Category Archives: Pascha

Turtling with rugs and flowers.

As I was ironing some springtime trousers in the morning room, my eye caught the color on the orchid nearby. It’s blooming! Sometime in the last months I’d moved this long-ignored plant into my new space, and started giving it a little water more regularly. The response is heartening.

What I did to the neglected orchid was never conceived as a task to write on a list. It was just one of those many little things that we do, when we are “puttering” about our homes. Small tasks add up to make an increasingly homey space.

Only recently I found these rugs that seemed just perfect for my morning room that I hope will also be a sewing room. One of the reasons they appealed was that the turtle had not long before become an important symbol for me, after I heard a woman about my age speak about the practice of moving forward, no matter how slowly, when one is feeling overwhelmed by decisions and tasks. She said we must “keep turtling.” I had never heard “turtle” used as a verb before, but immediately I began to feel an affinity with those creatures, and to think of them as elegant and wise.

It seems there are other slangy meanings for to turtle, and one of them, “To defensively hide in one’s shell,”  has long been part of my survival toolkit. Ideally, I like to enact both meanings, as on the days when I get to stay home all day and get homey things done.

Bright Monday afternoon I truly lazed about the garden, quite worn out from the festivities and staying up late many nights for Holy Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday services. Then there was Pascha itself, when many of us didn’t get to bed until 4:00 a.m. I was pretty loopy, and really happy about many things, including the sunny day. I think you could say that I turtled, too, because I phoned my sister, and also invited a neighbor over to sit a while. I moved forward in catching up with people I love.

In the picture below of the orange helianthemum, you can see in the distance a box of panettone and a jar of lemon curd. I was having friends for dinner and took those items out of the freezer kind of late, so I was defrosting them in the sun.

As we enter the last day of Bright Week, I wanted to be sure to show you these garden beauties that show their understanding hearts by their uplifted and shining faces.

Bright and never-setting.

Orthodox Christians are in Bright Week, the seven days beginning with the Feasts of Feasts, Holy Pascha (Easter), celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a week-long afterglow, the first of 40 days during which we greet one another not with “Hi!” but with “Christ is risen!”

This evening I attended Paschal Vespers, where we sang the joyous hymns about Christ, who during his earthly life had announced, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Here is one stanza of a hymn:

We offer Thee our evening worship,
O never setting Light,
Who didst come in these last days to the world in the flesh;
Who even didst descend to hell to dispel its darkness.
Who hast revealed the light of Resurrection to the nations.
Glory to Thee, O Lord and Giver of light!

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Joy in flowers and faces.

The Sunday of the Myrrhbearers is one of my name days, as my patron saint Joanna was a myrrhbearer. If you want to know more about the people included in that group, click on the tag above and you can read posts from the past.

Today, I want to share with you another post from St. Elizabeth’s Convent in Belarus, a place from which joy typically emanates. I should not be surprised, then, that their blog for this Sunday is delightful.

The flowers decking the arch in this photo express an extravagant love imitating that of those men and women who attended to our Lord in his death. The other photos and the whole article are worth taking a look: The Myrrhbearers’ Joy

Here at my house, I have this icon that my late husband gave me,
which rejoices my heart in several ways:

Christ is risen!