So, because it’s sunny outside, I haul my sewing machine down to the dining room table so I can have a view of the garden while I sew. Delightful! The garden is beginning to show colour as the petals of the tulips, bleeding hearts, heather and pink flowering currants respond to the ever-warmer sunlight.
Sewing occupies the hands, but this is not a complicated job, so my mind has lots of time to wander. Today I’ve been pondering my parents. It would have been mom’s birthday yesterday, and every year March 26 is an occasion for pondering.
There is so much we take for granted about our parents. When we were children, parents were our world. When we became adults with a life of our own, our parents occupied a much smaller corner of that world. But they were there, as they always had been. And you thought they always would be – but then, one day, they weren’t.
Several months after I became a grandparent for the first time – 2 babies within a month of each other – Mom died. Nine months later, Dad died. Two babies, two deaths: the dance of life had caught me up in a fierce and relentless grip that had me spinning crazily. Raw grief and delighted joy were my partners, pulling me in opposite directions.
Now it’s 11 years later, and the pace of the dance is much slower and gentler. With time comes perspective. I miss my parents, and I wish that I could have just one more visit. I’d show them our garden, and invite mom to arrange one more bouquet for the table.
We’d share stories about the outfits she used to make me for Easter. I’d listen as dad told me how to prune the roses and what kind of mulch he used on the rhubarb, and how to keep those tulips blooming year after year.
But I also realize that the dance of life continues. My parents are gone, and yet they are not, for as I sit sewing in the dining room while enjoying the garden, mom the seamstress, and dad the gardener are still dancing with me. Here I am, having inherited a little bit of both their skills and passions, creating something for the next generation. My memory hears their voices as they look over my shoulder, cheering me on in my work.
The dance of life goes on: that’s also the message of this week that leads up to Easter. The message of the story of Easter is that Love is stronger than death; that our spirits continue. Just as the plants in the garden rise from the ground at the end of winter, taking on colour and new life, we too have opportunities every day to start again, to grow and to be beautiful, to connect with the past and forge on into the future.
I hope you’ll have a chance this week to take a little time to ponder and reflect, and rejoice in the potential within you because you are deeply loved by the Creator.
|The joy-bringers have been at it again: sometime in the last day or two, they've redecorated the little tree in the woods.|