This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, March 11, 2022
This week I did a wild and crazy thing: I opened a window. For someone who’s known to wear a blanket with sleeves (poncho or cape) well into April, the welcoming of cooler air is also a rare thing. I’m often cold and don’t like to be, but in this week, in these weeks with a new realm of heart-wrenching global news, I had this strong longing to hear the bird song, without glass to muffle. There’s something about the clarity of their calls, reminding me of seasons and creatures that press on, that needed to come unimpeded right now. So, even on a day hovering at zero, with low and thick clouds and snow in the forecast, I opened a window. With my mother’s frugal voice in the back of my mind (“let’s not heat the outdoors please”), I turned down the furnace, moved orchids away from the draft, eased open the pane nearest my desk, and felt the fresh breeze carry in the purest notes of spring.
If you think I’m jumping ahead in the seasons, that may be so. I’m usually the first to say that March is temperamental, and seems to always bring at least one tease of spring before another last flurry or two. I’m okay with that. For now, at least, I can revel in what I love most about these days: reminders. They’re the good kind of reminders, that rise above the nagging repeats of all that feels wrong and hard. They call us forward, beyond the persistent grey of the weather, through the painful black of the wars. They sing, with plaintive awareness, that life is such a tricky balance of emotions. Maybe it doesn’t feel very balanced at all right now, as so much is shifting so quickly – and yet somehow we’re finding our way through; or we will.
And so it is that this week, this second Sunday in Lent, we’ll be thinking about the sacred environments in which we can learn and grow, as disciples, and even as apostles. Followers, students, leaders, mentors: we’re all called to move in and out of fluid space, fluid identities even; to remain open to the many, many contexts in which God teaches. As unpredictable as it all may seem sometimes, there can be a certainty and strength, to rest in Holy Mystery as our faithful guide. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to the birdsong so powerfully right now. It’s the singer as much as the song. It’s the beautiful herald of light’s steady overtaking, of warmth’s return. I know that things will shift again, in time, but for now, for this time, I can bask in the clear, persistent reminder of hope, amid it all.
With love to you all,
“I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.”
(C.S. Lewis, ‘What the Bird Said Early in the Year’)