Of Grace and Gardens
I read something funny the other day, that the same person who put the ru in February must have put the ne in Wednesday. It is that time of year when even the little things can be difficult to deal with. I have been thinking how life can change on a dime with one diagnosis, one spark, one phone call-- for better certainly, or worse recently, and how, as my mother would say, "There but for the grace of God go we "-- Brian O'Reilly's fishing boat caught on fire and was destroyed this week while he was working on it behind the post office, and just like it's gone. A friend's dog died suddenly right when he needed his company the most. Another friend sits at her father's deathbed in Florida, and another is in Fairbanks beginning cancer treatments. At Rivertalk on Thursday night, Tim Huber will talk about his stroke, the one he suffered as a young man, and how that day everything changed for him and his young family. He can tell his story now, finally, in his own words, thanks to new, assistive technology. His wife Helen has invited us all to come to hear it.
Which is a kind of a miracle isn't it?
Another friend celebrated a year of life and love she didn't think she had on Valentine's Day, and also on Valentine's Day my friend Stephanie came by with a gift she made for me-- a Pearl dog doll-- and was all smiles about her turn of fame in Country Gardens Magazine. Stephanie, a former mayor no less, has a flower farm out at Paradise Cove (and yes, it really is, especially in July.) She brings me bouquets all summer, and delivers them all around town-- even to one fishing boat that is captained by a woman who appreciates such things.
At Mountain Market yesterday, a friend and I talked about all of this and then some, then moved to the subject of the hate speech and nastiness that is suddenly the norm in debates and on the campaign trail, and thus all over the TV and internet-- and what can a regular person do about it? Will our children think it is okay to speak and act meanly in public now? The answer always comes back to our response to the news, personal and public, doesn't it? (We both agreed.) So I can try, as the Torah says, to welcome the stranger among us, and as Jesus says, love one another as He loved us-- but that's such a tall order when just spelling the month and day is a challenge isn't it? A smile will have to do for now. And taking the time to stop and chat in the parking lot on a sunny February afternoon, so I can hear, like I did yesterday, a friend quote a line from Candide, and announce that he will grow a bigger, better garden this year. He will plant some seeds for summer soon, and then he will help them grow.