Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Singing Doves & Smelling Roses

As I write this blog, my eyes are happily squinting because of the sunshine! I am out back for the first time this year, and the weather is absolutely glorious! The birds are singing, and it is warm with only a faint breeze. How I love wireless Internet access!! :-)

I am loving working with my student teacher. Perhaps he is teaching me more about life than I am teaching him about pedagogy! The greatest lesson I have learned from him is one I should have learned earlier: to always take time to smell the roses.

He doesn't even realize that I am learning from him, though. I am just learning from his example. He walks more slowly in the hallways than I do, speaks more calmly, and finds humor and pleasure in the little things of our day which had previously gone unnoticed by me. My days are more enjoyable, and I have slowed down to enjoy my students more. I think this experience is making me a better teacher and person!

Last night I had dinner with my friend Jesse, a friend I haven't seen in 1.5 years! I was unfortunately a bit late to meet him because--after giving the doves a lukewarm bath--I had fallen asleep in the toasty hot bath I then prepared for myself! Oops! But it was one of the most delightful feelings ever. I have never fallen asleep in a hot bath tub, but I liked it so much that I think I shall try to do it again soon! It was like falling asleep while being hugged!

We caught up over dinner, and Jesse analyzed whether or not I risked drowning by taking a watery nap like that. I realized that I had forgotten how funny and enjoyable he is. Perhaps I made time for him and appreciated him more this time simply because of the lessons I am learning at school. In any case, I was grateful to catch up with him and will try to shorten the time between now and when I see him next!

That night, I got in bed by 9:30, and it felt fantastic to let sleep come over me gradually instead of the usual quickness that comes with exhaustion when I get into bed much later. Yes, even these little details of life (like the pleasure of falling asleep more slowly) are things I am starting to notice and appreciate.

Around 10:30, when everything was covered with the blanket of darkness, I was awoken by my doves singing beautifully, as if it were the middle of the afternoon. They never make a peep when it is dark, and so their prolonged singing was an unexpected and confusing surprise.

Moments later, my friend Carlos sent a string of text messages to my phone, explaining that just moments ago--while praying for me in perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC (where he lives)--he heard a distinct message about me from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Carlos typed, "Lisa! My dear friend! You are going to be fine and you will be so happy!" He continued with, "I don't know how or when...but I know it. I was praying for you, and I felt it, as clearly as I know my own name. I'm not saying if you'll marry or be a nun or a lay single. I don't know anything! I only know that you'll be HAPPY. I feel this sudden joy, and I would lift you up and twirl you around, if you were in front of me!"

Such prophetic messages scare me a bit, and so I asked Carlos if he felt that God asked him to tell me this. He replied with, "I just felt I had to tell you. I didn't even think about it. It certainly wasn't a command; it was more like a cry of joy that comes involuntarily when you see a friend for the first time in years!"

I laid there in wonderment, looking at my ceiling in the dark, listening to the beautiful singing of my doves while--at the same time--feeling deeply that someone was coming to visit me. Of course, this last feeling made no sense, since it was the middle of the night, and who would knock on my door at this hour? I said thank you and good-night to Carlos, then laid there, trying to make sense of the swirl of feelings within me.

Then my phone rang.

It was that special ringtone that meant only one person, my ex-boyfriend Jon, whose life I politely bowed out of many months ago when I saw the limits of our post-relationship friendship and sensed that the new girl in his life was probably going to be the one for him. He immediately gave his sympathies for the passing of my cat Cotton, then gently explained that he was now married, for he had just gotten back from his honeymoon last night. He told me everything, and while a few tears escaped from me after we hung up, it was his gentleness and kindness that made me happy to see him doing so well.

As I fell asleep last night thankful for Jon's unexpected appearance, I remembered what Carlos told me -- and found hope in knowing that even the boy who thought he'd never marry, finally did. God is more surprising and more creative than we ever give Him credit for. He knows the deepest needs and desires of each of our hearts, and will keep trying to bless us as we finally open up to receive.