Manna Meditations

finding the light on the long rainwet road …


Manna Meditations

headfirst into the wonder …

Manna Meditations, Day 29

There are those who travel the world to witness the cataracts …





But yesterday, I stand on a cliff in my ordinary town, watching the blonde grass plunge in a perfect cascade and come crashing down to the treeline below:

And I am overcome Рfor the thousandth time Рby the astounding beauty of ordinary things.  Everyday places.

I go out hungry for it, day after day…

It’s never failed me yet. ‚̧

Manna Meditations



Gray sky.

Cold wind.

I wander down by the river, wondering (why do I still wonder?) whether I will find the Manna.  Whether it will be there for me, in this brief little window I have to go looking for it.

Something leads me, then, to a low place down by the water’s edge where the ground has collapsed into muddy cliffs. ¬†The grass is matted down – a sign of old floodwaters here – and there are bits of garbage and broken glass caught in the weeds. ¬†I don’t know why it is that I go slogging through the dirt, pushing through the scrubby dead underbrush, but I do.

And then.

At the very moment I reach the water, the sky opens like a sudden smile and the sun goes spangling down over everything, flashing over the river and pearling over the tops of the buildings in my little town beyond:

It’s like it was waiting for me.

I snap a photo, knowing the instant that I do so that this is it;¬†this is Manna — that it will always be there, just when I need it.

I am learning.

I am still learning.

I carry the Light back home in my chest, realizing there are a thousand reasons to be grateful. ‚̧

Manna Meditations

a little synesthesia …

Manna Meditations, Day 6


Slate-colored sky.  Slow patter of rain.

My eyes are hungry for beauty, and as I first step outside, I wonder — in all this gray drizzle — where on earth I’ll find it.

But beauty isn’t made for eyes alone, even if (for me at least) my eyes are the most ravenous part of me… So I put my camera away, and I walk.

There is an old art to what I do next, I’m sure.

I wander rainwet streets, listening.  After awhile, my ears sharpen, grow sensitive: rain tapping gently on bare branches, or crackling crystalline against frozen grass.

A little longer, and the sound begins to take on color, too:  platinum.  Pale blue.  That faintest edge of lavender.

Suddenly I realize there’s birdsong — green wet notes stabbing through gray.

I lift my head, and as I do, a single raindrop strikes my lower lip:  a silver bell of sound.  A sharp ray of light passes straight through me, flaring like a flashbulb in my chest.

My hungry eyes consume all this — the sound transfigured to light, the rain translated to song — and I walk home, all the neurons tingling.

I’m alive with wonder, speechless and slack-jawed with praise. ‚̧

Manna Meditations

what grace looks like …

Manna Meditations, Day 5

Honest words?  Yesterday, my heart was heavy.

I was thinking about a few dear friends who are suffering, quietly and without much support, and the things I knew — the hurt I was carrying for them — hummed behind my eyes like a headache.

It wasn’t a good day for walking or climbing or wandering — the cold felt like it could crack bone — and so I felt trapped indoors with the weight of the hurt…¬†No place to go.


After church, T took the wheel. ¬†He steered the car into the blue hills, the unbroken forests, going nowhere in particular … just aiming toward the quiet.

And the quiet was there.

After awhile, I blinked back tears and saw sun — so much sun! The world was bathed in the warmest, thickest, woolen-blanket kind of light, and its sparks caught in the treetops, flickering and winking in the highest twigs. The road ahead of us gleamed wetly with it, even though the air was bone-dry.

I leaned my face against the cool of the window, and suddenly I felt my soul settle into the comfort of just … being. ¬†Not working. ¬†Not¬†making — no hands on the wheel. ¬†Just … looking. ¬†Letting in the light.

And it struck me, how precious it was, to be in a place safe enough to just be. To lay back and receive the day’s goodness, not as reward for effort, but simply as a gift.


I let the landscape flash past, and then after awhile I held my phone to the window and snapped without looking, believing that I was in the presence of so much wonder that any of it would have been beautiful … any of it would have been enough.

And you know what?  It was.