Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fireweed is blooming

Miss Mona sez:

For Alaskans, fireweed is the indicator of the beginning of the end of summer. Traditionally you have 6 wks after the fireweed blossoms are open all the way to the top before first snow. It is not an exact science, it is folklore, so it is just an indicator. A warning to prepare for what is coming soon.
We begin the process, if we are wise. Check the snow tires to see if they have another winter in them. Do the kids' boots still fit. Do we need a new snowshovel. Is this the year we buy a snowblower. Who will plow the driveway this year. Clean up the yard, mulch and mow and get the garden ready for winter. Plant fall bulbs, Put the boat away and dig out the snow skis. Clean the garage. Is there enough for a yard sale or do we donate?
Every winter, year after year, it always comes. Can't ignore it, it won't go away.

In my spirit, it feels like the fireweed is blooming. There is a stirring, a something that says we have to get ready. Change is coming to this country, this world. The sun is setting a little earlier each day and I feel the coming darkness down deep in my bones. It feels like a spiritual winter is almost upon us and I find myself praying for wisdom, for revelation, for the strategy of preparation. Alaskan winter I understand, but this thing is different. I am unsure of the process. I feel like a cheechako, new to the territory. Torn between ridiculous overpreparation and denial.

I am not afraid, not really. Well, maybe a little. It is the unknown and I am trying to be wise.
I spend too much time alone these days. A solitary Christian is vulnerable in ways that are not an issue when you are in fellowship. It is easy to get out of balance.

It has been most of a year since I have "gone to church." Caring for Mom who is unable to leave the house has kept me here alone. Bill goes, he is on the worship team, and I stay home. Don't get me wrong, he has offered to trade and I have said no. I have a weekly group of friends that I meet with, we share, we pray. That has been my church. I built it out of need. That is what I do. He does not have that drive to build his own church and so must go where one already exists.
When he is home, we are generally on opposite ends of the house, one with Mom, one doing other things. The room is too small for us all and the chairs not really made for his size and his injuries, so I do most of the care. I do it willingly, I do it from love of Mom and my husband. I have the skills and I use them.

My point in this is that I am limited in what I can do in response to that inner urging to be ready. I am an ant, not a grasshopper- I believe in working for what you need. I like the storing up for the winter philosophy, a full pantry makes me feel safe and ready. I like extra socks and blankets, a little something put by for a rainy day.

And yet the Spirit says to me, "Be still."


I have no real idea who I write this all to. I know there are a few people who read it now and again and I appreciate that. But I really don't know where this is supposed to go. Lives are so busy and full, so many demands on each of us.

Caring for someone who is dying is an interesting place to be. Watching as her life has dissolved to the current level and the tenacity with which she fights to hold onto the shreds of it that are left. It makes me wonder what I will be like when my time comes. Will I "not go gently into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light"? Or will I be "Gladly I lived and gladly I die and I lay me down with a will!"

And the fireweed is blooming, halfway up the stalk.

Loving you!

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