For a few days I’ve been under the weather, miserable with those common winter cold symptoms. But no, not miserable! God has given me many joys: happy family news, hugs, music, the comfort of friends and grandchildren, and the loving attentions of my husband.
I had to bow out of several duties and other people were able to take over for me. It is annoying to be weak and disabled, but if I can give in and give up, and see the situation as just a more blatant expression of my usual stance before God….probably I need the reminder.
It seems the perfect opportunity to read All Those Books….but I am so dull of brain, nothing is easy enough, or if it is, it’s too boring to be worth turning the pages. So I’ve been typing more of Aunt Ida’s letters — a lot of them. And I thought I might take some more snippets and make of them a fun blog post. But staring at the words doesn’t magically organize them into any kind of order.
Next I browsed through the quote files a bit, and I see a short one I can handle. It relates to some things I have been doing, or at least could/should do. I can enjoy the sky from where I sit; I was greatly soothed by a hot shower and continue to drink mug after mug of tea or hot water. Sleep has been delicious, aided by various drugs — thank God for them.
And after reading the lines below, I branched out and added to my steaming drink — which sits now nearby — some fresh lemon juice and honey.
Something of God…flows into us from the blue of the sky, the taste of honey, the delicious embrace of water whether cold or hot, and even from sleep itself.
— C.S. Lewis
Today in the Orthodox Church we remember among others St. Ephraim (or Ephrem) the Syrian, born in the early 4th century, a theologian and prolific writer of hymns. His prayer we pray daily during Lent.
A book of hymns and meditations by St. Ephraim was collected by St. Theophan the Recluse into A Spiritual Psalter. I would like to spend some time in this book, especially after reading today’s entry in The Prologue of Ohrid, where there is a hymn to Ephraim by St. Nikolai opening with the words,
Ephraim’s heart burns
With love for Christ,
And Ephraim’s tongue speaks
Of the pure wisdom of the Gospel.
Ephraim, the honey-bearing bee;
Ephraim, the fruit-bearing rain!
Just as God sends the bees and the rain to work for our joy and profit, so He sends people like this man. I’d like to keep that image of a buzzing and busy bee in my mind a while; let me drink holy nectar and refresh others the way God uses His creatures and creation to constantly renew my spirit.
And for today, one morsel of honey from this holy bee:
The chutzpah of our love is pleasing to you, O Lord,
just as it pleased you that we should steal from your bounty.
Not long after I met my husband, I spent some time with his family at their cabin in the woods, a humble place called “La Casita.” Later on we took our honeymoon there, and over the years we often visited with our children, using the little house as a base for exploring the redwoods and the beach.
On the knotty pine walls were various odd and antique-y pictures and hangings, things that were too tattered or for some other reason didn’t fit the decor of people’s everyday homes, and one of those was a framed verse by Robert Burns.
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
I was charmed by the little yellowed plaque and the thought behind the verse, and always thought that I would like to embroider it to post in my own house. I never did that, and when the cabin was sold and the old hangings became available for the taking, I didn’t even take them. I think that verse had lodged itself in my mind and heart so firmly that the original sighting was superfluous.
Today is the birthday of the poet, a good day to hear him giving thanks and to say about him “let the Lord be thankit.”
Thanks to Maria, I found a poem that captures a little of how sweet it is to have rain splashing against windows — that is, if you have no lack of life’s other little or huge blessings, like a Beloved Someone for whom you can warm up a bowl of soup, as I did this evening for mine. I am the Empress.
She sends me a text
she’s coming home
the train emerges
I light the fire under
the pot, I pour her
a glass of wine
I fold a napkin under
a little fork
the wind blows the rain
into the windows
the emperor himself
is not this happy
~ Matthew Rohrer