Finally — a morning without wind. I bring my coffee and spiritual reading into the garden, but my book remains unopened. In the trees, the birds can’t stop singing. A bee hovers over a barely visible holly blossom. The air caresses my skin as only it can do in spring. There is new life everywhere.
How can I read about God when He is at work all around me?
I like looking at things that are tall. When I walk, I look at the treetops (which is sometimes hazardous to my feet), and I look at the mountains. Though I love them both, the mountains provide the best food for thought. There is mystery there. In spite of all the expert climbers who have ever climbed, I am convinced there are places that no human foot has touched. I imagine treasures there, known only to the birds — a rare blossom rising from a crag in the rocks, a hidden cave that glistens with veins of gold, a hidden spring, a strange creature never previously seen.
Beyond their physical mystery, mountains remind me that there is so much more to life than I am able to discover or grasp. There is so much more in this world that I will never know. This is a source of abiding joy for me. Life is inexhaustible. There is always more. There is always hope. There is always God.
At the last light, well after sunset, a throng of wrens in the surrounding trees suddenly burst into song. I only see two or three of them during the day, but when they join together in the evening serenade, there must be hundreds of them hidden in the trees. They finally settle down when the light has completely faded. Then again, at the first light of dawn, the anthem begins again and continues until the sun has risen.
In the short life of a bird, I suppose the going and coming of the light is indeed a momentous thing. I need to learn from this.
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.
My Advent Garden is a ‘sign of contradiction’. A few brave pansies and violas promise to brave the winter, as long as the temperature doesn’t fall too low at night. My Shamrocks are still a delight, but who knows how long they will last? I had to cut back the Desert Bird of Paradise shrubs (pictured upper right). They look dead now, but beneath the surface, they are preparing to offer a profusion of orange and yellow blossoms next year.
In the desert, the cold is a welcome change from the sizzling heat of summer. I miss my flowers, but I am grateful for this quiet time of waiting. I am grateful for this time of preparing for the Life to come.