Posted tagged ‘Death’

LIFE’S A MESS — TAKE HEART

August 14, 2017

(A message  – to me  –  about lambs and lamb’s wool . . .   and death to come.)

Sometimes life seems a mess,  a complicated, tangled mess.    We get to feeling like that once in a while.     We get a lot of “cares”   and loose ends swirling around in our minds.

Alligator Wrong Side

Doesn’t take much sometimes.    As we work and learn and think —  still, everything doesn’t fall into place, and those loose ends don’t get tucked neatly away,  not even at the end . . . .     Most of us will come to the end of our lives with not all things fitting together and making sense.

Alligator Inside Out

 

Of course,  our Maker is seeing a different pattern developing.

Alligator Right Side

Cute little alligator sweater for Cooper!

I didn’t create the pattern or write the directions for the alligator.     I needed a chart for  guidance.  I needed Guidance.

It’s very soft.     I’m using something similar to lamb’s wool.

But I myself am no smarter about life than a little lamb, soft and vulnerable, in the middle of a great green pasture.

Lamb in pasture

I didn’t make the pasture,   I didn’t even put myself here,  and I don’t know everything that I’m supposed to do here,  but my Creator is the One who, with a gentle shepherd’s hand,  made me and placed me here . . .  and watches to see what I’ll do.

Everything will be provided —

lamb and water

Delicious green grass,  water,  companionship,  and Guidance.

I don’t have to solve the problems of the whole world.       I don’t even have to anticipate everything that’s going to happen.     (“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength . . .”   Isaiah 40:31)      Even when   Especially when I don’t understand certain things,   there will be strength to go on.

The Good Shepherd is looking down on the life He gave us, with great care and attention, so when things get complicated  we need to just “stay where he put us.”

lamb waiting

 

Although for us humans that means being active, learning, doing, walking in His ways,   and it might look like we’re making a mess,  He is seeing our pattern forming,  from the “Other Side,” so to speak,    and when He sees that we have made our choices,  for or against Him,  with or without Him,  He’ll know when our time is up —  we are who we are going to be.

 

lamb no lamb

 

—  and we’ll be taken out of this beautiful pasture Earth.

And then stand before Him . . . .

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, R.I.P.

August 4, 2017

Beloved son.    

Today is his first birthday.   He’d be one year old.

charlies face

 

Mother and son.

charlied and medal

 

Cherished and wanted.

charlies parents

 

His name is Charlie Gard, and his “mistake”  was to be born with a mitochondrial disease  which makes him  “unwanted”   and “not”  valuable   —  to the State.  Doesn’t matter which country  because this kind of State authority is developing in all Western nations where Christian values are being destroyed.

(In Judeo-Christian cultures,  the helpless, the poor, the sick, the needy, the unwanted are given attention, love,and care.    “As you do it unto the least of my brethren,  you do it unto Me.”    Undeniably, that teaching originated with Jesus.    Remove Jesus,  and you invariably lose  His  teaching. )

This loved and cherished son was dying of his disease,  but the State would not allow his parents to take him to doctors in the United States where there was the possibility that his life could be saved.  U.S.  doctors are researching this disease and hold out some hope.

But Charlie’s State authority would not let him take advantage of the research.   The parents applied for “permission”  to take their own son to the United States,  and they did not get any answer other than no,  until Charlie’s condition had become so much worse that even modern research would likely not be able to help.

Both British and European Union  Court authorities imposed the full strength of their authority against Charlie and his parents.

So Charlie was dying.

The parents wanted to take him home, in a comfortable, personal, loving  environment for as long as his little life would last.

But the System  said they owned Charlie.     There are no parental rights.   The State-run hospital system refused to allow the parents to care for their own son.

ch medal

Charlie died,  just days short of his first birthday.

His parents,  Chris Gard and Connie Yates,  had enough money to use to travel and treat their son.   Now,  instead, they are using that money,  one and a half million dollars,  to set up a foundation to help others who struggle against both children’s disease and the loss of parental rights.

