Last night, after I put both boys down to bed, it was still light out. I slipped out to the back patio and stood by the rosebush, just looking up at the sky. It was beautifully, intensely blue. There were clouds, spread out here and there: parts of the clouds were white and some were soft gray and others were lit with sunlight. The clouds made the sky so much more lovely than it would have been without them.
And I prayed, standing on our patio-which-desperately-needs-sweeping, listening to random birdsong and the far-off sound of a train and the clink of my neighbor’s dishes over the fence. The palm tree above me made squeaky creaky noises. I stood in front of the star jasmine, which is exploding into blossom and scent, and uttered prayers for people I know who are in need, and prayers for people I don’t know who are in need. But a lot of it was just me standing there, breathing deeply and looking up.
It was the most prayerful experience I’ve had in a long time: me, a June evening, the vast sky, some stolen moments of calm.
I think I’ll do it again.