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Posts Tagged ‘Grandmother’

Spring in the Bronx

Spring is sprung,
Duh grass is riz;
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Dey say duh boid is on duh wing:
But dat’s absoid!
Duh wing is on duh boid!
Anonymous

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, 2013!

When I read the words to the above poem, I read them hearing the voice (and accent) of Archie Bunker!

I used to hear this poem from various relatives when I was a child. Sometimes, though, instead of reciting “I wonder where dem boidies is” I would hear, “I wonder where dem flowers is?” This was perhaps because I grew up in the Northeast, where “dem flowers” were still buried by many feet of snow on the first day of spring.

hyacinthFor my adult years spring is not marked by a date on the calendar, but by the presence of planted bulbs in pots at the grocery store.

As an adult, a planted hyacinth was often the gift of my maternal grandmother, Nanny. It was always purple (even though the color could barely be discerned when she purchased it), her favorite color. It was always a strong, heady scent that emerged, almost before it bloomed.

That scent, the perfume of the hyacinth flower says, ‘spring’ to my soul.

As a child it was the scent of mud that said spring to me. The winter’s snow would melt, allowing the warming sun to thaw the frozen earth. It would soften and cake our boots and shoes, causing the most ‘earthy’ scent to rise to our nostrils. Causing our thoughts to drift to warmer days, warmer activities.

This new sign of spring, that of the hyacinth scent, also takes me to warmer thoughts. Thoughts from my childhood days with my grandmother. Thoughts of taking a city bus from her home into town, to shop, and always to have lunch in a cafeteria. Thoughts of picking raspberries with her, then we would take them to her kitchen where she would make a pie from them … she made the best raspberry pie! Thoughts of her nodding off in her chair, crossword in hand, game show on the telly. Thoughts of her visiting when our oldest was still a preschooler, sitting snugly beside her, as my grandmother read her a story from a picture book … my grandmother with an uncompleted grammar school education. Thoughts of her faded Scottish brogue. Thoughts of her giggle.

The first signs of spring, the flowers in the pots, don’t take me forward to spring, they take me back, to the loving relationship I had with my Nanny.

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“A Billion Act of Green”

This is the campaign theme for Earth Day, to be celebrated, tomorrow, around the world. I believe it has been celebrated, annually, since 1970 … that’s a l o n g time … it’s only a year younger than me! (and I’m archaic)

Tomorrow is also Good Friday, certainly one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar. It is celebrated around the world, annually, since … hum, thousands of years ago (it kinda makes me feel young again).

Two important celebrations, both on the same day … very interesting …

This post began when I was perusing my calendar, wondering what I had forgotten to do, where I had forgotten to go … yesterday! I tend to be a ‘bit’ (ha! ha! ha!) of a procrastinator (can we say, understatement?). And I noticed that Good Friday and Earth Day were both on the same, April 22, 2011 date. And I thought … how odd.

But is it odd? Is it wrong? Is it contrast? I don’t think so.

As a Christian, and especially, as one who loves the wonder of the created, I can relate to a respecting of our Earth, and it’s resources. I understand the value of conservation. I value, and enjoy green! I love green so much that I just let the moss cover my lawn (I live in a rainforest … if it hints it might be a fungus … not fun guy … it grows … everywhere!). It is green in the driest drought, it never needs to be watered, and is always soft on my tootsies! But, I digress.

There are so many experts out there … on both issues. But I think I know someone who knew far more about being ‘green’ and being ‘Christian’ … my grandmother.

Now she was no activist, nor did she contribute her hard earned quilting money to environmental groups, nor did she ‘buy green’ (for that matter she didn’t buy greens either … she grew them!). But she was one who understood what it was to conserve.

I don’t know if she ever used the word ‘sustainability’, or, for that matter, I do not know if she would have known what it meant. What she did understand, very well, was stewardship.

I think she is my greatest life model of both, and environmentalist, and a Christian. She was amazing at making something out of nothing, whether it was food, or clothing or home decor. But she did what she did, first out of necessity, but also out of moral responsibility. But her moral responsibility came, not from a love for the Earth, but for it’s Creator.

To be a good steward, for her, was to use the resources that God gave her in a responsible and God-honoring manner. She didn’t need a someone who held a placard telling her to take care of our future, she just DID IT, because, as a Christian, that was the right thing to do.

Maybe, if our Earth were ‘littered’ with people who acted out of a love for the Earth’s Creator, then the Earth, and all it’s inhabitants, would have a brighter future?

Just sayin’…

This is my Father’s world,
oh let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
the battle is not done.
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied
and earth and heaven be one

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