Sunday, February 26, 2012

What Secret Purple Wisdom

 This photo is Samantha Rose out crunching in the snowy yard just yesterday evening.  I see myself there.  I am a little pilgrim stepping quite slowly, going forward on faith's journey.
For A Pause in Lent, Floss and Angela have proposed a focus on the Cardinal Virtues. 
artwork link

 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.


Fat Dormouse said...

What a beautiful poem. It deserves much thought and meditation (I nearly typed medication!!) - more than I can give it today - but I shall be back to savour it again.

Lisa Richards said...

Thanks for this post,Pom Pom. I've always attended non-denominational churches, and though I love the feeling of freedom there, I think I've missed out on some of the celebrations (is that the right word?)such as Lent that I find so mysterious. Some of the feasts and celebrations of the Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans, for instance, add so much color and texture to our faith. They give some guidance to our worship and to our path of faith throughout life, whereas the churches I've attended kind of leave you to your own devices. I would love to read "Way of the Ascetics". It looks intriguing! :)
Enjoy your Lenten pursuits!

Angela said...

A lovely post, PP - thank you xx

hazelnut said...

I think I would like to read the Ascetics book too.
The poem says so much about the relationship between God and Nature. It expresses a particular understanding which really, really chimes with me...
Thanks for posting.
I'm glad there's a Pom Pom in the world!!!
Bloggy - hug,

wayside wanderer said...

Love that picture of your sweet journeying Samantha Rose. What a cutie and such a beautiful picture of venturing into the unknown.

Lisa Richards said...

"Way of the Ascetics" is available online as a PDF file at:

magsmcc said...

I'm amazed at the bit about the church. My Lent path is leading towards a new way of seeing, and it very quickly and very authoratively included the church. So this is a very powerful post for me, Pom. That bit is being copied straight into my Lent journal!

libbyquilter said...

" . . . what silver sound thaws winter into spring?"
such a beautiful line.
i too have been enjoying the lambing at Gumbo Lily's.


Farm Girl said...

I always enjoy reading what you are thinking about and I like seeing what you see. I love that you share your prayers and they remind me I am a sheep too.
I have been taking care of my sons children as their Momma is having false alarms. I have been rummy in my mind for weeks it feels like.
I am so glad you shared today because this morning as I picked up my devotionals I thought in my mind,
Oh Lord, I am very empty right now.
I am glad you share because it does help me so much.
A new baby will be here soon. :) What is better than that?

Gumbo Lily said...

As I tend to the sheep and the lambs, I am always humbled and reminded of how similar we are to sheep. All individuals, but all one flock. We trust the shepherd to do what's best for us.

Blessed Lent, dear friend.

ann said...

I hope the Willows love Ireland.

Catherine said...

I love your new made-up Lenten cross Pom Pom..just perfect, a pencil & a wooden peg. Yes it'll be valour here thank you very much. Looking at all that snow it may indeed be the solution to hang your washing out at my any more pegs? x0x0x

Gigi said...

Beautiful poem -- must look up the book! And good for you being so disciplined in the early hours - something I struggle with ;(.


Betty said...

I like your cross, I think I will make one from the woods. Lovely post and I am feeling very much like a woolly sheep today, feeling led and fed by the Pause in Lent posts of all my blogging friends.

Jane and Chris said...

What a beautiful poem.Thank you for sharing it and enriching my day.
Jane x

Sara said...

Beautiful, beautiful, and I needed this today. You are a blessing. Thank you.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Beautiful poem, beautiful post!

Thank you for all the Lenten reading ideas.


The dB family said...

Such wonderful words. I did pause -- to think and to remember. I am going to copy out that poem. It is so worth more thinking about and re-reading.