Now that the “Easter Vigil” service is over, I think it’s theologically appropriate to say that. I’ve been seeing signs all over town this holy week saying “Happy Easter!” I want to lecture them about how we must first go through the agony of betrayal, injustice, conviction, humiliation, suffering, death, hell, etc etc…before we get to the resurrection and the joy of saying “Happy Easter!” But, then I remind myself that I’m a hospice chaplain, and I’m used to seeing and talking about suffering and death every day, and that most people aren’t, and do not want to do so either. So, I say nothing in the face of the “Happy Easter!” signs. And…I digress.
Anyway, I confess here that I intended for one of my two lenten disciplines to be writing regularly on my blog again. I must say, I did pretty well with the other lenten discipline–which was to pray for one of my hospice colleagues daily. Alas, here it is, Easter Vigil night, and I’m writing my first post in almost a year. Ack! Oh well. As my mom would say–better late than never…
You need not be concerned. So much good has been happening at Satis House; I just haven’t been keeping you all up-to-date here. I won’t fill you all in now, but just know that the front yard is looking great after it had a serious de-thatching last September; the side yard is in the process of being converted to a raised vegetable garden; there is also a beautiful fence around the side yard; and the kitchen renovation is in the works. It’s been a busy year here, as I said.
Also, most of you who follow my blog already know this, but it’s been a great year for me personally as I’ve been dating my dearest darling boyfriend, Bill. He is such a blessing, and I am so grateful for him. I’m aware of the correlation between our dating relationship and the decrease in my blog writing. As he and I approach our one-year anniversary (wow, how did that happen so fast?!), I’m trying to re-commit myself to writing more regularly on my blog. It’s an important exercise for my creative self, but it also brings me joy to know that my little stories bring others joy. And it helps sustain my gratitude and appreciation for my humble little home. So thank you for reading and for encouraging me in my little public journal here (dear friends who have encouraged me to write–you know who you are–thank you!).
So, I’ll just say a few words here about resurrection. It’s fitting to me that Easter occurs during the season of Spring. (How do all those pastors in the southern hemisphere find appropriate metaphors to relate what’s happening in the liturgical calendar to what is happening in their seasonal calendar? One wonders…) I love how life literally springs forth from the earth during Spring. The light shines brighter after the dark months of winter. The air warms up and the rain falls down. Here in Idaho, as in much of the West, we have just endured an historic winter. We had something close to 50 inches of snow fall in the valley this winter. Local kids missed around 9 days of school due to the snow and ice. Just yesterday morning, a squall blew through town and blanketed us, yet again, in a light coating of snow. The ski slopes are still open and the hills look about the same as they did in February. It was a loooong winter.
Needless to say, we are anxious for spring–for flowers and blossoms and warm temperatures and shorts weather. It’s still pretty chilly out there, honestly, but the colorful flowers that have emerged from the cold are telling us that spring is indeed here.
I’m reminded of the post I wrote during Advent (two years ago, I think…?). My point was that gardening is an act of faith, and planting bulbs makes that clear. Well, I’m proud to say that, their second spring in, my bulbs are going strong. They exemplify faith to me when I look out my front window and gaze at their beauty in the early morning light. I can tell that they are stronger this year than they were last spring. They stand taller upon thicker stems, some even with several flowers coming off of one stem. I would like to believe that the tremendously cold and snowy winter has something to do with developing their strength. But then, that is life, right? The storms we weather eventually make us stronger. The darkness we endure causes us to yearn and reach for the light that much more emphatically when it dawns on us. Once the skies clear and the wind calms down, we can stand up a little straighter, projecting even more beauty and radiance in the world than we did before the storm.
I know I feel that way in my life. We don’t always know how a year is going to go. Some winters are harsh, other winters are mild. As Zora Neale Hurston says, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” I’m grateful for the years I have had of asking questions and facing harsh winters, and I’m grateful for the years that have also brought answers, some in the form of bright beautiful flowers.
The Lord is risen–He is risen indeed. Alleluia!