A New Leaf

Ponderings in Changing Seasons


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De Colores

I have just a small hankering for color!  Now, don’t you believe that for a moment!  My hankering is for LOTS of COLOR in lots of places.

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Take, for instance, the Spring!  The time after Barrenness.  The time after the Big Chill.  Now if Spring isn’t a time and a place for COLOR, I don’t know when or where is!!

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I’ve been marinating myself in COLOR for nearly a month now.  There was the first spotting of them setting out  flowering annuals at the local grocery.  The Big Box Store, it seemed, burst into bloom at the same instant.

It was marvelous!  One moment, there were drab brick walls and plain sidewalks and fenced gates; the next moment, bright red, vivid yellow and winsome blues were interspersed with tangerine and white and lavender.  Green herbs of all sizes, shapes and scents called invitingly to be chosen for Dishes yet-to-be-created.  For me, Spring had Sprung into action.

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My daily yard walk-arounds have revealed striking changes overnight!  I love to find the first little plant poking its tentative sprout up through the still very cold soil.  Then, as Sun begins to warm the days, more and more sprouts give rise to more and more green shoots reaching for the sky and its golden orb.  The hues conjure up in my mind an Irish mural in a palette of forty shades of green, all which color the landscape of the Emerald Isle.

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Once the red buds and pear trees and lilac bushes, the dogwood ~ pink or white ~ begin to put forth their flowers, it is confirmed.  I know that finally the long, dreary days of Winter have passed.  What seemed forever dead is alive again!

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When I was a young mother with small daughters, my parents went on a three-day cloistered retreat called Cursillo in the Catholic Church or Walk to Emmaus in the Protestant.  They were smitten with the experience, literally meaning “A Little Course in Christ.”  They encouraged both my husband and me to make our own Emmaus Walks, where the Risen Christ is revealed just as He was revealed to His sorrowing Disciples walking along beside Him, unrecognized, going from Jerusalem to Emmaus after His Crucifixion.*  We did go ~ now so long ago.  It was the 1980’s, though I’m told that in 2014, Cursillo and the Emmaus Walks continue.

Many traditions have grown up in this deeply spiritual, highly creative, and eternally impacting weekend with “small lessons” which cover the foundation and doctrines of our Christian Faith.  One of those powerful traditions is the singing, accompanied by guitar, of a song borrowed from the Hispanic culture called De Colores.  Those singing it together are reminded of the colors of the earth, the colors of the rainbow above, the colors refracted in a diamond, and in the birds and the flowers and the roosters and the cluck hens and the baby chicks, the colors all of which summon us to love and to celebrate the many-faceted colors of personality and faces in human-kind.

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When the COLORS burst forth every Spring, I am reminded once again of the expanse of love and acceptance I felt on my Walk.  It is as if that cocoon of 72 hours was not an isolated experience.  Rather, it was a glimpse of True Reality ~ the reality of Eternity and the opportunity we each are given to choose to receive Jesus.  Through Him, we can know we are loved, forgiven, and welcomed by the Father ~ FOREVER!

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De Colores ~ It’s not just a simple folk song!  No, it is a Story of The Father’s Love for ALL of His Creation ~ from the wee little ones to the great big ones, from the flowers of the field to the creatures of the sea to the bird and the butterfly emancipated from gravity to fly free.  The Colors speak of God’s Creative Love and Power.  The Colors, they call me, they woo me to draw ever closer to Him.

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* Luke 24:13-35

 

 

 

 


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Reflections on Mother

So here it is again: Mother’s Day! The Day for Mothers to be honored, gifted, cherished!

I love this day because it speaks loudly that Mothers Matter!!

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MOTHER: the one who carried you under her heart before she birthed you from her soul and body!  Whether she wanted you or not, she waited long for you!  Held you in her arms!  Discovered new identity through your being!

Mother:  the one you have called for, cried out to, challenged and complained to, perhaps even complained aboutI

Mother:  the one you have longed for, if she has been missing from your life!

Mother:  the one you never stop missing when her journey here is ended!

She’s been idealized, romanticized, cursed at and coddled. She is always back there somewhere in your mind, influencing beyond words who you become.

As surely as the sun rises each day, her love makes all the difference in your life.  Whether her love flowed like the droplets of milk from her breast God created for her to give you sustenance or it was withheld out of her wounds and pain, rejecting you, rejecting her very identity, she makes a difference in who you are!

I am my mother’s daughter, being her first-born, privileged to “make” her a mother.

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Yet, here is the Plan, the one that Creator God made: He designed a Mother’s Heart to be a beautiful expression of His Everlasting Love! He designed us to be nurtured and comforted in her care.

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I have a little corner in my heart and in my Study which keeps my mother near. I lost her to a stroke long before God took her Home. While she could no longer communicate her heart, I knew she loved me yet. Those years were hard, wreaking pain and sorrow greater than I ever could have imagined. But her love to me is Everlasting! It has framed me, in so very many ways.

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Her love has formed me, influencing many of my own choices and interests.

Writer.  She wrote volumes: postcards to family, getting more words on a 3×5 inch card than the USPS ever intended; notes of encouragement and care to many around the world; letters to officials, reminding of their moral duty to uphold God’s commandments; copying the entire Bible over several years as she worked out her grief and loneliness after my father died; attempting to learn the computer and write a book with family letters from the 1800’s in her late 80’s.  Though an accomplished typer, her penmanship echoes in my mind’s eye!  I, too, write.

Cook.  The kitchen was a playground, a place to create fun and fancy. She loved to see beyond the ordinary, as she did her culinary gymnastics! “Come, look,” she would say! “Look at this beautiful kiwi” cut wide open. “Look at this apple cut through its waist! A star!” “Listen to this ‘Singing Rice’ the Orientals make!”  I, too, love to cook and play in the kitchen.

Gardener.  She grew herbs, not just flowers! Her spring phlox cascaded down the garden wall with all the aplomb of a royal robe! And roses! Galore! “Smell! Just smell!!”  Gardening is my therapy!

Lover of Jesus.  Bible student. Prayer warrior.

Lover of People.  Knitter of 2000 pair of Booties for Babies just born.

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Gatherer of Love.  Lover of Beauty.  Giver of Care.

All these and more were My Mother.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I pause. I reflect. I look at her picture young, fresh, ready for all Life would dole out to her. And ready to give, give, give her life away ~ to me, to my sister, to our brother! This, after all, is My MOTHER!

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