Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"You are fruit snatched out of life,
a berry hanging round and sweet;
simply let us taste how you melt
on the tongue of eternity."
The Virgin is so present in gardening - more than half our flowers belong to her. St. Joseph has nasturtiums, the Baptist has St. John's wort, but Mary has roses, sunflowers, marigolds, lady-slippers, batchelor's buttons, and an abundance of others. Some flowers belong to both Mary and another saint, but Mary herself is never short of flowers, ferns, and herbs. It makes it easy to find flowers for her feast days, easy to plant a Mary garden in any climate, and easy to apply her, through her flowers, to any situation requiring intercession - but I do feel badly for the neglected saints, lucky if they have even one plant to call their own.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"On my wall hangs a Japanese carving,
the mask of an evil demon..
sympathetically I observe
the swollen veins of the forehead, indicating
what a strain it is to be evil."
~Bertolt Brecht

I love this image of Christ's kicking feet! I discovered recently that His baby-feet are always shown in iconography as a constant reminder that He was human, that He walked on the earth. I like to think of Baby Christ too, kicking merrily under his little blankets and squirming in comfort. Goodness has such a comfort to it, like an old cashmere sweater that never itches, or the feel of clean, dry hair being styled by someone else. Being Goodness, I can't imagine the Baby Christ in discomfort, I think of Him carrying His comfort with Him, wrapping up in it and dreaming with the imagination of God.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
~Mae West

St. Valentine's Day is almost here!
We like to celebrate in a big way. When we were dating, my husband began his habit of picking a color and choosing gifts based on that. The color our first Valentine's was brown. We were living miles apart and he sent me a box, wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine. Inside, dried herbs and flowers were bundled with organic chocolate, chocolate-hazelnut spread, and a handmade necklace of dried chestnuts that I still wear today. Brown may seem like a dull color but it really is full of rich variety. It is the color of the earth, symbolizing stability, trustworthiness, consistency, and the opportunity for growth. Brown is a color of beginings - ideal for a first Valentine's together.

Last year we celebratedin pink and black: Pink roses, black sheets, pink ribbons, black gifts. We had another couple over for dinner, dressed up and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. Pink is sometimes a sentimental color - less intense, less passionate than red - the color of sweet, young love, whereas red is the color of desire. Pink is also a joyful color - it gives the impression of laughter and spring - it fit well, as we have often been accused of living in a permanent honeymoon. Black, often considered the color of evil, symoblizes protection from evil, strength, and solitude. While that may seem an unnecessary addition to a St. Valentine's celebration, it is a balancing influence - particuarly paired with pink, which can absorb the individual in romantic infatuation, black is a reminder that love requires two individuals to thrive.

This year I am waiting to see which color he chooses - I try to guess each year - I've only guessed right once. The surprise is half the fun. Blue is my guess this year.

Blessed St. Valentine's!