Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10: Inexplicable Energy, Son's Christmas Program, Catharine Savage Brown, "The Gardener," A Gary Larson Christmas

Ives standing beside him, with his arm around Robert's shoulder, felt a surge of inexplicable energy rushing through him . . . The goodness of God? he had wondered.

Pope John XXIII blesses Ives' son.  The Ives' family spends Holy Week in Italy, and, on Holy Thursday, after Mass at the church of Saint John Lateran, the Holy Father passes through the gathered crowds.  As he does so, he reaches out and lays his hand on Robert's head.  And Ives feels something.  A wave of contentment that Ives is convinced comes from God.

This morning, I attended my son's elementary school Christmas program.  I had to get there two hours early to get a good seat.  The gym was packed, from the folding chairs on the floor to the very top of the bleachers.  Grandmas and grandpas and mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles.  When that many people gather together, things happen.  People get rude.  They push and shove.  Stand up when they should sit the hell down.  Talk when they should shut the hell up.

And yet, there's a great deal of happiness.  The little kids, dressed in their Christmas best, shout and wave and sing.  When my son came into the gym, he searched for my wife and me.  His face split open with joy when he finally saw us.  Watching my son perform, I felt a wave of contentment, sort of like Ives.  For the first time this holiday season, I experienced some yuletide spirit.  And it was good.

Next Tuesday, we will be having an interment ceremony at the cemetery for my sister.  Her cremation stone is finally in place.  I spent the afternoon making the arrangements with the priest and sexton and funeral home director.  It was sad business, and yet I kept remembering my son's face when he first glimpsed me in the gymnasium this morning.  The pure and utter goodness that radiated from his smile.

Saint Marty will try to cultivate that feeling for the next five or so days, like a gardener waiting for his seeds and bulbs to bloom in a gray afternoon.

The Gardener

by:  Catharine Savage Brosman

To wait on sun and rain,
as heaven may propose;
to order his demesne,
or worry for a rose,

a man abandons time--
the trope of days and hours--
like poets for a rhyme--
or measures it in flowers.

He tends each plant and tree,
pursuing each defect
as if assuming he
were summer's architect;

and under autumn's skies
with pruners, rake, and spade
devises their disguise
for winter's masquerade;

then to the gardener's shed
to leave his tools behind,
and cultivate instead
the garden of his mind.

A Gary Larson Christmas

I love The Far Side

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