|Wonderful photo by JR Woodward of a rainy day in LA.|
My childhood memory of February skies displays them as cloudy. After two weeks of sunshine and some record temperatures, Saturday morning arrived with a more expectedly seasonal overcast and Sunday the same. Rain in the afternoon, rain heavy enough to hear which is not always the case.
Within the past few weeks two friends mentioned keeping notebooks of how they spend their days. One has maintained this activity since 1984. I find such consistency admirable, enviable and so far outside my experience that considering it leaves me bewildered. I think if I kept such a record, assuming I noted the weather for each day, which would be a simple task, a few words, I would know just what the sky was doing on a specific February day. I even ordered a notebook similar to one a friend described, attracted to her vertical format for listing bullet points. The book arrived a week ago. Getting in the habit of using it challenges me and using it with flair and color and creativity, as she does, feels like trying to teach myself Mandarin.
"What some might call the restrictions of the daily office they find to be an opportunity to foster the inner life. The hours are appointed and named… Life’s fretfulness is transcended. The different and the novel are sweet, but regularity and repetition are also teachers… And if you have no ceremony, no habits, which may be opulent or may be simple but are exact and rigorous and familiar, how can you reach toward the actuality of faith, or even a moral life, except vaguely? The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real."
What is habit if not a practice of consistency or a dedication to it, intentional or not. I think about being consistent, which I equate with being reliable, as one of the hurdles that confronts me. It has a lot of company. A daily jotting of words or phrases to preserve time seems an especially worthy habit. I trust it is one I can learn.