A Spring Heart

‘The book of longings’ by Sue Monk Kidd is set in the time of Jesus and, although a fictionalised account, some of the historical detail is fascinating.  It is a reminder of a time when the pace of life was necessarily slow compared to our contemporary lives – people travelled from town to town on foot (or donkey) and those left behind spent much time waiting.  The main character, Ana, describes her days of waiting as the ‘days of tiny, unhurried feet.’  For some reason, this image is resonating with me at the moment because some of these pandemic days do seem to be days where I feel very small and where the normal rush of life has been re-framed.  For those of us at home, some of these days do seem to creep by on tiny, unhurried feet.

And, as with many practicing Catholics, I am feeling the disruption of not having the opportunity to gather for Mass.  I am starting to feel as though the usual liturgical markers are fading from my life.  Can it really be the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time?  Another stop, start liturgical year.

But this sense of time is not matched in our physical world!  There seems to be a daily change in the gardens at the moment.  Miss a day and a whole tree is bursting with colour.  Turn away from the garden bed or pot for a moment and there they are – daffodils – their yellow heads proudly turned toward the sun.  And, I have been surprised by spring.  Somehow this pandemic spirit had captured me and I had almost forgotten that the world of nature was continuing along its path of renewal and re-creation.  A reminder that this time, too, is slowly moving toward a new time of living with whatever this post-pandemic life might hold.

And I wonder if this is something that the readings speak into this weekend.  This idea that God’s time is different to our time.  That the Cross for people of faith is both a sign of suffering and a sign of liberation – depending a little on where we are at this moment in our lives.  That this is part of the paradoxical world in which we live and love – a world where life and death sit side by side with varying amounts of time in between.  That each day some of us are holding the cross of the resurrection lightly as we walk, while others are carrying the suffering weight of the cross of the crucifixion.

So, as we continue to walk with our tiny pandemic feet, perhaps the Spring spirit can encourage in us the knowledge that the God of life is at work in the world.  And while pandemic life is painful we are blessed with the inherited knowledge that the world is full of mystery and that we can learn every day a little more about what the Paschal mystery means for us in our time.  This is the great mystery that unfolds in and around us on a daily basis.

And perhaps these words of Ralph Waldo Emerson might resonate with us and draw forth in us a spring heart:

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.” (Collected poems and translations).

And the daffodils are blooming!

 

By Cathy Jenkins

 

Faith Reflections

Comments

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Ray King

Cathy, thank you for your positive thoughts and particularly for the wonderful Emerson poem. I sent it on to someone who is currently in a very bad place and it moved her greatly. Oh, and thanks for the daffodils!

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Lyn Kane

Thank you Cathy.
Spring with its new shoots, blossom, magnolias and daffodils is a great reminder of the constancy of the Creator God - ever with us no matter what is happening in the world.

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Annette Gysslink

Such an uplifting reflection Cathy! Thank you for your thoughtful reflections and the connection to Emerson - love his poems & essays.
Best wishes
Annette Gysslink

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