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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

yellow crocuses

Faith that, come spring, there will be yellow crocuses.

Somewhere buried under the snow are small brown bulbs encased in the frozen earth.  Planted in an act of faith, trusting that after winter, spring will come, as it has come for millenia.

They were planted trusting that the soil will warm again and green shoots will emerge from seemingly lifeless bulbs.

Planted in faith that after a dark winter, the days will get longer and the sun warmer.

Faith that reminds us that even in darkness, there is light.  And that light will overcome the darkness.

And in faith that, come spring, there will be yellow crocuses.

 

 

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Society’s alarm bells

red squirrel

Squirrels act as nature’s alarms.

Squirrels in the forest chatter and scold if they see a problem. They act as nature’s alarm bells. Today I met one of society’s alarm bells: a woman who scolded and nagged non-stop at me about accessibility problems for people with physical disabilities. She was deeply passionate about the issue, and I could see how she might annoy administrators and politicians.

In just 20 minutes of listening – I couldn’t get a word in – I learned about the challenges of getting to work from outside the city on our commuter train. I hadn’t quite realised that when someone with a disability gets off the accessible commuter train or subway downtown they are on their own, unless they are lucky enough to wait on a street corner for our para-transit service, assuming their train was not delayed.  Many struggle with streetcar stairs and impossibly long walks to get to work.

In one case, staff located at a building near a subway station were moved to a building a 20 minute streetcar ride away. The commute is now hugely challenging for those who cannot manage the streetcar stairs.

Like a squirrel in the forest, this woman acts as one of society’s alarm bells. Someone who gets right in our face and demands answers. And we need people like her. People who scold and push and insist that we are not doing enough for accessibility, or homelessness, or food security, poverty, special education …

Through them God works for change in our world.

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When I see the muted colours of autumn I imagine God’s paintbrush making the first rough brush strokes of next year’s glorious painting.

The promise of new creation is written in muted tones, browns and greys and somber greens.  And if you look very closely there is wondrous beauty hidden here, in the last remnants of autumn.

Dead flower head

Tiny white fringes like miniature ruffles on a pixie’s ball gown.

A dead flower head reveals hundreds of tiny white fringes like miniature ruffles on a pixie’s ball gown. In the centre, a few black seeds are left behind.

Awesome tiny seeds that are poised to scatter on the frozen ground in the next north wind, survive the deep cold and miraculously come to life as new green shoots in spring.

There is both beauty and hope in these dried husks, a season’s end and the promise of resurrection.

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