Joy and Peace: Phil. 4:4-9

Sometimes in listening to the world news and hearing of the trials of those nearby as well, we tend to focus on what seems incomprehensible, ugly, and hopeless. I think that’s why my favorite time is early morning when all is usually quiet as it is today. The birds are singing, a cool spring breeze blowing. Life is as it was made to be. I have a daily devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young that I read each morning and also often pray my daily Rosary on the side deck. Everyone has problems including me and they can overwhelm us. The way to hover above all the worldly thoughts is answered in these few versus written over two thousand years ago.

9) “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,, if their is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…”

And then go out and fight the good fight with those things in mind always focusing on that which comes from our Creator. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen has said “Life is worth living”.

The Tree Still Stands

In early March of 1971 our first child was born in a hospital an hour away from our home. On the way home we made a short visit to a family who lived near the hospital. The weather though above freezing in the daytime, still hovered around the low forties and I had dressed our newborn for arctic weather. When my friend Lisa, a veteran mom of two young children, laid our crying baby boy on her sofa. She began unwrapping the layers: warm blanket, lighter blanket, receiving blanket, hat, booties and sweater down to a cozy footed one piece PJ.  His tiny forehead was awash with perspiration. She wrapped him in his receiving blanket and he fell happily asleep. Jim went outside and returned with a rooted one foot high stick, and shoot from his dogwood tree.

Our friends gave us a hearty lunch repackaged the little one minus a few trappings.  We moved on to our second and last stop before home at grandma’s house. Delighted she held him in her arms and gave him a nickname, Butchie. She called my husband that when he was a baby. I remember thinking of her when we had our first grandchild also a boy. It felt as if we had our son back again.  Home at last, my husband placed the stick on the eastern side of the lawn on solidly frozen ground. We were not too optimistic when the ground thawed and we planted it there.

Some forty years later sitting on my deck as the sun rose, I wrote this poem

The Tree Still Stands

It blooms a while in springtime and lifts my soul To contemplate all that’s happened Since the stick was planted in the soil  The babe came first before the barren, rooted wood  They grew together one in earth, the other in love

Some Forty-two years have past The tree has grown and bloomed  Almost destroyed by storms  Trimmed and allowed to live The child, a man, a gift to us withstands the storms of living  His progeny will face the bitter winds of life, yet live  As the dogwood blooms in springtime…                                                                                                                      May 3, 2017