From our porch, we view our little garden and mark its growth. It is consoling to cooperate with nature’s enduring quest for life and fruitfulness. The earth indeed sustains us. The ever-present grace of creation can be found in the silent growth of a small garden.
My memories of elementary school from many years ago include frequent tests and quizzes, an abundance of daily desk work, and of course, homework. The teacher often displayed quality student work on classroom bulletin boards. Sometimes, in addition to the grade, marked in red ink, the teacher placed a sticker on the paper. It was gratifying to have a little sticker adorn one’s work, a star, a pumpkin in fall, a snowflake in winter, or some other seasonal splash of color. I’m not sure how often my work merited posting.
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Kimberly Lynch reflects on the big decision to step back from her full-time teaching job to stay home with her small army of toddlers.
We tend to pay attention to “first-time” experiences, our first love, a first baby, first day of school, a first job, and so on. “Firsts” invite us to look around and see what is happening. A “first time” has within it a finality; there can be only one “first,” yet it is often the “first of many,” the initiation into a continuing, unfolding, repeating experience.
We are making ready for this year’s garden planting. We have some mint in the garden that scents the air whenever we weed around the plant – a sensory reminder that life and growth give hope and joy. Tending the garden is at times fun, rewarding, tedious, and laborious. I have to admit that I have difficulty finding joy in weeding. Attitude is important.
As we talk about today’s Gospel text, I’d like to offer some “previews of coming attractions”!