It’s February. And why is the weather first thing on my mind when I begin writing? Don’t know the answer. Just know it’s rainy and gloomy with no speck of blue. Only gray. Gray. Gray. Or is it grey? I think – English sort of lesson here – gray is the color – like hair or dress. and grey is the what? just another spelling for color or mood? Hang on. I’ll google it. Aha! Different spellings of the same word. Our choice.
With that settled, there are things on my eighty-year-old mind. The first is, I’d like to start a business, a writing business, in partnership with an old friend who is still writing at my same age. She’s into non-fiction at the moment, writing a history of her former public broadcasting station, and, no, I haven’t approached her about this because I’ve no idea what kind of writing business. Blogging? (Is that a business?) Maybe on-line teaching? (Aren’t there enough of those?) Editing? (Never enough of those.) Book reviews? Okay, maybe it’s a passing thought.
It’s that it has been a very long winter. Not much snow. Not even terrible cold. Just days and days of no sun or sun but too cold to be outdoors. I know. There is nothing to gripe about compared to those in the West with flood and fire and those in the East with mountains of snow and ice. But being the hibernating sort, this is the time of year I begin to feel restless, feel the need to be outside doing stuff in the gardens, picking through leaves to find the first green of daffodils or crocus or anything that is first to appear. Even weeds.
Of course, as I write these things, I am amazed at the selfish me-state of my human nature. There are so many things to be grateful for – family – always first – friends (both two and fourlegged), warmth, food, health, space to do as I please, and Faith. (Hmmm…I think that’s where all this was going from the get-go – Faith and belief.)
So I’m thinking about growing things and the story of the mustard seed comes to mind. It was one of the first I remember as a very young girl growing up in a very Catholic, Italian home. It wasn’t my mother who told the story, it was a nun, one of the kind ones who taught in Catholic schools in the forties. Though I’m sure I’d heard it before as part of the Gospel read at Mass, it only made an impression when she (the nun) let us hold tiny mustard seeds in our hands and then showed pictures of the mature trees. Her version of the parable was a simple one, folded into a story our fertile minds could knead and hold onto. She told us the tiny seeds were like faith and that once planted inside us, would grow and grow, as long as we believed in God and His promise of eternal life. She didn’t tell us there would be stumbles and pitfalls along the way – that would come later in life – but she made us believe that small seed planted inside us was special and needed to be nurtured as only each of us could.
She was wise, that nun. Faith does need to be nourished. Prayer helps it grow. Trust and believing in God’s promises make it strong.
It sounds simplistic. Believe and Pray. And it can be done quietly and intimately. One on one with God. A little food. A little water. The seed grows. Easy-peasy.
Why is it, then, we see an increase of drug use, of abuse, disregard for human life? When did atheism become its own religion? How did disbelief in God become a norm for so many? Why has it happened?
When I read about the number of our young people who profess to be atheists, I pray for them. And I wonder – have those of us who do believe in God, in all the Bible lessons of both Old and New Testaments, failed somehow?
Do those who profess non-belief really believe there is no God? Or is it just unhappiness with structured religion? Or laziness because it takes effort to believe? Yes! It does take effort. Just like everything worthwhile takes effort.
Well, now that I’m thinking about it, all those unbelievers have risen to the top of my “pray for” list. Seems to me if all us believers did that, then the mustard seed planted in even those you-know-whos, will green up and grow.
So. The day is still gray. But do you know, I see some green at the base of the trees.
The daffodils are poking through.