Being in the City Gives You Time to Think
City life lends itself to contemplation. I recently spent a week in the third largest city in our nation. This was the surprising thing I realized while I was there. If you want to live a contemplative life, it is not necessary to live in the desert away from all others.
Oh, I am sure that being a hermit helps to create a contemplative life, but the city isn’t as anti-contemplation as I would have thought. This occurred to me one day while on the train from a suburb to the center of the city. Once again I found myself contemplating contemplation.
Hubby was standing near me. I was sitting, of course! There weren’t many people on the train. By the time we had gotten onto the train, we had already walked several blocks and waited several minutes on the train platform. As the train rocked us back and forth, as the recorded and disembodied voice called out Covid precautions as well as stops, as people came onto the train and exited the train, I thought, “What a gift this is.”
I haven’t spent much time in other cities. My city isn’t exactly small, but it is nothing compared to the BIG THREE. Waiting is not something most humans do well. This was apparent on the streets when a light would change to green and cars would immediately begin honking. But, waiting is necessary. Waiting gives us room to breathe.
This isn’t only true for city life, of course. There is all kind of waiting. Waiting for a loved one to die. Waiting for a loved one to get well. Waiting for a baby to be born. Waiting to hear back from those test results. Waiting to find out if you got the job. There is all kinds of waiting.
Waiting does not equal contemplation, but it occurs to me that if we will use the waiting, see the waiting as the gift that it is, then we may find ourselves in deeper contemplation. And, I do believe that deeper contemplation means deeper understanding of self and others. And, I do believe that deeper understanding of self and others means a deeper relationship with God.
I’m going to go think about that while I wait.
This is Year 49 . . .