Mornings are precious times for me. I enjoy silence and solitude in thought, reading and study. This summer, a bright morning was interrupted by the doorbell. "Can your son come out and play?" To some parents, a child playing is a welcome break but for me and Naudia playmates means increased vigilance. We need to know where he is and with whom he's playing.
I didn't know the inquiring child, nor his parents, very well. Before I could tell him I was busy, our son awakened and zoomed around the corner to greet his classmate. Solitude evaporating, I realized God's work in the interruption when I asked, "Do your parents know where you are?" His response revealed an opportunity to get to know my neighbors.
Grabbing some fresh fruit as gifts, I dressed and asked the child to walk me around the corner to meet his parents. Having met the parents, our son asked, "Since you know them, can I play over here?" A host of responses flooded my mind: 'I just met them but I don't know them; I came over here so they'd know I was safe not to find out if they were safe; you were just asleep 15 minutes ago and now see an opportunity to get away from my watchful eye..." Uncharacteristically, I agreed and walked home.
Uncharacteristically, the boys came back a little while later. Their interest in playing at our house cheered me. Our son's playmate also brought his little sister to hang out. My plans for the morning changed (again) and I began cooking breakfast for all of the children. We had complimentary Faithfest tickets, and I texted our neighbors to find out if we could bring their children along.
It wasn't until we arrived at the concert that I realized the tickets were per vehicle, not per person. Our neighbors entered the same way we did: by the generosity of my Spiritual Director at the St. Francis Retreat Center.
Spiritual Direction requires solitude, study and silence: all forsaken on a bright morning. The Spirit directed me to waffles, carnival food, great music and the best two-hand-touch game all year. We had a great time at Faithfest!
Today, on a bright morning I write, of interrupted solitude, in silence and stillness. Interruptions aren't so bad. Because of a good neighbor, and a great Spiritual Director, I see interruptions as opportunities.