In this country,   the Barack-Hussein person and his followers put forth into our laws the Unaffordable Health Control Bill, which has far-reaching consequences,  among them the State-prescribed death of the unborn,   the very, very sick young,   the very,  very sick,  and the very, very sick elderly.      It’s too expensive to help the helpless.

The State is in control.     A very, very “sick”  State is in control.

 

 

 

DEATH AT ADVENT

November 28, 2016

I should entitle this posting “Not-So Fun With Insomnia.”    Sometimes,  even though you do finally get enough sleep,  it takes a physical toll on your hoped-for activities.   Consequently,  I missed posting about the beginning of Advent.

But now I have another consideration to add to my Advent thoughts.

funeral-w-coffin

A dear friend,  a member of one of my classes who had become “elderly”  during all these years she had been a part of us,  has died,  on this first day of Advent.   I just found out a few hours ago.

Advent is a time of   anticipating the  long-promised coming of the Messiah, the Christ and the great promises that are given to us.

funeral

And so Advent is  a celebration of the actual  Incarnation of  the Second Person of the Trinity, True God,  mankind’s only Savior.      We “anticipate”  by making sure we are the kind of people, individually the kind of person,  we ought to be in order to worthily welcome His coming.

Advent is because all Promises from God finally do come to an end in their fulfillment.    Both the First Coming of the Messiah and  (soon?)  the Second Coming of the Messiah, our Savior.   And because our individual lives will also come to an end.

This could be very bad news.  Who wants to think about the reality of his own death?   Life is over.   Finis.    No more second chances;  no more do-overs;  no more  . . .  anything.    As with our friend today.

This could be very bad news –   but for the efficacious saving work of the Messiah on His Cross, pouring out Love and Compassion for us,  and offering the possibility of Life Everlasting.

Isn’t  Death  just a part of Life?     Well, not like that.     Life comes from the Living Creator of Life.      He gives us existence.  He gives us Life.

Wisdom   1: 13-15   
 God did not make death,
and he does not delight in the death of the living.
[14] For he created all things that they might exist,
and the generative forces of the world are wholesome,
and there is no destructive poison in them;
and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.
[15] For righteousness is immortal.

God did not make Death, according to the Bible,  and He’s not happy about it,   but He did conquer Death and defeat its power and “sting.”

Our friend knew this.    From our point of view, she is dead.    But she has Life now:   Life from Life.   Her Life from His.

My goodness!!      On this Advent,  this beginning of a whole new Liturgical Year,  our friend passed from this life into a whole new LIfe!!

Let’s go back to the Bible, to the book of Wisdom again:

Wisdom 3: 1-3

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
2 They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
3 and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.

THAT’S  what we’re doing during Advent.      Preparing for our End.     Preparing for Everlasting Peace from the Prince of Peace.

Only One,  for us men,   the Messiah,  Christ.

clip-advent-1

THE END.

November 20, 2016

I’m beginning to like my fuzzy moon pictures.   They have an interesting . . .  charm.

moon-lines

“Moon lines.”  Looks like a black and white Jupiter on edge.

I’ve got some “end of the year” resolutions to take care of soon.    I’ve got to accept my good friend’s offer to teach me something about photography.  Then I have to install my new editing software so I can do useful things with the photos.

I’ve got to get serious about  getting my summer and fall clothes packed away and my winter clothes out and ready —  and sewn!

sewing

I need a couple new vests.  Here’s fuzzy black velvety one almost made.  I had to create the yellow tissue paper pattern so the vest will come out with the right shape and length.   The sewing up will go fast but I need to bring  this  winter wardrobe issue  to an end.

I need to do the end-of-the-year holiday planning,  company,  decorating,  parties.

Lots of things are coming to an end now.   Autumn chores.   NASCAR.  Football season.

You can learn a lot about life from football –

end-at-the-end-zone

After all,  the whole game is a series of drives and the goal is getting to the  “end”  zone.     (The Bears made it this time!!)

And today we arrived at another end,  the end of the Liturgical Year:

lit-yr

We’ve come full circle, and have finished up the green patch at about 11:00, or 11:30.   11:59, actually.      Next Sunday we will be in the blue.

