Friday, March 1, 2013

the sun is here, even in wintertime

"Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.” 
 “That is because you are older, little one,” answered he. 
 “Not because you are?” 
 “I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
--Prince Caspian

As I walked into St. Peter's this morning, I was struck by how much taller it seemed.
As I walked down the nave, approaching closer and closer to the Dome, I began to shrink, as I felt the ceiling above me grow, higher and higher, like a second sky.
There's a sweet spot, somewhere near the pillar on the far left of the Bernini baldacchino where the height becomes warmth, and I feel like I'm being enveloped in a giant hug.
This year, it felt like an even larger, warmer hug than ever before.

They say that the universe is constantly expanding.
Which always raises the question:
Into what?
Into itself, maybe?

Human beings, like the universe are constantly expanding.
As babies, our bodies expand at an alarmingly rapid rate.
Around the age that I am now, they stop expanding upward. Sometimes they expand outward, sometimes their growth stagnates.
And then comes the time when the water in our intervertebral discs begins to evaporate, and we lose our height, we begin to shrink.
But even then we call that growing up.
Because the truth about being a human being is that you're always being.
You've always actively putting in effort into your existence.
You're always widening your self, even if your body is beginning to narrow. 

Just like the universe, you're always growing.
Into what?
Into yourself, maybe?

Growing is deepening.
It's a fact we forget, but we stumble across (literally) everyday.
I walked by a line of trees, and naturally (like the graceful, coordinated woman that I am), I tripped over the uneven cobblestones. They had been twisted and bent, dislodged by the roots of the tree growing under the sidewalk.
Trees, as they grow upwards, grow downwards.
For a tree, growing means deepening.
For a tree, the farther up into the atmosphere she climbs, the deeper her connection to her little plot of earth grows.
Growing is deepening.

As I expand, I find that St. Peter's has grown with me.
The higher I grow, the smaller I feel, wrapped in the comfortable, cozy arms of St. Peter's.
This is one of those very happy things that we find, to our wonder and dismay, that we don't have words to describe. 
So we call it a mystery.

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