|Lenten Rose in the front garden this morning.|
Today is Ash Wednesday, a traditional day of repentance for Christians all over the world. Today is also a terrible day of loss in the life of someone I love very much. When I asked if there was anything I could do for her, she asked me to pray. I haven't prayed formally or even been to church in years and I've gotten less and less religious with time. So, in order to give comfort and let her know I'm thinking of her, I'm veering off topic a bit today. But not all that much, really, because some things are hard to separate.
|This year's Christmas tree going out in a blaze of glory.|
The past few weeks we've been clearing and burning on days when we are allowed to in order to get ready for fire season.
Things that have grown too large have been cut down,
|Buddleia thicket cut back to stubs.|
Allowing this much fuel to accumulate in front of a propane tank is a bad idea. I was afraid to do what needed doing because I didn't want to disturb the occupants of the thicket.
I shouldn't have worried. When the sun hit the inner sprouts, the little Checkerspots came out to feed.
|Grandma and Grandpa's Dutch oven.|
Up in the horse pasture we built a bonfire out of the branches that came down this year in the big windstorm. We made stew in the Dutch oven and sat around the fire until after dark.
In the morning, all that was left was ashes. Today you might see people with a smear of ash across their forehead. This is a sign of their repentance for their sins and their faith in Jesus to redeem them. As I remember from childhood, as the priest anoints you with ashes he says "You are dust, and to dust you shall return."
|Genesis 3: 19|
I looked up the Bible passage where I believe this comes from, and it seems more like a curse than a blessing. We're just compost. Not very comforting at all. I don't understand why this is so often used at funerals as well. Because, after all, as Christians we are taught that there is so much more.
|Isaiah 61: 3|
I went looking and found something very beautiful and very comforting. It's a promise. But not only that, it's something that I see out in the garden every day.
|I put a bit of ash under the apricot tree this year.|
Beauty does spring up from the ashes.
|My daughter brought this back from Rome for me. It's blessed by the Pope.|
So, I'll be praying for you. The old way.
|Nature's wordless eloquence is always perfect.|
I think this is meant for you. It's a sunflower popping up in a pile of ashes, today, in the middle of Winter.
One more thing:
When I dusted off my old Bible today, look what I found tucked inside.