In, out, in, out. Deep breathing is calming, relaxing. It loosens those tight shoulder muscles and cramped neck muscles, the ones that are knotty from holding, feeding, cuddling, calming a baby. In, out, in, out.
Deep breath: every breath belongs to you, Jesus. You, Holy Spirit, hovered over the waters in the beginning. Father, you took dirt and made us. Jesus, you Inspired us, gave us our first breaths.
God, you gave this baby his first breaths too. I consider the bronchia and the alveoli and the Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide exchange and wonder at how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. Breathing, it comes so naturally. How can such a mysterious, life-giving activity be so easy?
Breathing brings life to each body cell. It slows the mind. It calms the heart. When I find my tension rising, my anger building, my frustration mounting, breathing (take a deep breath...in, out, in, out) regulates those responses. Deep breathing eased some of the tension and discomfort on Labor Day (the biggest, most changeful, most momentous day of my life) and does the same now.
Lord, when I'm trapped in the miry clay of my earthy, worldly self, I breathe deeply, breathe the breath you granted me, the breath you designed me to take while I myself was being fearfully and wonderfully made, knitted together in my own mother's womb...I breathe deeply and am reminded that without you and your divine inspiration, I am nothing but crumbling dust.