I sought peace today, and a little distance from all the things that stirred my emotions this week.
I’m used to seeing lush greens of this park in summer. Or even the many grays and blacks starkly delineated against a background of white in the winter. But today was “in between.” Not quite winter anymore, but not yet spring. Unsettled, like me.
I entered the pathway that would take me to the Tunnel. Holy Week was much on my mind. The unjustness of what must be, at Calvary, and my part in it. I thought how the Crucifixion is not yet over as men still smite and mock and blaspheme Jesus by their words and actions. I want it all to stop…but when it stops, there will be no more “chances” for people to change their ways and follow Him…and what if the people I know will have missed their last chance?
I came to tall trees in the park. They’re not the spruce of the Tunnel, but they are tall and even and orderly. . .
I was thinking about the disorderliness of our leaders. Those who should preside over our nation and govern according to its laws …but disregard those laws and do what they want. Those who should preside over the Church and govern according to the laws that have been passed down to them…but also disregard those laws and do what they please. Unexpected , unpredictable disorderliness.
Then I came to that fateful bench, that last bench before the dark opening to the tunnel.
It will always hold the memory of Hubbie’s last visit here. He had to rest already, though it had seemed like he wanted to come to the park. Then he waved me on and said “You take your pictures, and I’ll just sit here for a while….” Which I did, unknowing, unthinking….
My mind today was still thinking of all the unknowns ahead, because I don’t know the meaning of anything, really. The future seems like that black entrance.
But even a row of dead leaves seemed “pretty.” I don’t mean death is pretty. Or maybe death in nature can look attractive because we know these dead leaves will give way to new life . . . .
And to remind us of everlasting life waiting for us — an evergreen, announcing its green life in the midst of all the grayish-brown of this in between season:
There were other colors, almost out of place. A purplish-blue branch curving out of the ground, back down to the ground.
Greenish yellow moss on a log.
Many things to see, but you have to stop and think about them.
We’re still not at the Tunnel. Many obstacles along our pathway.
Long puddles that are fun to stomp in, but these have slippery ice under the water. Not all fun is safe. I wish we could understand that.
We come to the “guard rails” that tell us we’re close to the Tunnel.
I wrote in here once that guard rails seem confining, but they actually give us freedom to live and move safely, once we understand the boundaries. My biggest surprise was to discover that the laws and rules of the Church gave me a sense of unbounded freedom; a true paradox! “Learn of Me,” the Crucified One said, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That was not a lie. He is the Truth.
I grew up in the Hippie era and watched many of my friends knock down those guard rails and live in “freedom” beyond law and traditions and the wisdom handed down to us. Remember this next time you see an “Aging Hippie” – many Hippies never lived long enough to become “Aging.” And many of those who did grasped onto the power centers of our nation’s government, schools, and media, and it is their rebellious, arrogant voices that we hear every day. They have a spirit of lawlessness that will lead us into destruction.
So at last, we come to the Tunnel, a patch of snow at its entrance, reminding me that we’re still “in between” seasons. In between, unsettled, not yet knowing what kind of spring and summer it will be.
The cool, quiet air of the Tunnel takes me…..the dimmer light softens me….I can’t think in here. I just be. I walk more and more slowly, making my time in the Tunnel last as long as possible. It’s so much bigger than I am.
I hope you have a place like this, a “tunnel” someplace where you can let go and slow down for a while.
There is light up ahead. That would be the end of the Tunnel.
Before I get there, I look around, to the left and the right, and notice that the giant spruce trees are thinning. There are not enough to make any more tunnel.
Everything on earth has its limits, as this little spruce forest has its limits, and I will soon run out of “tunnel.”
I just walked through it for about twenty minutes. That was my part in the Spruce Tunnel today. I doubt if I’ve changed anything, but I have observed and reported.
I’m not going to change anything in the world either. That’s not quite my mission, as far as I know.
This Holy Week has been harrowing, emotional, and instructive, and it has made me more sensitive to the world around me. I’m ready for Easter now.