Rosa's Blog


from Rosa

January 21, 2021

Not Yet and Soon and Very Soon


Dearest Holy Comforter Family,

You might recall that December 31st was a grey, chilly, blustery day. I’m not sure exactly why, but for days, I had found myself struggling with inertia—that sense of energy-less-ness that takes hold and makes getting through the day like navigating in a river of molasses. That makes me ask, “why bother?” I missed the regular rhythms of life before the pandemic. Somehow my father’s death has left me feeling not exactly adrift, but not as rooted as I’d felt before. I realize now that even late in life, having a parent you know you can turn to for company, for guidance, for remembering, is reassuring and grounding in a way little else is. I was feeling his absence more than usual that day. Some good friends who’ve spent New Year’s Eve with us here at the farm most years since we moved to Alabama had asked to come as usual. We had to find the way to say as graciously as we could, “not this year;” it was the right decision but it left me feeling like a grinch. In short, I had a good case of what Sherod calls “The Mulygrubbies.”

I couldn’t wish that blue funk away. I couldn’t make the sun shine and the cold north wind die down. I couldn’t turn back time and bypass this season of pandemic altogether like I would have wanted to.  What I did do was reach out to a wise friend who listened to my whining for a bit and then asked, “so what can you do?”

I thought about that for a bit and remembered I had ordered and received a couple of bags-full of Dutch iris bulbs. It struck me that the most hopeful thing I could do that day was bundle up enough to go out and plant those 80 or so bulbs. There was even an ideal place to plant them. Earlier in the fall, when Storm Sally blew through our area, it knocked over a very large, beautiful old pine tree in our front yard. The debris of that beautiful tree had since been carried away and there was a patch of earth loose and perfect for planting something else.  Sherod helped me get started and then left me to get the work done. About an hour later, all the bulbs were in the ground, covered and prayed over. I go out daily and check on the patch.


The new growth has not yet pushed through the earth and yet I know that soon, very soon, it will. In an eyeblink, spring will arrive and the beauty of the irises in bloom will take my breath away. In one way, it wasn’t possible to force all the hard things facing me on New Year’s Eve to ‘go away.’ No denying them either. All there could be was one small act of hope in defiance of despair. Turns out, that for that day, it was enough, and in the days that have followed, having planted those bulbs has continued to make my life just a tiny bit better by helping me focus on good things yet to come.

We are being told there will continue to be very grim days ahead with COVID-19. We’ve even been told it will probably get worse before it gets better. Perhaps more than ever, we will need to help each other to practice hope. How might we find ways to do that? I invite you to consider a small ‘Epiphany discipline’ of bringing hope to others. By God’s grace, that practice of hope will transform the despair into new moments of unexpected goodness and light. May it be so for us all…


With prayers for the blessing of acts of defiant hope, Rosa+

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