It’s Lent now, so I think of everything in that context. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, at least some of us have Spring during Lent, so I want to note that in pictures.
The photo shows the ubiquitous weeds and fallen pine needles that tell of my absence. That’s the snowball bush in the background; it hasn’t budded out yet.
After chilly weather, rain, and a bad cough kept me from even venturing into the garden for several weeks, suddenly one day the sun was shining and I was taking pictures of all the blossoms, the cherry plum tree and violets, too.
B. had been up the ladder pruning the wisteria on the arbor.
Many years I completely miss the violets, their visit is so brief.
Now, about Lent….I have to say I’m off to a disappointing start on several fronts. From one perspective, Lent seems long. That is, if one is thinking only of struggling and feeling defeated.
Or if one feels deprived, and is waiting for feasting to begin again. But Father Michael said Lent is not about deprivation, but rather, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Which made me think of Isaiah 55:2: “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”
Lent feels short, when I think how slow I am to get with the program of fattening my soul instead of my body. I will almost surely miss this brief opportunity, or at least, fail to make good use of it. I must try not to fret; but how to keep my trying from turning into more fretting…?
All these springtime blooms are helpful to look at, because they bring to mind another picture from Metropolitan Kallistos Ware: “Repentance is not self-flagellation; it is an opening flower.”
I know that my Heavenly Father clothes the lilies of the field, just as He will give me this day my daily bread, Himself my Bread of Life. Now if I will just pay attention and eat from the loaf that tastes good, and nourishes the soul.