“sometimes money is as much use as rocks in the desert, when what you need is a cold glass of water.” ~Alex Shearer*
Spitting rain this morning with intermittent sunshine…
Garden season began sunny and warm during February in Bellingham. One day last week I put lettuce and mache seeds into a half barrel of soil. Yesterday I planted a tree. It’s unusually dry for early March. I hoped for rain.
Last Thursday I finished Telling The Bees by Peggy Hesketh. The descriptive blurb on the back of the book includes this description; “…the inadvertent examination of a life unlived, told by the octogenarian beekeeper who didn’t live it.”
This is a theme I revisit each morning – how will I live my today? Today I must remember to be grateful while I finish filling out forms, again, to continue my medical insurance under Medicare, then water the seeds and the tree. I have a date with two grandkids tonight.
This morning my reading included the essay Fields of Force, by Martha Heyneman written in 1983 for Parabola. Heyneman writes, “Saint Francis saw a person in the sun – and in almost everything else… If I told you now that I saw a person in the sun, you might question my judgment. Don’t worry. I am unable. Standing up to go down and make dinner, I forget all about the sun. But his power is among us.”
She, as did I, “awoke with the sun, sat up, sang no hymn…” I put the (clean) water from a tap onto boil, ground coffee beans grown somewhere (organically of course in the shade and hand-picked), and sat with my coffee not paying attention to the miracles around me, only thinking as sunlight streamed in, I must wash the windows!
I noticed that my April calendar includes a foot washing which is practiced in many churches on Maundy Thursday, three days before Easter. The practice is based on the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples during the Passover meal before he was killed.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:14-17
I’m reminded of two photos from Christmas. Phoebe, one of my almost 12 year old granddaughters whose brightly painted toes are in the first picture after we were treated to a pedicure, saw the picture I’d saved from Harper’s Magazine, and said, “cute.” After I told her the story about those shoes she asked if she could have a copy of the picture.
Harper’s Magazine photo by Shannon Jensen from her series A Long walk. The photos are of the shoes of refugees,children and adults, along the Sudanese border, some who walked as many as 40 days. (Harper’s Magazine/December 2014, pg. 75.)
Oh, how good it wold have felt to have your feet washed after that walk!
I am still reminded that I didn’t ask her name; the woman who washed my feet and painted my toenails,and told me in broken English about coming to Bellingham for her children. She was going home late to cook their rice and give them baths. I didn’t ask her name.
Orthodox icon of Christ washing the feet of the Apostles (16th century, Pskov school of iconography).
** Alex Shearer, author of This is the Life, Washington Square Press, 2014