It’s an orderly way of keeping track of time,  which at the same time instructs us in keeping track of  our journey  throughout the year, with Our Savior,   as the major events of our Faith unfold,  one after the other.

It’s like a circular timeline.     And when we reach the end of the year,   the 11:59, so to speak,  it’s appropriate to think more on   those all-important “Four Last Things”  which we all will confront, at the “end”  of our time on earth.

I’m sure you’ve thought of them throughout the year,  perhaps without even realizing that these are “end time considerations” that are common to all.    The Four Last Things are:  Death.    Judgment.     Heaven.     Hell.

Obviously,  we’ll be intimately caught up in only three of those Four Last Things.

We all have common experiences with these things.

Death.    Perhaps you’ve known someone who has died this past year.  Or almost.    Or perhaps you had a close brush with death.    What might have, could have happened, if you didn’t get lucky.

Judgment.    Those twinges of guilt,  self-judgment,  an “oops, I shouldn’t have done that.”       All fundamentally pointing to the existential certainty that we will experience our last and final judgment.   Perhaps you think it will be a glorified self-judgment.   But,  nevertheless,  the judgment will result in . . .

Hell.     Perhaps.    You probably heard Hell referenced at least a few times during this past year without really thinking about it.  Someone nearby curses:  “Oh,  Hell!”    “Damn!”    It’s a curse word because . . .  well,  it’s a curse that is a reality.    It’s just that we don’t often “think about it.”   Why is the entire human race so “fallen”?    So damned?

Heaven.    A hoped-for glorious End,  but one which we’re entirely incapable of producing by ourselves.

Incapable:     Remember the miners in South America who were trapped by a massive cave-in?   All escape routes solidly blocked.   They had little water,  very little food,  no electricity, no light. 33 men trapped deep below ground.  And they were incapable of getting out of there.

They had no way of knowing that a multi-national effort was underway to attempt to reach them.   

But weeks went by.  Weeks with not enough provisions, not much oxygen.  

How do you think they passed that time, knowing they could not help themselves out of that deepest, darkest pit?

69 days later!   It took 69 days to reach them,  and miraculously  all the men were still alive.

Help had come from Above, by means of which the miners did not have,  by efforts that the miners were incapable of accomplishing.     Can you imagine how beautiful the sunlight must have seemed to them?      And they saw the Light and lived again!

The Fourth Last Thing:    Heaven.     Available for us,  by means of the Cross reaching down to us and reaching out wide to all mankind.

Advent,  next Sunday,  begins that process.

FUZZY MOON

November 15, 2016

My photo of the Super Moon:

super-moon

It wasn’t quite dark.   It wasn’t too high in the sky.   It was a little misty,  a little hidden behind branches, and it wasn’t super-sharp clear like some great  photos  I’ve seen on TV.

But I decided I like my photo anyway.

Soft and indistinct.

Like a lot of the things I know about.    So much I know about but don’t have a clear sharp understanding of.

Maybe I’m weary.  Maybe I’ve been reading too many of my favorite action-adventure spy-vs.-spy special forces kind of novels — where there is a lot of death and dying.    Maybe I’ve seen too many mean-spirited and violent people in the protest videos in the news.  Death and threats of death everywhere.

And now the coming of Thanksgiving week,  where birth met death in our family in 2010.  Cooper was born ,”untimely,”   unexpectedly premature,  but in time to be placed in Hubbie’s arms,  in his hospital bed,  as he lay dying.

SAMSUNG

Little Hand Holding Big Hand

We were “indistinct”   about that too.   Perhaps supernaturally protected from too many acute emotions,  like the soft, comforting lighting on the way to Hubbie’s room.

cc-tunnel-cr

Hospital Hallway

I don’t understand much about death.  I know we have to go through the process of death in order to  get to Eternal Life.    I know there will be a horrible state of affairs for many who die,  but a wonderful and glorious state of affairs for those who have come to know their Creator — before they die.

Our Creator didn’t create death,  but He made provision for all of us who have to face death.   Stick with Him,  on His terms,  and we’ll be all right.

