For A Pause in Lent, Floss and Angela have proposed a focus on the Cardinal Virtues.
At the beginning of the list is valor: the pursuit of knowledge (that's how Americans spell valor where elsewhere it is spelled valour).
I find the pursuit of knowledge extremely creative. Just this morning I padded down to my work room and gathered a sampling of books I'd like to dabble in for Lent.
The more I learn about literacy and engaging in learning, the better I feel about my own gathering of sources and my random attention to them. Miraculously, there is always a common thread, a sweet "ah ha" found in my collections of words. A faith builder, for sure.
Above is the cross I made this morning. Standing near the work table, close to the scissors resting on my ironing board and few steps away from my yarn stash, I created a cross from a nice fat pencil and a clothes pin. I wound them together with an earthy fiber. It is my Lent cross.
Then I read this:
"Therefore use all that is of earth as a staff of remembrance on your troublesome wandering along the narrow way. May the whiteness of the snow and the blue of the heavens, the jeweled eye of the fly and the scorching of the flame, and all of creation that meets your senses, remind you of your Creator; but make use especially of what the Church offers you to help you yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." The Way of the Ascetics, Tito Colliander
In my copy of The Book of Common Prayer pictured above I pull out "let each one find you mighty to save".
This morning as we sat in our green chairs, drinking our morning coffee, talking and praying Bill prayed, "remind me I am a sheep." It's lambing time at Gumbo Lily's and this is my third blog year, joining her as she gleans the pure and earth-close wisdom from the ewes and the babies. More of my Shepherd-given journey knowledge.
My newest book, fat and full, invites deep and quiet pondering. Still thoughts. WORD gifts.
In the book I find Luci Shaw's poem:
What Secret Purple Wisdom
What word informs the world,
and moves the worm along in his blind tunnel?
What secret purple wisdom tells the iris edges
to unfold in frills? What juiced and emerald thrill
urges the sap until the bud resolves
its tight riddle? What irresistible command
unfurls this cloud above this greening hill,
or one more wave - its spreading foam and foil-
across the flats of sand? What minor thrust
of energy issues up from humus in a froth
of ferns? Delicate as a laser, it filigrees
the snow, the stars. Listen close - What silver sound
thaws winter into spring? Speaks clamor into singing?
Gives love for loneliness? It is this
unterrestrial pulse, deep as heaven, that folds us in its tingling embrace, gongs in our echo hearts.
(From The Angles of Light, Shaw Books, 2000, 27)
This year, in this season of Lent, I will read. I will create. I will follow my Shepherd.