Did you know that a gallon of water, so long as it is stretched very, very thin (a molecule or two deep) can stretch over 5 square miles?  This feels a lot like us right now, coming up to the final legs of our US trip.  We've spread ourselves over family, friends, and beautiful places.  We have many precious memories to keep.  But like butter scraped over too much bread, it's easy for things, even the good stuff, to not taste so great anymore. Places become just another destination to tick off the list, another piece of ground to cover.  Joy is lost in the journey.  Wearing thin can easily go undetected, until tensions are already running high, and patience is already short. After all, empty buckets won't fill themselves. 

I read in a book this week that perhaps the best translation of the Hebrew word selah, which is found throughout the book of Psalms is this: "Shut up! And pay attention!"  I need more selah in my life. To make a long story short, this is what I am practicing this week: Being attentive, present, focused.  Tucking the internet and what the world is doing away, and living the life going on in front of me.   Filling that bucket with true, noble, good, beautiful, and fun things. 
That same gallon of water I started out with? Poured into a straw about the size of a human hair, it would reach all the way down to the center of the earth, about 4,000 miles beneath the ground. This is hope for the weary, a little-bit too-well-traveled soul: decreasing breadth increases depth. We've spread bits of ourselves many places in the past few months, but right now, we are all here.  We are digging our toes in the sand and stretching kites into the sky.  "Here" for us, right now, is an exceptionally beautiful time and space to be.

Psalm 131 is my anthem and my goal this week.  It is called a psalm of ascents, because depth goes down, but it also goes up.  We have to look up to see inside of us: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.

Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

    too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.


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