I nurse my first cup of coffee for the day, blinking sleep from my eyes.
I’ve recently started trying to pray through the Daily Prayer each morning. I reach the opening prayer:
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.
Silence is kept.
Previously I’d been skipping over the “Silence is kept”, conscious of the limited time I have, and ploughing on to the next prayer so I can get through it all.
But this day, I’ve managed to get up a bit earlier, so I linger in the silence. I paraphrase the previous line to “I am here to pray with my heart and mind”. Then I stop and listen. I am aware of the sounds of the world around me – birds, traffic outside, children stirring in another room. My mind is trying to think about the things I need to do today, but I make an effort to put that thought aside. I breathe. Something deep inside me seems to be wakening just a little. “I am here” becomes “Here I am”.
As I read through the rest of the prayers, that something stays with me. And when I finally get up, the empty space I’ve been feeling for the last 11 months now feels a little less empty.