Thursday, February 18, 2010

Red life

Linda, our church musician, gave me an amaryllis bulb for Christmas. Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, it blossomed.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
(George Mattheson 1882)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Geraniums and Lent

The pink geraniums from my yard spend the winter in my office in the Fellowship Center. The windows capture the full morning sun, brilliant on a day like today. The even coating of snow that came last night after the rain reflects every precious bit of the February sun.
Even in these best of all possible windows, it’s just not enough sun for my geraniums, and they turn towards the windows. Since I haven’t tended to them in a week or so, they are pressing themselves against the window, greedy for more sun. They’ve grown leggy, too, long thin stems with small leaves. I need to turn them around and pinch them back.
Get rid of the leggy stems and let them put their energy into growing fuller.
I feel like those geraniums. In February I strain for the renewing rays of the life giving sun. My spirit has grown leggy, thin and sparse. And so, thank God, it is time for Lent. Time for me turn and get a new perspective. Time to allow myself to be pinched back – pruned.
Time to begin the journey to hope.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

in the bulb there is a flower

Last Thursday I had my gall bladder taken out. The surgery went well – it’s day surgery – in at 10, to the OR at 11, into the wheelchair and out the side door at 4. Recovery’s gone fine, too, except that on Sunday I came down with a cold, which has left me tired and achy beyond the incisions that pull when I cough or sneeze.
But today I’ve felt better – done a bit of desk work (or, more accurately, counter work – since at home I work at the wide kitchen counter). Tony the Wonderdog has been so mopey while I’ve been mopey, so it was time to get outside a bit.
A snowstorm is predicted for tomorrow, but today skies were blue, the sun was shining brightly and I could hear some birds singing down in the cattails by the blueberry patch. I gingerly threw the ball, Tony enthusiastically fetched. And, by the kitchen doorstep, I noticed some daffodils poking their brave heads up through the winter hardened soil. Spring is coming. Not right away, of course. This is New England. A snowstorm’s coming first – and probably more than one. But spring is coming.
And I thought how good it is, at least for those us in the northern hemisphere, that Lent – this season that calls us to difficult reflection on the wintered hardened places in our lives – Lent comes in February and not in November. For in February, there is promise in the longer days, the higher sun, the bluer skies. We’re not there yet, not by a long shot. But by God’s grace, the bud will blossom.

Monday, February 1, 2010

living slowly

God, help us to live slowly:
To move simply:
To look softly:
To allow emptiness:
To let the heart create for us. Amen.