samedi, décembre 22, 2012

On blessing the darkness

This is how He comes to us
When the tears cannot cease
Voice of evil seems to overwhelm
Glimmer seen in distance
Like water in a desert place
When loss is our adagio and andante
Hey presto
He is here
Not with trumpets and fine clothes
Still alone where his mother swaddled him
On a cold, bright night in Bethlehem....

vendredi, décembre 21, 2012

Moos from the farm

"Would you like to come in to talk to Dad?" asked the slender teenager.

You bet,  I said.

It was freezing outside,  night had fallen, and even the trees were swaying in the wind.  Having finally gotten my head wrapped around the idea that Christmas was happening on Tuesday, whether I had a tree or not, I'd gotten in the car and driven to Bethany Farm.

Now Bethany, as I've written before, isn't miles away. In fact, it's about a mile down main road (if anything in Glenmoore can be called a main road). The farm just happens to need a right turn, when most of the time I go left (no snark, people).

Having written my last book review of the year, with no work to do next week, I was (mentally, finally free to ponder buying a tree. Most of my neighbors have had theirs up since a bit after Thanksgiving, by the way.

As have most of you, probably (those of you who have trees).

When I got to the farm, no one was visible. Usually I get a live tree, and then ask a friend if he has time to plant it.  But as I was leaving Farmer Dan a note and a check in the little office where he sells raw milk, apples and other foodstuffs, his daughter emerged from the brightly lit barn.

I get to see the cows! I was excited. Farmer Dan has a lot of dairy cattle. I didn't know what other animals spent their evenings in the large structure, but I was eager to find out.

I know. I sound like a darned Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms, don't I?  What can I tell you? To a city girl, an opportunity to scope out farmers milking cows and see goats is about as cool as it gets.

It was a little fragrant inside, but these baby cows were about as adorable as you get in animal territory.
Farmer Dan said that he allows them to roam around, so that they can be close to their mother.  He pointed to one who was chewing her cud, reminding me of the Biblical roots of cud-chewing.

After exchanging some news with Farmer Dan (who had been in the hospital last year when I got my tree, and was now doing a lot better, but has been through a lot),  I walked back out, past  the goats and Farmer Dan's daughter, sitting by the door with the barn cat.

What if I'd gotten my tree three weeks ago when really organized folk were buying trees? Would I have gotten to see the barn when the family was out helping customers?

This procrastinator says no. Leave her to her delusions.  They've worked for her so far!

mardi, décembre 18, 2012

Spiritual crisis, yes. Spiritual opportunity? Perhaps

As the daughter of a historian, without my dad's historical knowledge (miss you so much, dad), I know just enough to be dangerous.

I have been reflecting on the messy and often violent arc of American history, the ways in which the pendulum can swing towards injustice and cruelty, and then be moved back, closer to center.

Are we at one of those moments? What do you think? Feel free to comment, on my Reuters blog post or here.