Thursday, May 28, 2009

A solitary grape vine planted by my grandfather sits just east of the house. Every year I hope the vine might not fall to little devouring bugs.

At the first sight of the holes in the leaves, fingers search and find itty bitty black worm-shaped diners infecting my vine. For some reason, I wait and don't come back to kill them for a couple of days. The damage spreads. I decide to tackle the job and turn each leaf over, smushing the enemies dead one by one.

I am glad to see the fruit growing.

But sad that the leaves were still damaged.

It makes me think of residual soul damage leftover from sin infections I allow to grow. Noticing the eaten leaves, sometimes I still wait before smushing it out. Often, despite small bits of visible fruit, there is still damage left behind from worldly things I allowed.

Praise be to God, who gives us an image of hope for sickly leaves in the Gospel of John: 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Footnotes: The Greek for prunes also means cleans.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gifts from God

*coming home from work to an unexpected clean kitchen

*cooking dinner with both kids as sous chefs, breaking apart broccoli and bread-crumbing salmon patties.

*uncultivated surprises in the woods

*finding some hay for mulching the veggie bed

*Little Builder receiving a hand-me-down digital camera

*He and Papa getting creative

*blessings from the Church: services to remember our loved ones and Koliva to remind us that we must fall to the ground like a grain of wheat and die, in order to be raised to a new life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Passion Flower for the Pascha Season

This flower poses so unusual a picture that when a Native Mexican monk first sketched it and sent the image to a botanist in Spain, the botanist refused to publish it in his book. He thought the monk had made it up.

Often the flower is associated with Christ. The 3 stamen are for the 3 nails. The 5 anthers are for the 5 wounds of Christ. The circle of filaments is His crown of thorns.

The vine has a reputation of being hardy and invading the garden, but I've been waiting almost 4 years for my puny cutting to get past the "surviving" stage and actually bloom. Just when I had given up on it, this unusual flower decided it was time to make an entrance.

The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

To my own Mother, who still is incredibly generous and patient.

To my new Mother, who opened her arms to me the day my husband brought me home.

To all my Mothers who share this space with me, who bring me laughs and encouragement.

To our Lord's Mother, whose heart has felt every pain I will ever feel as a mother. Pray for our children, O Theotokos!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gifts from God

Thank you for your prayers for Alex. She is quickly recovering and at home.

I'm also thankful for...

A night out with my sister and mother.

Our first meal with something from the garden - sugar snap peas as a side dish.

Little Builder's Mother Goose Concert

Teacher Appreciation Week meals by the PTA

Inspiration from you other blogging mothers