Feel the wild imprint of surprise.
Free the joy inside the self.
Awaken to the wonder of life.
~Edited excerpts from John O’Donohue blessings
When children first feel “the wild imprint of surprise,” they easily let go the joy inside themselves, but by the time they enter adolescence most become guarded about their feelings and their expressions of joyfulness. Then as playgrounds and backyard recreations are left far behind when they enter young adulthood, they are, like I was, less and less exposed to the wonders of Creation. However, I discovered when I first retired “that like a forgotten fire, childhood can flare up again.” The flames were sparked when I could at last spend greater amounts of time in my garden and with my creative outlets that I found my inner child was still alive and well.
Sadly, the middle years of my life took me far from the things I loved in my childhood as well as through some deep valleys of brokenness. Now painful health issues rob me many nights of restful sleep, but I’ve yet to be “broken in two by time.” Though past and present circumstances have and continue trying to steal my “joie de vivre,” the Lord has not left me stranded on detours away from the His plan for my life nor stuck at dead ends. Instead the Shepherd keeps leading His lamb back into His keeping, and that as well as the freeing of my inner child helps to restore my joy. When one of my grandson’s was younger he told me once that he loved the way I often got down on the floor and played right alongside him and his brother. The question is: Was I doing it for them or for myself?
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12 ✝
The flowers of late winter and spring
occupy places in our hearts
well out of proportion to their size.
~Gertrude S. Wister
Small for sure on earth’s vast stage are the first flowers of late winter and early spring, but large is their scope. They, like the day’s first sunlight fractures darkness in the physical world, shatter darkness int the spiritual world. And when any light breaks spiritual darkness, joy and hope can be sparked and subsequently release from any imposed bondage the light of God which is at the heart of all He created. Thus I believe it is by Divine intent and for sacred purposes that these flowers occupy places of disproportionate size in the human heart. Humanity lives with dreadful darknesses in this fallen world, and it could be that the Lord purposely built into Creation’s fabric the repetition of such sparks to keep igniting anew the glow of His Light. J. Philip Newell proclaims that the light of God “dapples through the whole of creation.” He declares that it can be seen “within the brilliance of the morning sun and the whiteness of the moon at night and that it issues forth in all that grows from the ground and the life that shines from the eyes of any living creature.” Thus like cracks in a dam weaken the structure so that flood waters at some point may no longer be able to be contained, crack after crack in spiritual darkness eventually lets in more and more of God’s holy light. Hence when the fullness of His Light breaks through into the world and the human heart, there is the potential for amazing floods of grace and healing as well as salvation.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28 ✝