Green pastures

February 27, 2012

I spent a lot of this past weekend out in fresh air (mostly walking from place to place), and it was nice to see a greener side of New York. The past month I have had more than a few daydreams about our apartment building somehow being magically transplanted to the middle of a forest or a meadow.

I am missing trees and grass and squirrels, and I miss walking down the sidewalk with one person instead of 500.

All of the noise and the rush makes me feel a heightened possessiveness of my things, my body, and especially my time. With any free time I have between classes and my internship, all I want to do is be alone in my quiet apartment and unwind.

And while I know that relaxation is a good thing, and quiet is so necessary for me, I also know I have been treating all my time as if it were my own. I have been forgetting that time is a gift, and so I have not been a good steward.

My new friend Suzi gave up her Valentine’s Day by organizing a birthday surprise for me, even though we’ve only known each other for two weeks.

Christian gave up his Monday afternoon to help me scrub the water stains out of my floor with toothpaste.

My boss at the agency gives up her time (which she really does not have enough of) to answer my questions, and give me thoughtful feedback everyday.

But I am reluctant to change. I wonder how I can sacrifice when everything in me wants to hoard. I wonder how I can see small, everyday graces when I am too busy trying to stay afloat amidst the skyscrapers and the subways.

It probably has a lot to do with trust. And a lot to do with these simple words, the beginning of perhaps the most-memorized Psalm, which I still do not fully understand:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters,

He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:1-3a