A little enjoyment of the world and all the people in it can go a long way. In her book, Lost in Wonder, Esther deWaal quotes the Jewish proverb, “On the day of Judgment God will only ask one question: Did you enjoy my world.” And in the Catechism portion of the Book of Common Prayer, the answer to the question, “What does this mean about our place in the universe?” is, “It means that the world belongs to its creator; and that we are called to enjoy it and to care for it in accordance with God’s purposes.”
Traherne was committed to what I think of as the discipline of enjoyment. He believed that enjoyment could be learned, cultivated and improved. When I met Denise Inge in 2005, she suggested the idea of offering “A Day with Thomas Traherne” in the Washington, DC area. Since then, I’ve facilitated several half-day retreats, where people explore some of Traherne’s writings for the first time and reflect on ways to enjoy the world more tangibly.
In the next few blogs, I’d like to share a possible framework for your own “Day with Thomas Traherne.”