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Posts Tagged ‘#blessingsandcurses’

handsNot long after moving into our home we decided to create extra parking to the side of our driveway. A kind-hearted, gentle man of great experience assisted hubby in preparing the space for the scheduled arrival of concrete. After the cement was poured and levelled, our favourite three, quite literally, left their mark on the space.

Hands are most interesting parts of our bodies. They can be tools of love as well as violence. They are unique in their lines and creases. They are gentle, yet strong. They can be used in the function of the strongest tools, and yet wipe a tear from a loved one with the greatest of tenderness. They are used every day, often without a pain or ache … until the fatigue and overuse of years takes place.

In the Bible, Isaiah says, of the holy city (both on Earth, and in the life to come):

“Jerusalem, I can never forget you!
I have written your name on the palms of my hands. ”
Isaiah 49:16

According to the University of Michigan:

“The hand is the most frequently symbolized part of the human body. It gives blessing, it is expressive. According to Aristotle, the hand is the “tool of tools.” … The right and left have different symbols related to each: right – the rational, conscious and logical, as well as aggressive and axious, left – opposite of the right, weakness, decay, death. However, the two can be juxtaposed to symbolize balance and the middle.”

Balance …

I could use some of that! How about you?

Though we may be either left or right handed, we function best when we use both. We function best when both strengths and weaknesses come together, to bring balance … for life is not meant to be lived always on the mountaintop, always in the sun, always in happiness.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has said, “into each life some rain must fall”. This is what  balance truly is … maybe not the balance we always desire, but balance nonetheless.

Our hands can be representative of that real balance. the blessings and the curses that are part of real life. They work (literally) hand-in-hand, bringing a complete life.

Those curses, those valleys, have purpose in our lives.

I have learned that when in the depths of despair, the question is not why did this happen? but what do I need to learn? And learn I do, and learn we all do.

May we learn to look for purpose in whatever falls into each of our lives, into each of our hands. For through both we receive balance.

 

 

 

 

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I cannot even remember how we discovered it, but my first view of it will stay with me always.

On a sunny springtime day, peeking through the floorboards of our second story deck, at three perfect blue robin eggs, snug in their nest.

The only thing better than seeing them, was watching and listening to our kids as they caught their first glimpses of the little bird family.

The momma robin hovered in and around, under and over her littles, constantly reminding us of her protective maternal presence. We tried to give her space in her season of nesting, though the temptation to peek at the progress of the eggs was near impossible for our family of five.

We scanned the internet for information pertaining to the gestation of robin eggs.

What we didn’t read about, were not prepared for, was the sad day that started with a fluttering, squaring momma robin, fighting off the evil Steller Jay.

I remember our animal-loving daughter coming into the kitchen after standing on the deck and giving heck to the Jay, in support of the robin family … now reduced to one whole egg and two mounds of shells.

Then, when the school day came to an end, and our kids went out to look through the floorboards, anger mixed with sorrow, as the realization that the jay had gotten number three.

Our anticipated joy in nature halted by … nature.

This well-feathered story makes me think of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes:

There’s … a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.”

I do not always appreciate how life goes. Yet, when I look back I see that the hardships, the sorrows and the defeats are intermixed with the delights, the joys, the wins.

Last week, fifteen or so years later, we made an unexpected discovery … a perfectly constructed nest, nestled into one of my hanging planters. Inside were four eggs, white with reddish spots.

IMG_2098.JPG

The tiny little momma bird was vigilant in staying with her family, with short jaunts out of the nest to care for herself and check the premises for enemies.

As I led a friend to the nest, earlier this week, my heart sunk as there were no eggs. Instead there were … feathers. As I moved the leaf on a plant I saw four eager, wide opened beaks opened up as high as they could reach.

Now there’s still a neighbour cat who is thinking that we are providing fast, feathered food. So the threat of nature is still in the air.
the threat of nature is always in the air

But, maybe this is a time for birth, a time for life.

birds

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