By: Autumn Elizabeth
I breathe in the smell of incense at a Catholic church. When I walk into a church, and smell that smell, I relish it. It reminds me of Christmas Eve midnight masses with my family, of Sunday mornings singing at church with my grandmother, of my baby brother’s baptism, and much more.
I breathe in the peace I find in watching the smoke of those incense curl and move and finally drift away. I think of each curl as a prayer being absorbed into the vast holiness of the universe. Each wisp a kindness that lingers just long enough to be noticed.
I breathe in the hurt and disappointment of the temporal nature of all things. Nothing stays except the holy, nothing is forever except the divine. Like smoke we all disappear eventually, leaving only a vague impression of ourselves behind.
I breathe it all in. I breathe in that which is good, that which is mysterious, and that which is painful. I breathe it all in and know that it is the complexity of each breath that makes us human, and the unity of that breathe that shows us the divine.
Very evocative writing, especially to this sometimes nostalgic ex-altar boy …
Thanks John! I think many of us former Catholics still have a bit of nostalgia.