so much kronos, such magnificent kairos

blue upon blue                              New Year's Day, 2016 -                              North Shore Road,            Northport, MI.jpg

Today, January 1, 2016, Patricia and I went skiing, cross country skiing, on a trail just north of Woolsey Airport.  If you flew into this airport you would see Mud Lake, to the north.  Mud Lake is just east of the trail we skied today.

DSC06669.jpg   Woolsey -  air traffic control - Dec 27, 2015.jpg woolsey runway.jpg

Woolsey is the Northport, MI, airport.  Here are three images of it on December 27th, as it was before the snow of December 29, the snow that allowed us to ski today.

We slipped and slided along, five days after the snowless airport pictures, on a trail that others had walked and skied.  It was icey in spots.  Even so, we enjoyed our first Northport ski outing.  It was around 33 degrees.  Not too cold.  We were pleasantly warm.

On the way home we stopped at a favorite spot on the North Shore Road.  The spot is pictured in “blue upon blue” above and “Patricia and the water” below.  The one above is looking east across Grand Traverse Bay toward Old Mission Point.   The one below is looking north toward the Bight.

While here we paused to savor the color of not yet frozen water and then to look for Petosky Stones.

When we found some we confirmed the water is chilly.

Patricia - North Shore Road - New Year's Day, Northport, MI.jpg

Among the three Petosky’s of January 1, 2016 was this one:

2016 petosky stone.jpg

It is 2 1/4″ long and about an inch from top to bottom.

Petosky Stones are described on Wikipedia:

A Petoskey stone is a rock and a fossil, often pebble-shaped, that is composed of a fossilized rugose coral, Hexagonaria percarinata.[1] The stones were formed as a result of glaciation, in which sheets of ice plucked stones from the bedrock, grinding off their rough edges and depositing them in the northwestern (and some in the northeastern) portion of Michigan’s lower peninsula. In those same areas of Michigan, complete fossilized coral colony heads can be found in the source rocks for the Petoskey stones.

Petoskey stones are found in the Gravel Point Formation of the Traverse Group. They are fragments of a coral reef that was originally deposited during the Devonian period.[1] When dry, the stone resembles ordinary limestone but when wet or polished using lapidary techniques, the distinctive mottled pattern of the six-sided coral fossils emerges. It is sometimes made into decorative objects. Other forms of fossilized coral are also found in the same location.

In 1965, it was named the state stone of Michigan.

The Devonian Period was 350 million years ago.

 

I can’t imagine that much time, can you?

350 million years ago . . .

 

wow . . .

 

and I picked it up today, January 1, 2016.

 

With the ball of time dropping from one year to the next on New Year’s Eve and the passage of time that is too great for me to conceptualize, I got wondering about the two Greek words for time:

Kronos and Kairos.

Kronos is how we keep track of the passage and promise of time.  When the ball dropped in Northport and elsewhere around the globe on New Year’s Eve, we were celebrating Chronos.  Chronological time.  Linear time.  Time from then to here to then.  It is the eras that make it possible to date the Petosky Stone in the picture above as about 350 million years old.

And Kairos?

Well, that is what the Irish call a “thin place” a place or space when the human and divine are very close.  It is a time that you can’t predict or make happen or create.  It is when something memorable in your life takes place. Maybe it was the day you fell in love or the tragic day when one you loved was abruptly taken from you. Maybe it was a day when you felt “connected” to others and the cosmos as never before.  Maybe it was a day you were with someone nearing the end of life and you paused for ten or more minutes to breathe on her rhythm, to breathe at the pace at which she breathed, which opened you to her in some way you could not have done with words  Maybe it was a day you were spellbound by the colors of blue on the first of a new year beside the shore of Grand Traverse Bay.

Chronos time is often recorded in our memory on a color spectrum as  muted.  Today’s breakfast is not distinct from all the others. Kairos times are those that are recorded in primary colors.  Whenever you recall Kairos times they come back as fresh as the day you first experienced them.

Well, on day one of 2016, I got both kinds of time.  There was the chronos of this day, just another day in my life, another in the life of the world.  And there was the kairos of being with Patricia in the woods.  The kairos of holding a Petosky Stone of antiquity in my hand.  There was the kairos of “blue upon  blue” in the first picture in this post.

Chronos time makes me worry the world is coming to an end.  Kairos time allows me to see and hold the kin-dom of God in my hands and heart.  Chronos leads me to fear.  Kairos leads me to hope.

Madeleine L’Engle in her “The Genesis Trilogy” reminds me of chronos time when she writes:  “When I am most defensive about something, arguing hotly that I am right, it is time for me to step back and examine whatever it is I am trying to prove.  When I am refusing to listen to anyone else, intractably defending some position or other (like doctors refusing Semilweisse’s radical suggestion that they wash their hands before touching open wounds) then I am incapable of being a co-creator with God.  God urges us to be willing to change, to go out into the wilderness, to wrestle with angels, to take off our shoes when we step on holy ground.  And God asks us to listen.  God asks us to listen, even when what el (God) asks of us seems outrageous.

Kairos time is when we breathe in: “God’s time is always now, and in this eternal now the Redeemer lives, and we shall see her/him face to face.

My we, in 2016, be among those who open ourselves to change.

May we be those who discover awe in the wilderness.

May we wrestle with the angels of antiquity.

May we see the holy ground of “blue upon blue” and pause to listen and listen and listen.

El is hoping we will become outrageously loving.

May we so become in 2016 . . .

 

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Ron/Susie Rabold January 2, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Happy New Year (from Florida)! : ) Thanks for educating us with unknown information! Always thankful for more time to learn. TIME is a rather illusive concept but interesting to ponder. PTL always. May you both be blessed with good health and much happiness during the coming year. God willing we are hoping to visit you and your new church home in May or June. Prayers with our Love, Ron and Susie. : ) : )

    Reply

  2. Happy New Year to you and Ron.
    It will be lovely to see you in May or June if that is possible for you.
    Thank you for being you..

    Reply

  3. Beautiful, thought provoking, loving wondrous words to contemplate. Thank you for writing and sharing and caring so much about all of “us” to facilitate our spiritual growth with your thoughts and words. Nature bring us to those thin places….if we pay attention!

    Reply

  4. I loved your discussion on the two kinds of time. I so appreciate your connection to our natural world and how you find unique ways to share that with us. Happy New Year, Phil and Patricia. I’m so grateful that you’re here in NP with us. Karen

    Reply

  5. Thank you, Karen.

    Seems likely that in the beginning there was joy and there was wonder.

    Such an abundance of both are here even as they are mixed with illness and leave-taking, addiction and poverty, brokenness and loneliness.

    Joy and wonder are good waters within which to swim in life that includes so much other.

    I am grateful to be here and grateful for you.

    Reply

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