3 a.m. and sleep evades me. I sit here in the dark and look out at the small portion of the world I can see. The contrast of it strikes me for the first time. Usually, my eyes and mind only take in the things that bring me the most joy: the trees, the flowers, the feeders where the birds and creatures gather. Tonight, I see without discarding, the rest of the scenery. The buildings, the porches of others filled with their chairs, grills and ornaments. Their lights which are predominately off, though a few burn softly - lighting their part of our courtyard.
We are a small cosmos here in this courtyard. 3 buildings facing each other, 30 apartments: only 3 empty. I know probably 1/2 the residence of these buildings - some better than others. During the day time, I am aware of the buildings and people. We all watch each other, standing guard to note strangers who come, repairmen who speak of problems, ambulances who harbor danger, Uhauls which give and take away from our little community. During the day, I am a part of the informal neighborhood watch that notes these things. I see the buildings and the different lives they represent. I even find comfort in knowing that I am noted by others and they stand watch over me.
But in the stillness of night, I see only the things of nature. Free of the encombrance of man's hand. I see the things God has made, not man. I see the beauty of His creation and my mind dismisses the manmade structures that trap them in.
Softly the Spirit speaks to me. Slowly I see the comparison between my courtyard and religion. It is to the natural things of God that my spirit moves first, not to the religious things. That contrast between the churches and dogmas/doctrines and the freedom of the Spirit. I dwell in a world of structures that house, protect, separate, and in many ways are necessary. Yet, I feel trapped and restless when there too long, when there is no escape out into the courtyard to lay on the grass under the sun. I think of how the structures are decaying, how the repair work is continual on them as they age. Left to their own, the grass, trees, vines will overtake them and tear them down. A reclaimation of territory by the laws of nature. I think of the work done in me over the past few years to tear down my structures of religion and feed the grass of my Spirit.
I sit and look out - I want to take a walk and leave my dwelling far behind.