time gap

It's 11:19 p.m. here in Hawaii, and these evenings have turned out to be my lonely hour, because everyone back home is asleep. I've always been a bit of a night owl and yet never liked being the last up in my home or at a slumber party. I kind of feel that way now--like I'm the last one to turn in for the night and my buddy fell asleep right there in the sleeping bag while I was trying to tell them something.

This was the part I did not like about Hawaii before, and I can tell you I don't like it much this time either. I'm hoping that I'll eventually learn to love these peaceful hours, to rest with God after my children have gone to bed and all possibility of chatter has ceased.

The other night John said something that irritated me, and I wanted to shun him and yet, what could I do, considering my desperate condition--a night owl and extrovert situated on the most isolated island chain in the world--with nary a friend to dial?

So when he tried to talk nicely to me I gave him a look and said, "Just so you know, I'm just talking to you now because you're my only friend on this time zone."

To my far away friends and family--it seems there is only one way to be close to you while you sleep. When the nightly urge to call comes up I'll try to restrain myself and pray for you instead. I believe that prayer closes the time gap, the distance gap--every gap actually--and that it is an act of holy intimacy and a privilege.

So I am praying for you tonight, and I hope your sleep will be untroubled and expansive and that you will untangle some worry or fear through your dreams, that you will wake refreshed and whole, ready to receive every good thing that comes to you. And I'll be praying for those good things, too, that they will come unexpectedly and steadily, like snowflakes at twilight, covering the green grass and branches and pavement and making everything fresh again.


Marji said...

Jenny, What a beautiful post. We're awaiting snow here but now it's just cloudy and still. A college town sleeping over winter break. Thank you for your eloquence and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Jenny, honestly that was one of the best night's sleep I have had in a very long time. And this morning I woke up praying which is unusual for me and I found you on my mind. I know that God was with you last night.

Your prayers will strengthen me to do some things today that will be hard. Never forget how small our community of Orthodox are and how every prayer helps each of us. I am blessed to know you.

Love TJ

Dove Knits said...

I think that Natalie feels much the same, because she called us last night. I picked up the phone, and your number was displayed on the screen. All I could hear was you in the background and Natalie crying.

I hope you make nightowl friends in Hawaii!

Jenny said...

Marji and TJ,

Lovely to hear from you! Tanya, oh forgive us--Natalie loves to "make" phone calls these days . . . Sorry about that.


anna j said...

Jenny--thank you for a stunningly beautiful prayer: your words move and comfort me to the core. I am inspired to do the same with my own waking night hours.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenny, I got your card! Thank you so much! :) The time difference was one of the things that was hard in Germany, especially at first - the difference between CET and CST is seven hours, so when I wanted to call somebody, I basically couldn't think of doing it before midnight. And then for my friends who were further away, I'd do things like set my alarm for 4am to call Arizona, etc. *L* I do remember a number of calls to your place from the pay phone on post before I moved to a place where I could have my own land line. Sad to say, though, now that I've been back in the US, I've spent lots less time on the phone with friends in general. And I find it very hard here to find a time to call Germany, except to wake up at 2 or 3am, and I suppose I've gotten lazy with that too. But I have a phone right by my bed, especially for the reason of friends being able to call anytime. If you'd ever want to call, that's fine... It may take me a couple minutes to wake up, but I'd love to hear from you too. Thank you for your prayers.

Julia said...

Hi Jenny,
I have a hard time picturing you in isolation--far from your Chicago neighbors rumbling down the back stairs, students dropping by for grilled cheeses, frazzled passings of your baby into the arms of various babysitters, and quick outings around the block to pick up Anna from her super-urban school or milk at the corner market. I suppose increased prayer is not a bad alternative though. I hope you find a way to thrive away from the throngs. Keep in mind that if anyone is likely to be wakeful at midnight, it's me...you can always try my number. ; )

Molly Sabourin said...

It has been neat, eavesdropping on your daily happenings in Hawaii. I appreciate the internet for that very reason. I loved your response to Father John about being the only person available in your time zone to talk to, almost as much as the "Your the only thing standing between me and my personal happiness" line. Priceless! I look forward to reading more!