We thought our one hard freeze killed this young lemon tree. Even mature citrus trees in our area suffered from the well named “killing” frost. The little tree sat, leaves withered and dropping, until all life appeared extinguished. So we found new green growth and budding leaves a happy surprise. Our lemon tree is a story of Spring and Resurrection in its leaving and returning,
the turning days begin
reaching into soul search
dark with unknowing
each step on this road
closer to liminal light,
distant dawn of Grace
A journey, a pilgrimage! Yet, as we begin it, as we make the first step into the “bright sadness” of Lent, we see far, far, away – the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom. ~ Alexander Schmemann
I have watched the knobby bare branches of our fig tree spread in the past few months, bereft of any sign of life. Now, suddenly, green buds swell and begin waving tiny green flags announcing the approach of another season of leafing and fruiting.
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Born of the one light, eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day
My observance of Lent this year involves fasting, but not from bread or chocolate or TV. I am finding it more difficult to restrict that which is less obvious and tangible, such as multitasking and rushing. I am discovering that this intentionality and focus frees me to new ways of seeing and listening for God’s presence.
no to getting it all done,, yes to being still
“Solvitur ambulando – It is solved by walking
— often attributed to St. Augustine
Walking is something I am doing very differently for the present. I am entering my fifth week of either non or partial weight bearing for one side, and have as many weeks to go plus months ahead for therapy. I am thankful repair was possible, for good medical direction, and help from my husband, our family and friends.. I am learning or choosing different ways to be and do. Since walking the labyrinth in our church’s prayer garden is not an option for me , I can use this finger labyrinth given to me by a good friend.
Today I realized that since we have had so many days of cold, rainy weather, I most likely would not have been out there in the prayer garden with my umbrella anyway, and I smiled. As I trace my finger along the spirals into the center of this little pewter labyrinth I can pause to look out at my own garden and be grateful for all the different ways open to us to recognize God’s presence. I put my thoughts if not my feet on this path inward, then outward,
” Not everything, of course, is solved by walking. But a good deal is. And if it isn’t solved, it is reorganized, refreshed, or revitalized so that new responses are possible. Walking changes perspective. It offers a path that moves us forward, literally and figuratively.”
Carolyn Scott Kortge, author of Healing Walks for Hard Times, and The Spirited Walker
View from a windowr in our living room
Because our local temperatures have mirrored the widespread hanging on of Winter, I am even more grateful than usual for the warmth of my home and plenty of books to read. But I know that 29 degrees and wind and rain are minor compared to severe cold,snow and ice elsewhere, I am also grateful I don’t need to shovel snow and drive in those hazardous conditions. I know that Spring is around the corner – but I was still smiling in surprise when I saw this redbud tree in full bloom as my husband drove me to the surgery center 2 weeks ago. When we returned this week so I could have sutures removed, I asked him to go the same way so I could look for the tree. There it was, on a corner where we could stop for a quick photograph.
I am thankful for windows, and for vision to see through them to beyond my immediate surroundings. But these would not be enough if I did not pay attention to them. At this very moment, I am in a room with windows but the blinds are closed. By paying attention, I hear not just one but many birds warbling and calling. It is still and there is no sound of rain beating down or wind tossing branches so I know the storm that ushered in this latest cold front has moved on. I am reminded again that being aware and giving attention to my surroundings provide windows and views as well. And I am aware of stirrings within me. There are also seasons of the soul. I welcome Springtime..