But what is this process that causes so much grief and loss and uncertainty?  And people who bravely say they don’t fear death —   are they kidding themselves?    Even some of our greatest, most good and holy saints have gone through periods when they fear their own imminent death.     It’s a Crossing Over, leaving everything behind that we know,  into —

The Bible says don’t be looking into things that are above your understanding.  It’s  okay if things stay fuzzy and unfocused.

moon-betw-trees

So,  maybe death is one of those things.     It happened in our family at Thanksgiving time:  Hubbie (and devoted father to my children);    and then  my own Mom just before Thanksgiving a couple years after.

We’ll probably engage in our usual  “remembering” this year,  trying to make sense of something that was never meant to be but is a common experience of all humans.  There can be much that is beautiful and true  after our death.

Best left indistinct and unclear, I suppose,  because if we give ourselves too many answers,  we won’t be open to the loveliness of Eternity that a loving , caring God has provided for us,  as it comes into our lives.  Our thoughts can hide his thoughts.

I can know that the full moon was 8% closer this month.     The last time it was this close was 69 years ago.  the next time will be in the year 2030.     But that doesn’t help me know the beauty of the soft golden glow of a misty moon, and be touched by the wonder of it all.

Lovely.

Loveliness ahead.

There is more to human life than scientific knowledge.

7. THE GOAT DIES (IN NOVEMBER)

November 3, 2016

Well,  it’s Election Day minus 7

winning

Hard to keep that Steam Kettle boiling over at a time like this.      Hey!   Life goes on.  There’s  life apart from election news . . .  and Chicago has just won the World Series.     I’ve spent a little time in Wrigley Field . . .     but  never a  win like this.   ( If you know about the Cubs,  you’ll get the reference to The Goat.   Right now,  he’s history!)

As a matter of fact, Son just texted a pretty interesting comment.   “A few moments ago,  nobody could ever say they saw the Cubs win the World Series.”    A few moments later,  we live in a whole new world:   we are people who can say  WE saw The Cubs Win the World Series.

Just like that –   the World  changes.

But it’s not easy to change our world:

Try try try

      Work hard Work hard Work hard

       Fight Fight Fight

       Hope Hope Hope

And then the moment of proof comes:

You win the World Series.

Or you win the Election.

 THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER

Or you die and enter Heaven.   

The Church has not forgotten what time of   year it is.     November has begun and we  are directed to remember all those saints in Heaven, designated to be our examples  and helpers, as they’ve died in Christ,   with Christ in them,  and so they remain in communion with us.  (That’s what you say in the Creed.  “…. I believe in the communion of saints ….”

Remember them!    Get to know them!

The very next day we remember all those souls who have died,  “All Souls Day,”   on their way to Heaven,  diamonds in the rough, so to speak,   but within the communion of believers.

And so during all of November it is appropriate to remember the dead,  especially our dead loved ones.      God is outside of Time;  our prayers for them matter no matter “when” we pray.

Our dead loved ones are still loved by us.     They remind us that one day we will be like they are now.      In the blink of an eye, our world will change.

As a matter of fact,  the world we exist in will change from this world . . .   to the next.

tombstones

The Rose is red: the grass is green
The days are past which I have seen
As you are now so once was I
But as I am now so shall be ye
Prepare for death and follow me.

VICE, VOLTAIRE, AND VEHEMENCE

June 3, 2016

(3 V words for 2 choices)

stop

 

Well,  if some of you went ahead and read yesterday’s post in spite of my warning not to,  you’ll understand that there are two Junes to choose from this year.  One of inexpressibly strong Love for you ending in such wonderful good and happiness that we don’t even have words to express it;  and the other “June” of the degradation of human dignity and worth . . .   ending in unspeakable horror and fear.

(Well, that lays it out.  Two choices.  No confusion there.)

VICE

Funny, but the first June of Love gives absolute freedom;  the other June leads to more and more uncomfortable restrictions – and things will happen which you do not choose.

In the second “June”  you are caught – as in a vice.

