Holy Week with children and silence.

P1090510I started this week with the blessed Entrance into Jerusalem, the waving of palms, and exhortations from our priests to the flock not to think we have arrived, not to relax and try to coast to Pascha. We ought rather to have the spirit of St. Paul when he said he was pressing on. We have a lot to enter into in this last intense week of Christ’s passion.

It was surely the grace of God that got me out of bed the next morning for Bridegroom Matins. It is very sweet to gather and sing lines such as these:P1090513

O Bridegroom, surpassing all in beauty,
Thou hast called us to the spiritual feast of Thy bridal chamber.
Strip from me the disfigurement of sin,
through participation in Thy sufferings;
clothe me in the glorious robe of Thy beauty,
and in Thy compassion make me feast with joy at Thy Kingdom.

We’ve had aP1090540nother kind of blessing this week, a visit from Pippin and family. It has been really good to spend time with little Ivy in particular, 18-months-old right now. And the group of us had a lovely outing to the redwoods and the beach.

Scout liked climbing on downed trees, and Ivy collected sticks. But this stick was still connected to the tree so she had to give up on it eventually.ivy branch crp 4-14

It’s very pretty the way the new lighter green fronds of fern contrast with the older ones.P1090580

Poison oak is climbing gracefully up this redwood.


On the bluffs above the ocean hundreds of wild irises were in bloom.


When I moved in close to take their picture with an arched rock in the distance, I saw this blue-eyed grass almost hidden in the ferny turf nearby.


We picnicked near the parking lot surrounded by giant yellow lupine bushes, before going down to the shore. You can see in the photo below that the fog was still hanging on past noon, typical for Northern California beaches.


We spent a good while with the children digging and playing chase with the waves, and the adults taking pictures. Ivy liked to sit by herself and dig with her toes into the damp sand. She tasted it, too, but that wasn’t so satisfying. The sun came out.P1090581

Then everyone but me went for a walk. I don’t know how that happened, but I wasn’t disappointed to be left alone. I had just been reading Fr. Thomas Hopko’s “Precepts for Christian Living,” which Lisa thoughtfully posted recently, and I was struck by his admonition to “Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day.”

I wasn’t sure when I read it what exactly would fit the description of this activity Fr. Tom recommends — it sounds like a big order. But sitting on the beach was obviously the perfect opportunity. When my husband returned he found me listening for God’s silence, surrounded by the roar of the sea.


11 thoughts on “Holy Week with children and silence.

  1. Kalo Pascha! The beach looks beautiful – here we had SNOW yesterday! My little one went and got strep throat on Palm Sunday – it’s been an atypical Holy Week for us thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And thanks for sharing your services. With my work schedule I don’t get to church often. I love your beautiful orthodox services!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am really itching to get to northern California – these lovely pictures just feed that desire! We had talked about Spring Break (next week) being a time to travel, but with a new baby, I think we will postpone again. Enjoy your beautiful home during this beautiful liturgical season!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just looking at your photos makes me want to pack up and move right now. That empty beach and those redwoods. So nice you had visitors. I love that sitting in silence 20 or 30 minutes a day. My mind has been thinking on that just this week.

    Have a wonderful week. Your post gives my soul refreshment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. God’s silence is the ultimate white noise. It’s a rare day, Gretchen, when the radio is left on after Youseff and Begg and, now that it’s lighter longer, I’m watching DVD’s, perhaps, once a week. When I go off the farm, I am totally amazed at the Noise that most people live with! It’s horrible, how do they do it?

    Liked by 1 person

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