Sunday, April 8, 2012

Practice resurrection

This Gerbera daisy reminds me of my beloved abuela, who loved these flowers (she called them margaritas africanas) and she especially liked them in this light pink color. I bought this plant a few years ago and was afraid I'd lost it this year to pests and to the move from the deck on our "country estate" to my office. So I was more than pleased last week when, upon going up to my small college on the hill, I noticed that my Gerbera is blooming again.

Indeed, it appears to have been resurrected by lots of TLC, a few dousings with pest-killing spray, and lots of hope that it would not give up the ghost.

Today, on the day that most Christians celebrate Resurrection, I went back to the old Episcopal church near our old house in the small city (yes, even though I was raised Catholic, there is too much of the protestant in me and I love the fact that the pastor of this church is a woman). The service was lovely, especially because there was a baptism celebration as well. At the point when the pastor carried the little girl, hoisting the child by the armpits above her head, and "presenting" her to the entire congregation, I felt the tears spring to my eyes. The toddler, mystified at this hoisting, shifted her eyes right and left, trying to figure out what was going on, but, otherwise, didn't whimper or cry or complain. She seemed a little uncertain of what was happening and I wondered what, if anything, she might remember of this seemingly alarming moment. But she faced it bravely as she became "the newest Christian on the planet," as the pastor declared her. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, depending on the kind of Christian the girl turns out to be (hopefully, the open-minded, tolerant kind and not the make-war-on-anyone-who-doesn't-believe-like-me kind) but it was a moving moment.

Also moving was seeing all the little girls in their colorful dresses and the little boys in their Sunday-best suits and ties. Most everyone else there was with family and I missed having a loved one there myself, but I was glad I went, nonetheless.

This afternoon, after I returned from running a few errands, the neighbors had their house full of relatives and the children were wandering through their front, side and backyards, hunting for plastic colored eggs. They were having fun and the adults were enjoying watching the children, and while, as a child, I always disliked egg hunts (they didn't make any sense to me), I could feel the joy radiate from that house and I was glad the children got to have some fun.

For me, Easter Sunday is all about Resurrection and the always-present possibility of saving ourselves, most often from ourselves. As I like to remind myself, God made one day after another so that we can reinvent, redo, remake ourselves as long as we're around to see the new day dawn. As with my Gerbera daisy, all it takes is lots of TLC, some help in getting rid of what ails us, and a large heaping of hope.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April glory

April arrived with 70-degree weather and a gloriously beautiful day on which my husband took a photograph of our fully bloomed crab apple at the back of the old house. This is a tree I missed when we lived on our "country estate" near my small college on the hill because there was no similar tree in that property and I remembered the take-my-breath-away pleasure that this tree used to give me while we were here.

Yet another reason why it's so good to be back.

Our magnolia, which I mentioned in an earlier post, lost all its flowers now, but this (below) is how it looked at its zenith of beauty (in the front of the house).

Slowly, but quite determinedly, my husband and I keep working on the yard, front and back, to restore this old house to its former beauty. I am excited that it seems a blueberry bush that was killed by neglect has a tiny new growth showing, and that my peonies are sprouting here and there, promising more breathtaking views as spring moves into summer.

Recently, Lizzy discovered one of the neighbor's cats (this one is Bean) on the window across the way. Today, the young couple who recently became our neighbors let their cats out so we met them (the other cat's name is Walter) and Lizzy wanted badly to play with them. She doesn't like other dogs, but she adores cats (and people, of course).

We are awaiting news on the inspection of our "country estate," which is now under a sale contract, and I am beyond eager to have this all behind us. It's been hard to focus on much else when there is so much at stake with this sale. But I'm trying hard to take it a day at a time and to be hopeful.

Like beautiful trees, hope never disappoints.