Vice grip

When I was a young girl I often had to “help” my Dad in his workshop.   I had to hold something while he worked on it.   My little girl muscles were often not strong enough, so my Dad would go get his “vice grip” as he called it, to hold the thing down.  I was often astonished at how firmly the vice would hold onto something.   There was no getting free!

bear trap

I’d also read many stories of pioneer days in our country’s history,  trappers and explorers,  cowboys and settlers.   Occasionally there would be a description of animal traps –  bear traps. The trap would hold the bear in a vice-like grip,  and it would work.   the troublesome, man-eating bear could be dealt with.

There is another use of the word “vice.”        —   ouch!

bear trap into

City police departments used to have a Vice Squad,  made of officers and detectives who were experts in rooting out the vice of their city.

So what is Vice?    Any deviant or unlawful or unhealthy behavior which traps a person like a vice grip so strongly that the person will do anything – even commit a crime – in order to repeat that behavior.

VOLTAIRE

Voltaire

Vice brings us to Voltaire…   one of the most famous promoters of Vice.  This famous man of the 18th century who, when we’re given only half the story,  is a man held up as some kind of cultural hero of his day:  the man who spread the values of the  misnamed  En”light”enment and of the consequent French Revolution,  all the atheistic “-isms” of the 19th century,  and the following most vice-ridden, murderous century of all,  the 20th.

If you educate yourself further than what textbooks present to you,  you would see that Voltaire was a man of great vices,  including all of the sexual behaviors which become vices,  such as that recently  promoted by the politician put in the office of the American presidency.

It was Voltaire’s stated intent to break down the social and moral barriers of Western Civilization — and specifically of the Christian values which allowed Western Civilization to exist.     All Christian values.    He did it with such amazing boldness and with such skillful, enticing writing and conversation,  that it seemed as though he was a “gentleman” of great worth.

No gentleman, he.     The exact way that Voltaire and like thinkers influenced their Age and Ages to follow is a fascinating history.   It’s like watching an army of workshop Vice Grips march into human society,   corrupting the culture, ruining lives and religious faith  wherever it succeeded.    All in the name of being New and Modern and Courageous, of course.

The Final end of Vice?  Like the final end of Voltaire.  

Death

It is frightening.    To those who witnessed his dying days,  it was horrifying.  Voltaire died with anger and hatred on his lips,  shouting out in  pain and fear all manner of blame and blasphemies against the God he hated and had convinced himself did not exist!   It was a  hard death.   He knew things now,  and he fought against that which he was knowing.     (I believe similar “endings”  were witnessed as Nietzsche died and . .  .  was it Kant also?   These “giants”  of  Modernist philosophy died shouting out their terror and hatred toward God — and interestingly,  toward their own fathers.)

Oh, yes,  heroes of 20th century textbooks.

A life of vice leads to a terrible dying,  if it’s a slow and conscious one;   but, at any rate,   to a terrible ending for all caught up in unrepented vice.

VEHEMENCE

“with strong and violent force”

palm trees  in wind

That leads to the last dictionary word:  vehemence.     Those who are dedicated to the ways of “freedom from moral restraint”  sometimes display the most surprising and unexpected vehemence somewhere in their conversation.

I’ve seen it.   I’ll be in a group that is simply talking, conversing,  exploring ideas,  when suddenly someone will take great offense — or rather: GREAT OFFENSE!  — at what someone said.    They CANNOT BELIEVE  that anyone would dare to call  such and such a thing wrong!   How INSULTING!    How WRONG of you to say something is wrong!!   It seems totally out of character of the person who was part of our group.  That vehement anger must have been lying in wait,  to strike out at the first mention of moral goodness,  God,  self-restraint,   self-discipline,  or religious values.

The vehemence comes with insulting accusations and character assassinations that would knock over a whole forest of trees.   It is a rhetorical tactic used to shut up one’s conversational opponent.    Violent words,  violent actions.   No reasoning.

VOLTAIRE LIVES.

This “other” month of June,  a month ordering us to honor those trapped in vice and moral turpitude (which Voltaire would, of course, call “freedom”)   is certainly a choice that American citizens have available to them.

