Monday, January 02, 2006

The Pace of a Hen

Two years ago a friend mentioned to me the quote from Teresa of Avila that is in my sidebar and also the book that brought the quote to her attention, Josephine Moffett Benton's The Pace of a Hen (1961). The insights of this older, wiser Quaker woman have been such an encouragement to me in my attitude toward labor as a wife and mother. Here's an example of her perspective:

A woman...must walk a precarious way between her family, her work, her desire to be of service in the community, and her need for recreation and worship.

Her scattered life looks as if she were going around in circles. And why not? What other way is there to go, ultimately? The longest trip that we can set out to go around the world. And in time, we go around the year--spring, summer, autumn, winter. Within that larger cycle of time is the daily one--early morning, high noon, sundown, night. Each new day can bring redemption for us, even as each springtime brings renewal for tree and flower and grass.

Old earth is a sphere that travels around the sun, as the moon in its orbit travels around our earth. The very course of blood through our veins and arteries is known as the circulatory system. The emblem of divinity is a halo. Why disparage going around in circles? Any other route suggests imbalance, a jumping-off place, abyss. Perhaps the hen's pace is a wholesome one in rhythm with the universe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey there hen!
this is the captian of the HMS BERKLEY, just saying thanks for the link and i really enjoyed reading your blog. loved the descriptions of the boys and girls and the pics. you have to be the coolest mom in world! (aside from mine of course)