The Cathedral of my Mind

FoxSnowI hear two noises outside this time of year: the occasional party-animal fox and its yipping friends, and the grinding swoosh of the municipal snowplow, whose driver is my hero.

Apart from these interruptions, or a rare gust of wind, I am left to the silence of my mind. That’s a good thing when working with prose and dialogue, which I’ve been know to hear as if characters were in the office. (I watch for signs of mental instability. So far, so good.)

Adding a link to my facebook log today, I realized my favorite cathedral characteristic — silence — surrounds me here, in my hermitage. I live in a cathedral, albeit one with glass walls, perched on a mountaintop, with 270-degree views up and down (snowy) valleys.

Swirling Red Tail hawks dance with crows and magpies, swooping and dipping as if mimicking the flying arms of a choir director. The random Golden or Bald Eagle lumbers through during a twice-annual migration like a visitor to a Sunday service. I’m watching for the Mountain Bluebirds (less than three months!), their cerulean feathers bouncing like blue bullets through the landscape, constantly moving like a fidgeting children’s choir.

A train of eleven deer, chugging one behind the other because the snow is deep enoughDeerInSnow their bellies drag, crossed the meadow below my office yesterday, then slipped into a grove for an afternoon nap like latecomers to the early service. Sunrises and sunsets are so colorful you’d think God took a Crayola to the sky. Prisms of the rainbow slide across the snowpack most mornings and afternoons like light piercing stained-glass windows.

These sensory, worshipful experiences inform my writing, clear my mind, enable me to focus on developing characters who believably struggle to live their faith. And in here, especially, I’m never far from my beliefs.

P1000017There’s snow on the mountain a couple of miles in front of me, and we have a very snowy forecast for the next ten days. Nothing dramatic like our three feet in five days of last week, but that gentle, consistent moisture that softens visual lines, and muffles noises that disrupt my work and worship. I’ll spend more time than usual in the office because of the weather, trying to beat an editing deadline.

I am blessed to work in a place of worship, but shouldn’t every place we inhabit be one of those?


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