor of silence, a holy hush.

Luke and Basil ran ahead, then back to lure us to a ginormous hole. And it was a hole, inside not below this majestic redwood. One wondered how it kept from toppling. Luke explained the far reaching root system. Deep and wide. I thought, “feels like a life lesson.”

Previous fires left scars, decades old. But fascinating how nature adapts. From the remains, smaller trees grew and began coming together to form, in time, something new. Renewed. I wondered, “What about people?”

Matt and I sat in silence until I whispered, “Be still and know that I am God.” Not us. God. We hadn’t gone to church. But, still, Church came to us.

Holy holes.

Wholeness.

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