Dormancy

So the other day I was talking to someone about having brought some bulbs with me to the house I’ve moved to, the usual suspects– hyacinths, daylily, daffodils, and some not-so-usual– candy cane sorrell, star gazer lilies, orchid iris, and that they were just coming out of dormancy. They had small, pale green leaf buds sprouting from the tops of the bulbs which actually is helpful for me to determine the root from the flower end. Sometimes it’s not so easy. But since they’d begun to awaken I knew I needed to put them in the ground pretty quickly. “Why?” my friend asked. I said that with no soil around the bulb for the roots to grow in it would feed off of itself. Not many things more frustrating than opening a box of mixed bulbs late winter to find dessicated, shriveled pulpy masses with wilting greenish leaf blades.

Still, it made me think. Here we are (parts of the world anyway), mid-winter when most everything is asleep, or moving very, very slowly. And the new year is upon us. Harbinger of hope, new beginnings, an awakening, opportunity for change, new directions or a reinforcing of changes already begun. When everything is still for the most part sleeping.

In the silence, this grey-dark stillness transformation begins. Things are not as still as they seem. Cell mitosis happens, bacteria and fungi swarm over dead tree limbs creating new earth. Grubs lie silent under the earth’s surface waiting to emerge and begin their new life. Things are not teeming yet, but the anticipation is such that we nearly hear it before it arrives.

Nothing is ever truly still, nothing is ever completely wasted. Something happens. Some transformation, an order out of destruction.

Life resumes.

Irony

No matter what a person believes, s/he is inclined to be caught up in the festive fanfare of Hanukkah or Christmas, or Kwanzaa. The color, the music, the shopping, the electric excitement. The crisp, sharp cold that swirls with aromatic wood fires. People are happy, have something to look forward to and for a moment forget the horrors half a world away of Christians, Jews and innocents caught in the cruel grip of terrorism.

A Savior is why we celebrate Christmas at least or at the very most, Who came to bring us of all things, peace. This world, torn apart in war, barbaric hatred. He came to bring us love. He was born on this earth like each one of us. He told us Who He was, He taught us what we are meant to know to live in peace.

His undeserved, cruel, beyond description painful death because of His love for each of us, whether we believe in Him or not, whether we Love Him or love at all, He loved us in every way beyond anything we could ever imagine loving. His love is here always, for each one of us, whenever we come to ourselves or Himself or a sense of why or how or Who. Or when we cannot see at all.

Maybe because we are so wrapped up in our lives, in ourselves we can’t imagine a love that is completely emptied for another, for you, for me. He gave us Himself. Forever.

Merry Christmas.

John 3:16-21

Kindness

We have come to expect so much these days. It is as if we overcompensate for fear lest even our most basic of needs will not be met. So when we are gently met with grace we almost don’t know how to respond.

I learned long ago that others’ kindnesses towards me are as a result of who they are, not because I am deserving of it. That is what grace is, after all, isn’t it? Something that floats down to us, undemanded, often undeserving, but with something important for us to learn.

It comes to us in the oddest places– when we are toting a cumbersome load of shopping bags, fumbling for our keys struggling to open a door and often unseen the door opens for us because someone noticed.

We sit, waiting in the emergency lane or the on-ramp while others zip by us and a car slows so we can merge into traffic. Someone noticed.

During a heavy storm in the night we hear limbs crashing to the ground, next morning we awaken to find they have all been placed by the curb to be picked up. Someone noticed.

A woman runs frantically into the library, her eyes laser-like scouring the area when a librarian, tearful child in tow, sticky lollipop in hand, smiles at the harried, beside-herself with apologies mom and hands her the child. Someone noticed.

Every day we are overwhelmed with receiving moments of grace, sometimes the benefactor, sometimes the beneficiary.

Either way, someone notices.

Psalm 97

No remorse

And thank You God for that. I have moved a few times where immediately I regretted the house I chose, West Palm and Miami being such places and the last house another but it kind of grew on me. I loved its long, sloping back yard and the nearby greenway.

This house I feel at home in, well I will as soon as I unpack all these boxes.

The previous owners were the original occupants and the Mr. was formerly with IBM. He kept meticulous, scrupulous records of everything. They maintained from underneath this house to its roof. There was not one grain of sand, no speck of dust when I had the final walk-through before closing.

It’s beautiful.

I am 10 minutes’ drive from the beach. The neighbors have been very kind in a non-invasive way. It seems like a gentle place to live. And there is a walking trail around the perimeter of the neighborhood, with a cool, clear creek running alongside for Lily to splash in.

The floor people and I did a massive cleaning of my former house, top to bottom. Hardwoods, carpet, tile, paint touch-up, scrubbing doors, bathrooms, appliances, windows. Pressure washing driveway, front porch and walkway. It gleamed!

It goes live this Wednesday and I hope sells quickly.

But for now I feel snug as a mug of hot cocoa.

Happy trails

So the movers arrive Monday to load all these cartons, crates and boxes I have been carefully packing and repacking for the past 2 years, and I will load my car with remaining orchids, tax records and assorted other stuff and drive 3 hours east. How is it that one person can have so much? I cleaned out everything the first time I packed 2 years ago, then again when I unpacked, then again when I repacked a few months ago. I don’t understand why it is so hard to let go of things I honestly have no use for and do not know I even have.

I will go through everything again when I unpack, again.

I do know where my computer is, am typing this on a laptop. No idea when I will next be at a keyboard. The canyons and caverns of boxes piled throughout my house and in the garage, the landscape of my house has changed to where I hope not to have to get up in the night for any reason because I can’t recall what I have put where. I have many new bruises, kneecaps down.

Lily is stalwart. She keeps her rawhide chews and a few select toys in a careful heap on one of her beds. She fastidiously guards any new chews I give her that she does not eat right away. Things she knew their whereabouts suddenly disappear. Things I knew suddenly disappear. I cannot remember moving or packing some very important things- the telephone, which is not on the counter where it always was, so if I mislay my cell phone I do not have a house phone to call it so I can find it. I do know where my tooth and hair brushes are, but I am very sorry for not wearing shoes against my better judgment rummaging in the garage and dropping a part of a cast iron hibachi on my foot.

Too bad it is raining today, and snow is predicted Monday.

Maybe the forecasters will be wrong.

I hope so.