When we are out of focus, we are out of kilter, off center. We have wandered away from our sacred hearth.

Hearth means Focus in Latin. I thought about this last night as I sat near the fireplace. I’d come home from meeting with my Wednesday monastery group, put things away, attended to a few tasks and generally went about doing this and that, busy, busy.

But, the moment the logs in the fireplace where lit, I settled down. I sat for a while watching the flames, thinking about what new thing I’d experienced or learned that day. Moments experienced because I paused long enough to notice.

Spring is around the corner. I have a garden to plan, seeds to purchase, preparations to be done, retreats and meetings to prepare for. But last night’s cozy fire and the snow outside my windows, like a soft blanket, are reminders that we are still in Winter, fallow time, time of rest. And remind me to pause often in order to be focused and to try to find the balance of moving through my day mindfully while working on upcoming projects.