Ordinary time

On Friday night, we had a mixed bag of frozen slop falling from the sky, the kind that starts with a whisper of snow, a glittering gauze that coats the grass, twinkling a teasing promise of a wondrously white morning.

Naturally, yesterday morning, a night’s worth of freezing rain and sleet had turned that tantalizing snow into a torment of dirty tan slush.  It’s the kind of mess that even Smudgie, who is an avowed mud enthusiast, avoids unless he absolutely must answer a call of nature.  Bugaboo slouched out of the girls’ room, somewhat indifferently asked permission to watch her usual Saturday morning cartoons, but really didn’t smile, even when informed that her favorite cartoon, Penguins of Madagascar, was airing.  There’s a special kind of disappointment, I think, that comes with being very young and not having snow in the morning when it seems the heavens made you a pinkie promise the night before.

I was puttering around in the kitchen, and my mopey daughter meandered in to see if there might be a waffle to be had.  There was, and she fidgeted disconsolately in her chair while waiting for it to pop out of the toaster (I can cook anything she could possibly want, but she has a predilection for Eggos, preferably the strawberry or chocolate chip kind).  Casting about for something to brighten her day, I happened to look out the front window, and stopped to revel in the sight of true beauty.

We have young fruit trees.  One of them has some high, slender branches that are visible through the window above our front door.  Yesterday morning, by the pale grey cloudlight of a rainy winter morning, those branches looked as though God Himself had dipped them in opalescent glass, then hung them there in perfect frozen arcs.

I pointed them out to Bugaboo.  We shared a moment of wonder, my four-year-old daughter and I, staring out that a piece of brilliant artistry that made our recently stowed Christmas lights look almost tawdry by comparison.  After a silent minute or two, she breathed, barely audibly, “It’s beautiful!”

She smiled as she ate her waffle, and almost skipped into the living room to enjoy the rest of her television time, singing the themes to her favorite shows.  I remembered our parish priest’s homily from Sunday, that between Christmas and Lent is the season known as Ordinary Time, but that the name should not lull us into believing that God is any less present.  He is there in the ordinary, everyday things and tasks, if we but take the time to see His hand and hear His voice.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, You are present in all things at all times.  Please remind me that wherever in Your creation I may seek You, I will find You, if I look honestly.  Thank You for the moments of beauty, moments when I can see what You made with clear eyes, and thank You for little blessings with whom to share wonder of them.



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