The chaplainbook story
This week's portion: portable holiness.

First Monday of ordinary time

I don't mean "ordinary time" in the Christian sense, naturally. Though I suppose if its deep meaning is "measured or numbered time," today counts...and it's certainly a strange kind of ordinary, in the absence of what had made Mondays extraordinary for so long. Today is the first Monday after the end of my extended unit of CPE. It felt strange not to begin the morning by driving the curving roads to Albany, not to ask my colleagues how their Sunday sermons had gone, not to settle in for a day of school.

Charles, bless his heart, reminded me in a comment yesterday that I had promised to do something special today, something meaningful or restorative or just-for-me, to keep from feeling glum on account of not being with my fellow chaplains all day. So this morning I drove down to the beautiful spa at Cranwell; I have a gift certificate there which I've been slowly using up, and today I tried my first Pilates class.

I like it. Not as well as I like yoga, but there are some similarities. Mostly it felt good to make time for exercise, which I'm not good about doing. (Someday I'm going to blog about the list of disciplines I wish were actually everyday occurrences in my life -- writing, prayer, and physical activity chief among them. Exercise for my mind, spirit, and body.) After class, I spent a little while in the womens' spa, which is free with class participation.

Ten a.m. on a Monday is not a busy time there; I had the place almost to myself! I sampled the steam room, and the sauna, and spent a little while lolling in the beautiful tiled hot tub. It felt like a kind of mini-mikvah, despite the lack of a witness or of living waters. I made a bracha and dunked four times, once for each of the four worlds, holding in my heart some of the actions, emotions, thoughts, and essence of the CPE program I've just completed. It was a sweet kind of closure.

And then I took a nice cool shower, and drove home listening to good music, and opened up the Torah to this week's portion, and got to work.

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