Stop the Car!

It hasn’t been a very pretty spring where I live, mostly overcast and dank. Flowers have tried to brighten things up, but the sun hasn’t been encouraging, and they’ve mostly given up after a half-hearted effort. I was therefore taken by surprise when a field of color caught my eye as I drove on a busy commercial street past the library one day. It was not my usual route, and I had no idea this treat was waiting for me. Sometimes you just have to stop the car, and take a walk on the wild side.

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Spring Cleaning

It feels good. Windows that shine, wool sweaters banished, diminished clutter, lighter weight. Lots of ways to change pace and focus and move into a fresh season. But without a spring cleaning of my mind, I know I’ll quickly lose touch with that positive shift.

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is a great time for me to sink into mind cleansing. Even without the theological substance that my tradition offers me to savor, a narrative that begins with a spirit lifting parade, only to cascade swiftly into realities wrought by the complexities of power and powerlessness, and narrow perspective compounded by betrayals, is a cautionary tale for all matters of humanity.  I don’t need to look far to find similar stories in the framework of current culture to remind me that we are connected as flawed beings far beyond the boundaries of time and place.

And we are told there is much more to the Easter story, profound to the edges of belief. Whether one considers the narrative historical or hybrid myth does not concern me at all. Gifts of love and hope are freely offered; values to enhance a meaningful life in a complex world are provided: justice, non-violence, forgiveness, compassion, care for the earth and one another. I don’t have to understand, defend, or try to convince; all I have to do is shift for a time beyond self-interest, sit in stillness, and welcome the peace that comes with having chosen to listen. The opportunity to cleanse my mind is not seasonal, but the miraculous beauty of spring invites me to open my eyes, and walk my path with a more hopeful, grace-filled heart.

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