Psalm 57 - One A Week Psalm Project
There are roses in a small vase on my kitchen table. They’ve been there a while now. Many of the petals have not only fallen off, but crinkled and dried. I left the fallen petals and the vase sitting there with its diminishing roses.
Today I transfer the petals to a nice, locally made blue-and-white plate, decorated with the imprints of leaves.
But I still haven’t tidied them up properly. I often leave flowers so long that their change from fresh to crunchy is complete. Maybe it’s because I live alone and my cleaning schedule is... relaxed. But I’m also not sure that’s it.
I like to watch the beauty in the change of states.
The brittleness of the leaves as they dry.
The way the petals develop a varied and deeper colour as they fall.
All of the petals that don’t fall from the rose bud create a beautiful still life flower pose, until disturbed when it’s just as likely for them to disintegrate as to stay in their final form.
I love the dried petals – I have a couple of large jars full of collected rose petals and still held together rose buds in their dried form, fragile and delicate. I’ve got a collection of those roses too. Some in their normal state carefully balanced so their dried petals don’t fall out. Some dipped in wax, now hardened and resilient, but changed. Some have been put in resin jewellery, waiting for millennia from now when a mad scientist will slide a needle into them to capture their DNA.
I love each stage, for what they each offer and the different possibilities.
The Prayer of Cat Cuddling
I sit, waiting, with the intent to pray, sleep still in my eyes.
The dear cat insists on joining me, creeping over into my lap, and taking far too long to circle and sit down.
He eventually lies, completely at ease, gently squashed between my knees and table, and stomach, his head pushed into my left hand, holding him up.
I’m not convinced of his stability, but he stays, his loud purrs subduing any concerns. His right paws stretches out in contentment, his eyes at rest, but with a slither of watchfulness.
I finally return to prayer and wonder what I am doing with a handful of cat to distract me, but, as he’s a cat, I take the cuddles when I can get them.
But distraction in prayer sometimes refocuses.
The delight and comfort and contentment in his purr reverberating in my ears calls me to be thankful, to send my purrs, sorry, prayers, off to God.
That the dear cat is family prompts me to pray for the rest of mine.
That he has such a wonderful coat invites me to ask, once, again, what am I being asked to do to help those who don’t have such protection?
That he has such trust in me, makes me consider how much trust I have in God.
The dear cat’s comforting presence stills me and I begin to hear the sounds from outside; the gentle hum of traffic, the drip of recent rain from the trees and gutters, and birds emerging in the newly washed morning.
I don’t always know what to pray for; sometimes there’s too much, or too little in my brain to sort through the particulars. Sometimes, going through the motions feels apathetic and unhelpful. But I sit, comforted in the cats purring presence, encouraged just to sit some more and wait, and be, and see what happens.