Every two or three years, I talk my husband into a trip to the Texas Hill Country to see the Bluebonnets. This year, we planned to leave the day after Easter. I made reservations. All our plans were in order. But, of course, we had to cancel our trip.
I looked for photos from our previous trips, but they were gone. A few months ago in one of my rare photo purges, I deleted all my photos from the Hill Country.
Then I remembered the Bluebonnet seeds I bought on our last trip. After rummaging through my cupboard, I finally found them, and a few of them sprouted.
Now, a few real leaves are beginning to appear between the seed leaves. I don’t know if the plants will bloom. The weather may be too hot by the time they mature, but they give me hope. Perhaps, in a few weeks, I may enjoy that intoxicating shade of blue once more.
Today, I visited a deserted chapel on my morning walk with my husband. I had tried to visit the chapel a couple of times during ‘social distancing’, but someone else was always there before me. This morning, finally, the chapel was empty. I went to visit the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. But was He really there?
I looked for the red sanctuary candle. Yes, it was lit. He was there. I was reminded of the ending of the great English novel, Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh: “…There I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones.”
In his Holy Thursday homily, Pope Francis mentioned that over 60 priests had died in Italy from the Covid-19 virus after tending to the sick in the hospitals.
And then there was St. Marianne Cope. After many had declined the invitation, in 1883 she relocated to Hawaii to serve the ailing lepers. She wasn’t afraid of the contagion, and even after decades of service, she never contracted the disease.
This quiet Lenten season has been a time of peace and reflection for me. Today, we enter the solemn Triduum in preparation for Easter. I will watch the Mass of the Lord’s Supper tonight as it is streamed live from my parish (without the parishioners). This is one of my favorite Masses of the year. I long to receive Holy Communion, but it won’t be possible for me tonight. Yet, I sense there is grace to be received on this quiet day at home.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, every sign of spring is precious.
In my courtyard, the plants pictured above survived the winter, including two or three snow storms and temperatures in the upper teens (Fahrenheit). Pictured upper left is my improbable petunia plant. Two summers ago it was an annual. Last summer it thrived as a biennial. This year it promises to thrive as a triennial. I can’t wait to see the pale lavender flowers that bloom in profusion.
Elsewhere, a beloved cousin is cheerfully thriving as she undergoes treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This post is for you, Sue.
This morning on television, I watched the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Rome. Like many other Catholics, this was the first year in many years that I was unable to attend Mass in person and receive the Holy Eucharist and my palm. I was reminded of several offerings from my husband from previous years.
In the parking lot of our local Albertsons, a man used to sell palms that he had woven into crosses with roses. They were fresh and green, and occasionally my husband brought one home to me. I hung them in my library and kept them. For some time now, they have been dry and dusty, but I still love them.
I wonder about the man who made them and sold them for a few dollars each. I hope he has shelter and something to eat.
In Southern New Mexico, gates are very important. New houses often have custom-made iron gates with scroll designs or geometric cut-outs. Those are nice, but my favorites are the wooden gates that grace the historic adobe houses in the area, especially when they are surrounded by flowers. They hint of something even lovelier within the hidden courtyards. They seem to say, ‘What dwells inside is good‘.
A few days ago on our morning walk, my husband and I came across an interesting herd of sheep (we think). At first we thought they were goats, but there was something sheep-like about them. They were doing important work – keeping the weeds at bay under the pecan trees.
I guess these sheep are a little like people. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which ones are the sheep and which ones are the goats.