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The Spur

I drove my daughter to school early this morning in the glow of that special light that comes only during the Fall season. The vehicle ahead of us stirred up a dance of yellow leaves and many more were falling from the trees as we passed under them. I marveled at the contrast of what bears the ugliness of death yet is so beautiful.

And I stand in awe as I think of one of the primary laws of science – matter cannot be created nor destroyed but only transformed. Those falling leaves will add to the nourishment of the land and allow new growth in the spring. No-one in the modern world would dispute that scientific fact. This is, as all others are, not just a law of science but . . .

I have a confession to make. I love banquets and pot-luck dinners. We’ll be having one in our church this week and I’m looking forward to the feast. We call this one our Thank Offering Supper. It’s meant to be a celebration of the provision of God, as, in this rural community, the harvest is complete.

I know what to expect. There will be a pan of Pastor Hogman’s famous chicken, at least one of Dayna’s amazing desserts, a huge bowl filled with one of Karen’s great salads, another of Elsie’s yummy speckled buns and of course, platters loaded with an abundance of Alberta beef. How could it get any better?

Everyone in our church is invited to this feast and it’s hard to imagine why anyone would . . . 

I received an invitation in the mail yesterday. It's one of the home-made kind, with a border of stamped flowers around the edge. The card is really just a courtesy since I have been asked to be the speaker at the event, so I did not look at it very closely at first. It wasn't until I was relaxing after supper that I noticed something seemed missing in the design. In the center of the card is a single flower and just to its right there is an insect. I stared at it for a moment, then realized what it was - a butterfly with no wings. I know it may seem odd, but that made me smile. You see, the topic I'd been thinking of for the event, a mother/daughter banquet to celebrate Mother's Day, is "Giving Your Daughters Wings."

I've been thinking about that poor little butterfly - how sad it is that she has no way to fly, no way to find the flowers that will give her nourishment. There are a lot of wingless butterflies in the world. I've had a personal experience with one recently. She moved into a house we own a few months ago and we recently had to ask her to leave. She did, and took everything that wasn't nailed down with her - a coffee table, the vacuum cleaner, the lawnmower, even the garbage cans. I suspect the sale of all of those things will feed her drug habit. That young woman is a butterfly with no wings, crawling instead of flying, living a life she wasn't . . .

- how sad it is that she has no way to fly, no way to find the flowers that will give her nourishment. There are a lot of wingless butterflies in the world. I've had a personal experience with one recently. She moved into a house we own a few months ago and we recently had to ask her to leave. She did, and took everything that wasn't nailed down with her - a coffee table, the vacuum cleaner, the lawnmower, even the garbage cans. I suspect the sale of all of those things will feed her drug habit. That young woman is a butterfly with no wings, crawling instead of flying, living a life she wasn't . . . 

 

We were on our way to the reception when we saw them. The wedding party was gathered by a small bridge in a local park, milling around while the photographer got set up. The men looked dapper in their tuxes and top hats, though they had to hold onto them. The bridesmaids were holding on too - to their coats. And the bride held on to her veil and huddled in a quilt while the photographer tried to arrange the pose. Though it was spring, the day was low with clouds threatening rain or maybe snow, and the wind was unrelenting.

It was a brief glimpse I caught of that scene, from my car window as we sped by, but the image is frozen in my mind. I suppose it's not such an unusual one - weddings happen on all kinds of days. The thing that makes it stay with me, however, is the brightness of the smiles, the tilt of laughing faces, the obvious joy in spite of the surrounding circumstances. Though that bride was wrapped in a quilt to try and keep warm, her face was radiant, her eyes sparkling. Though I could not hear her laughter, it was obvious it was ringing through the air. Though I saw only a glimpse it was obvious who her attention was focused on. There was one young man dressed in a tux who had totally captured her attention. She was completely convinced of his unconditional love and I doubt that even . . .

It seems the word anticipation is an appropriate one for this time of year. The snow is melting rapidly and the bushes are showing that faint red tint that tells us life is pouring back into them after the long sleep of winter.

That word is also appropriate for my life right now. In a few weeks I’ll be packing to go to a women’s retreat. It’s a yearly event, one I plan for and look forward to well ahead of the date. Another few weeks after that, I’ll be packing again, this time in preparation for a trip east to meet my daughter when she returns from Bangladesh. You can imagine the growing anticipation for that trip! Let’s just say I’m already counting the days.

We are also anticipating another event at this time of year. Some of us have already been preparing for it. I attended a party a short time ago where a huge chocolate cake sat in the middle of the table as we ate supper and laughed with the ‘birthday boy.’ Then the baker of the cake, the hostess of the party, distributed evenly sliced pieces all round. But she did not cut a piece for herself. She had given up sweets as an observance of Lent and I admired her restraint as she sat and watched the rest of us indulge. She, needless to say, is anticipating the day when her fast will be broken.

We do different things to prepare for . . .

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