How DARE we not go along?    How DARE we object?     Our response may be “prudent silence”  —  but it’s hard to distinguish silence from timidity.

Qui tacet consentire videtur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A DEATH

January 13, 2016

(a political post)

So,  I’ve been gone a few days,  a lot on my mind.  A death in the family.

a coffin

To talk to you about “who” died, would reveal too much about me personally, and would expose struggles with all the variegated and complex memories that were stirred up.  Suffice it to say that I did love her.

And she was nearly a hundred years old.

She was born in a different world, a different age,  a different culture.     She was born shortly after Civilization had taken a tumble down a few stairs, finding itself on a lower level in new circumstances.     The  Titanic,  that crown jewel of human defiance against Nature, had just sunk.    The Great War had just ended,  further proving that we were not only not invincible through our scientific and technological achievements,  but showing us that  our science and technology had given us the ability to be savagely and horrifically murderous against our fellow human beings.

This was such a huge psychic blow  that it can be said the Twentieth Century started around this time.   No more wide-eyed innocent “progress.”

The Twentieth Century began as a decadent and degrading mish-mash of sexual immorality,  political brutality,  and the institutionalized economic  oppression of citizens to a scale never seen before in (recorded)  history.

This is not a symbol of “evil” —

a a highclere

It’s actually a symbol of achievement, and of a society in which the various social classes  had a working relationship – employer and employees.    Some of you will recognize this structure as Highclere Castle,   the home of George Herbert,  Lord Carnarvon,  who discovered King Tut’s tomb, so to speak,  and which was also the setting for Downton Abbey.

And so  we learned there were more issues that went on above and beyond the employment of 60 or 80 or 100 people who would otherwise be destitute.    There were issues of social change.

There is a connection between the death of my particular family member and the residents of this castle during the time of Downton Abbey.    The connection is all the social changes that  both  a real person  and fictional characters experienced.

As it turns out,  the social changes in this clueless, soul-less century did not come about naturally,  but were imposed from outside each society by those looking for power.   I like to read about this post WWI era because the radical social changes then were every bit as shocking and unnatural as the social changes imposed upon the world I grew up in, social changes which plummeted Civilization the rest of the way down those stairs.

As a young teenager I asked the same questions as the fictional servants asked of their world.     “Why is this happening?”    “It makes no common sense.”    “People are getting hurt.”   “Why is there so much social unrest?”

So let me quote Daisy,  the young kitchen helper at Downton Abbey:   She said:  “It’s the way of the modern world.   If more and more of us protest,  then things will change, won’t they.”   

Protest for the sake of change.   Change for the sake of change.

It’s what my almost-hundred year old family member saw in its first stages.   It’s what I saw in the ending stage.

a power fight

Although good social changes were already occurring naturally,  certain elements saw their opportunity and imposed their slogans and their methods onto some people, and produced revolutionary changes to their own liking.

“Power to the People!”

And when it was done,   Power was exerted in the name of the People:

a army

Once the people were stirred up with slogans,  and marched to create a new social order,   that’s exactly what they got.   A new social order of imposed social changes.

A new social order, a People’s government;  a People’s republic –

a chinese army

Those “useful idiots,”  as Lenin called them had served their purpose  —

a rev dead

Today,  social order is not  often imposed through rioting and revolution,  but gradually, slowly, softly through the means of programming,  conformity, political correctness, authoritative watchfulness of ubiquitous surveillance,  fear,   quietly herded into the proper direction through unlimited rules and  regulations.

The servants tried to make sense of why the majority of people were allowing this to happen.   I wondered why my parents’ generation were allowing this to happen.

It looked like everything had come apart.   Society had lost its mooring and didn’t know where to turn for answers.   People were conveniently  told there were no answers,  no objective truth that applied to all mankind, no natural law, no divine law that made us all equals.     An immoral,  uneducated self-referencing populace is so easy to control.  Convenient, and oh, so clever.

Behind the changes was not the guidance of a loving Creator,  but the subtle hand of imposed social and political changes.    A “hand”  that killed more than a hundred million of its own citizens worldwide in the process of “social change.”

