Monday, September 13, 2010

Preparation and Surprise

Birthday present!Image by MarcelGermain via Flickr
So many fun and exciting preparations will take place in this final countdown week prior to the big ocean adventure/trip/pilgrimage/voyage thing!

I've wakened the last few nights with thoughts of the next day's chores and checklists.  I'd say lost sleep is not a good thing but as I lie awake checking items off my lists, I eventually become bored with that and then turn to prayer (a good thing) for some anxiety relief!  Succumbing, I call upon my "alphabet prayer list" - seems to calm and lull me back into dreamland.  (The alphabet prayer  A, B, etc. naming those names that come into my head for each letter and then adding a prayer for that person.  The name can be a first name, a family name, a famous person name - for example a first name like granddaughter A with a calming prayer for her back-to-school anxiety, or proceeding with the B's, a last name as in daughter K's last - with a prayer for her writing skills, or a family name like McM - with prayers for everyone's safe travels, a J name - a recently scooter-injured person's name comes to my mind with a prayer for healing and less pain, sometimes the deceased seem particularly prominent during the alphabet roll call.  As I said, the alphabet prayer ultimately soothes my anxiety and I'm off to sleep with often the last amusing thought of "wouldn't Oprah be surprised to know I pray for her occasionally when I "hit the O's?"

Missing a little sleep, feeling a sense of excitement or maybe anxiety during the day, I sometimes think I'm over-reacting to the excitement of this trip planning.  On the other hand, how can I resist to prepare as fully as possible in order to then let what happens, happen!  It's like wrapping one's own surprise birthday present - sort of knowing what's inside the package, loving the outer layers of shiny colored paper and ribbon, ultimately removing the outer layers to find an amazing, "just thought I knew what it was," surprise!

Do you ever remember preparing for such a journey or such an event? Maybe it was a graduate school
diploma in your hand, or the amazing foreign face of the child you had longed for, or how about renewed acquaintance with a long lost friend or cousin?  These are amazing gifts we think we know are coming to us - but can never really imagine the actual thrill of the unwrapping!   If you have a minute I'd love to hear a sharing of something for which you prepared and then had to let it happen...........


  1. I really love the idea of your Alphabet Prayer and can assure you I will use it as I am awake at night. I usually have an hour or so when my mind surfs the past day and the coming one. What a great idea! I love it!

    I very much like your last paragraph as well but I have to run, so will have to return with an answer. In fact, this will be a great way to keep me company as I do the tasks ahead of me.

    Blessings for you and your coming trip/pilgrimage/adventure :-))))

  2. I'm reminded of the scene in Joe Vs. the Volcano where he goes to the luggage store. Seen it?

  3. i spent some time with the alphabet prayer in the wee hours this morning. i'm often surprised by who or what comes to mind during that time - people i haven't seen in years, the deceased (as you mentioned), others i've never met.

    it's not dissimilar to these journeys we're planning. here is the little mantra that came to me this morning - prepare, play, pack... perhaps it should be prepare, pack, play? however, lest i take this preparation all too seriously, i'm going to leave "play" sandwiched in the middle for now. oh... i could write a whole post here about the unexpected gifts i've prepared (and not prepared) for.

    surprise is marvelous and a bit scary, too, as i've come to realize i rarely know what's in the package until after (sometimes WAY after) its been opened :-) oxoxoo

  4. Claire -

    Thank you so much for your blessings - we leave on Tuesday for our departure port. Sail on Wednesday.

    I've heard of an alternative prayer for "awake time in the middle of the night" - it's a geographical prayer.....depending upon where you leave - you may go to the farthest destination of a friend or acquaintance and then "work/pray" your way across the globe with prayers:)) Another good idea I think.


  5. Dear Pollinatrix - I am going to HAVE to view "Joe and the Volcano" - it is clearly one of your all time favorites and I can't remember having seen it:)


  6. Lucy -

    I too am often just SHOCKED by the names that come into my mind. Celebs, total strangers, awful people (judging by whom?), family, new friends, etc. The fact they've come into my prayers makes me feel close to them whether I ever will be there physically with them or not.

    Oh yes, the pilgrimages, the prayers, the preparedness.......whew, we're ready to go - how 'bout you? We seem to have done all we can to ready ourselves..the rest is up to our open soul and mind.