‘You don’t bring me flowers anymore.’
The Bible of nature:
There are hints of Autumn everywhere. The colours are quite beautiful. Nature is also at work with decomposition: Bacteria, Fungi, Worms, have a busy time. The soil will produce nutrients. I was intrigued by this story on Saturday morning Lyric FM at 09.30 on such matters. It was most informative. Once more, I realise how little I know. Every day is for learning. The world underneath our feet is invisible to us but is very active. Any awareness, leads to wonder and humility. Recent days gave us some stories of the Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis. Apparently there was a solar storm. We couldn’t get to Orkney to have a better view of the display. But some of our official observers were in a very happy humour. Despite all we have learned; we know very little. Humility has to be our response always and lead to a real prayer of gratitude.
The stupidity of the intelligent:
Romans (1.22-23) had words on the stupidity of some philosophers on Tuesday. I nodded in agreement. But I got my comeuppance. The car-tax had to renewed. I took out the details of the car and the Visa card. But of course security has been stepped up. Paying online is no longer simple and easy. All forms of authentication have to occur. There is a plethora of numbers to be concocted and remembered. I was at sea. A young man rang me. Would I help him pay his own car tax? He had just got a car. He wanted everything to be right. He has come off methadone after years. He is very stressed but slowly making a recovery. I had to tell him that I needed another day or so to find my own way through the maze of security. After four sessions with different bank people; I got there. They were very patient. I used to be confident in my own intelligence but that was shattered. I then got a phone message from my traveller friend. He told me that he had taxed his car himself and was now offering to help me since I had always been the one to help him! I smiled with admiration. The next time, I have to use that card for an online purchase, I will call on him. I will have forgotten everything by then. Does stupidity come with age or was it always there?
I have almost reached the time when a miners’ lamp equivalent is necessary in these dark mornings. But I see enough and somehow can be seen. The water of the Tolka is snoozing. The heron barely appears. The swans are in bed. I don’t know about the ducks. The dawn chorus has forgotten to wake up. The trees are very gentle. The dogs don’t appear, and if they do; they are all lit up. My usual comrades of the park are reluctant to venture out. The sky stirs. The sun is in the humours. There is a teasing peacefulness everywhere. It invites me into an oasis of hush. There is a reverence in the air. Catherine de Hueck Doherty with her Poustinia comes to mind from long ago. The morning at the Tolka, provides a Poustinia. We are blessed with this alarm clock to the day.
When young Suzanne died, her coffin was flooded with Sunflowers. It is often seen as a symbol of hope, light and beauty. Whatever about Clytie and Apollo, there is something very bold and extravagant about the Sunflower. It announces its presence. It is loud and lovely. It is very assertive. The weariness of politics is an affront to the Sunflower. The fan-club of Trump. The nonsense of Frost and Boris. The negativity of most news. Whingers galore. The dreariness of much religious/church commentary. The sheer awfulness of the Church Report in France on abuse. But the Sunflower wants to shout or even scream.
Whatever happens; there is a wonderful world out there. In our distant past, the Desiderata (Max Ehrmann) spoke to us by saying: …. ‘With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.’ We are supposedly exponents/ministers of Good News. We are the flowers that flourish in the dullness of life. We are the ones who have a sense of humour. We are the ones who can move beyond the obvious towards something more, different, bigger and better. We are graced. Purveyors of dreariness have no place in religious matters. Solemn demeanours are a disgrace in this ‘business.’ Criticism is essential but with a light touch and with a real of humility, gratitude and an awareness of how little we know. ‘You don’t bring me flowers anymore.’ (Neil Diamond.) That could be the song of many in the church. As ministers – we need to commit to bringing more flowers. Sunflowers will do. I watched Portrait Artist of the year (Sky Arts) last night. What kind of portrait of God do we present these days? What kind of music do we play with our lives? (Remembering Paddy Moloney… I recall The Chieftains playing at Mass in Drogheda, Shop Street).
She went shopping for new shoes. She saw a young lass (in the mirror) and immediately went up to kiss the little one and attempt to hold her hand! Somehow, the other girl wouldn’t take her hand. Anyway, she had her new shoes and was happy with that distraction.
She has a new word. Bike. She keeps on repeating it. Her father clearly has a big influence on her.
She has consulted her diary and tells me that someone has arranged a party for her on the 23rd. She doesn’t understand much about it. But apparently it is called Baptism. She tells me that she is to be Christened. She is very clear and quite a believer in her Anointing. She knows that she is special! She isn’t convinced that she has to be hosed down. She joins with her cousin Gracie for this big event. She intends to challenge the two families to make for the two of them, a world of discovery, celebration, wonder and beauty. She sees Baptism – as a celebration of her own mystery. She claims to be God’s work of art. She wants to make sure that the adults know that! I think she is right.
Seamus Ahearne osa.