In that coffin,  almost a hundred years of life that witnessed  almost a hundred years of godless change.

Many complex and variegated memories.

There is a lot to mourn for today, as we attempt to rebuild . . . .

SIC TRANSIT GLORIA AVUM

July 5, 2015

“SIC TRANSIT”   —  (So passes….)       I wrote about my baby cardinals nesting on my front porch light (“Henpecked”),  from their hatching to their sudden going away;    going on to a presumably happy adult cardinal life.

Bluebird  I’ve been watching another nesting family just ten feet outside my front door, in a birdhouse in a small tree.    I’m fairly sure this was an Eastern Bluebird.  The blue wings were s shimmering blue,  very pretty in the sunlight.   Her eyes, seen through binoculars, were larger than expected and quite vigilant.   She was busy and attentive and faithful to her eggs and then to her hungry babies.

By the end of a few weeks I was really rooting for these little ones.

During these weeks we had Midsummer, the celebration of the Summer Solstice,  when the sun ceases to “move” northward and begins its southward “journey” away from us in the Northern hemisphere, a movement which will eventually bring the longest, darkest days.

My Scandinavian heritage makes me very aware of this time of year.

Bonfire

Bonfires were lit (for various reasons,  depending upon myths and legends)   My Grandma’s Finnish word for this is kokko, with the K’s sounding more like a hard g sound.      I remember this time of year as a time of fun outdoors in the dark,  with roasting potatoes, hot dogs, and marshmallows in the little family fires dotted all around the main bonfire.

By the time I was young,  the bonfire had drifted later to coincide with the Fourth of July —  but the meaning was the same.:  The Year Is Dying!     From now on the days will become shorter, with respect to the amount of daylight.   I don’t believe in evil spirits, witches or dragons  (well, maybe dragons;  who knows?) that rule this darker half of the year,  but the darker things of life must be accounted to.

SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDUM

That’s the common Roman phrase.   No matter how much we achieve in this life, the glory of the world will  “pass away”  with our own passing.  Our lives, like each year,   reaches a glorious climax with warmth and sun,  but then turns the corner at the Solstice and approaches its own deep darkness of winter’s death.

Sir Walter Scott once wrote:

               And come he slow, or come he fast,

               It is but Death who comes at last.

No, that doesn’t have to be gloomy!   It doesn’t even have to be scary.   It is the way of all things.  We all have a cycle.

My thought is:   There is a world beyond, so live now in the company of those who live in which  “world”  you would want to live in forever.         (As you can see,  I am no Sir Walter Scott with a poetic tongue.)

Let me try it again:   If you want to live forever with the God of Peace and Love and Beauty and Safety,  then live with Him here,  now.      If you don’t care about Him now,   then you certainly won’t live with Him then.

SIC TRANSIT GLORIA AVUM

Avum:  the birds.   I came home one day to notice more debris on the bricks in front of my porch, and thought   “I’ll have to sweep those bricks again soon!”

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But there was something “colorful”  about that debris —

Upon closer inspection:

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Small blue feathers were scattered all over.   Too soon for molting.   This is a sign of tragedy.    Death to the little birds before they even had a chance to finish their little lives.

So soon their little lives “passed.”

In their place,  an empty hole —

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That was their home.   For such a little while I watched that birdhouse swing with activity when Mama came home to feed the babies and when the babies got big enough to make it swing by themselves.

It feels “empty”  around here.      Empty-Gone.

Humans have always known that our lives are short and we are all just passing through.     When the elderly Patriarch Jacob met the great Pharaoh of Joseph’s time,   the Pharaoh asked him:  “How old are you?!” 

Jacob replied:  “The days of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years . . .”   (Genesis 47:9)     Pilgrimage through life.  Sojourning.   Traveling.   Passing through life.

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We’re all    “transiting.”      There is much to enjoy here, birdwatching and bonfires,   but we enjoy such things as we pass by, watching “out the window”  as the vehicle of Time carries us on to the next world — a happy place for those who serve the King who is waiting for us.