She grew up in a hive, a vast, endeavoring conglomeration that stretched from here to there and beyond. The scope of its distance was too far to see. The wealth of effort and sacrifice and unappreciated toil encompassed not only her lifetime but lifetimes before hers – each life, comparatively short., but the lifetimes together stretched into eons. The hive surged with effort; effort of mothers, of fathers, of brothers, sisters, of husbands, of wives, of soldiers and drones. And though it was true, there was a bounty of sweetness, every day demanded more. In trying to calculate how she could escape and still remain faithful, useful, loyal and loved, she failed. She wasn’t good at math and the formula to keep her wings a flutter seemed beyond her capacity to sustain. The hive was a place where enough was never enough and she grieved at her lack. Stepping out of the hive wasn’t her idea. Indeed she would have never gone if she hadn’t been pushed. The miracle of her exit remains. She is grateful and ambivalent. The hive had clear and precise measurements. This equals that. That equals this. Outside the hive the measurements were all askew, up for grabs. What was she worth outside of the hive? Some days her life looked like honey. Some days it looked like sloth.
On the Hunt
He looked everywhere. He has looked to the skies, in nature, in power, in relationships, in success, in symbols and dreams and stories and song. Indeed, so fervent is he in his hunting he has almost silenced the small inner voice that has been trying to tell him all along what it is he’s hunting for. C.S. Lewis was right (of course) when he said in The Weight of Glory, “Almost our whole education has been directed to silencing this shy, persistent, inner voice; almost all our modern philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth…”
What’s not in the picture is Mother. But she’s here just beyond the rise. We know this by the circular tracks. Mother doesn’t like backing up. She’s often said so. To make sure we all got it, she looped the house in a dirt drive and managed the weeds by gunning the engine of the old black Ford. When she and dad fought, she’d hop in the Ford and take it for a spin. Their circular rants became habitual.
Even when Dad was gone, she’d hop in behind the wheel and gun the engine. Next thing she knew she’d be moving with simulated progress. But her forward momentum curved back on itself the minute it threatened to carve a new track. Once she wearied, we’d hear her skid to a halt and the protest of the emergency brake.
Nothing grew where the tires spun. That suited us kids because we’d already ran out of water hose. Her daily jaunts around the driveway kept her occupied, preventing her from sticking any more plants in the ground. Even so, you need to know Mother like we know Mother. Once you hear the story about the tree she planted on the roof, you’ll know Mother.
The idea evolved on the day the old car died and Mother kept living; a hot day. Every garden hose had a job. The white pine she bought on sale at WalMart in the 5-gal tub was busting its tin seams. Mother glared at that hot roof. She knew she could toss a pot of water up there with the muscles she’d developed yanking on that brake, so she went for it. After gathering a load of dirt, she hauled it up a ladder, one rung at a time, and planted that pine. That’s Mother. We think she’s brilliant and now you know she’s brilliant too.
I have the right to listen to the ravens, to hear the story being told by all of creation. I have the right to repeat creation’s story, to speak my own language, to keep my eyes open, to judge my intentions, to cherish freedom, to stand against evil, to sit in solitude, to sing in community, to be amazed at children, to be in awe of the elderly, to walk around flowers, to crush cruelty, to cling to my destiny, to bestow charity upon the poor, to bring comfort to the dying, to seek reconciliation with my enemies and pardon for my thoughtlessness. I have the right to speak the truth, admit my confusion, strive for simplicity and demand protection for the weak and failing. I have the right to refuse the shame of my need and my pain and the freedom to live with an eye toward the dignity bestowed upon me by my Creator.
Today I suggest you might consider which idealogical Group you would most like to be a heretic among and image the kind of bouquet you might bring to the gathering. Though an assortment of flowers is a possibility and not a bad one, there are other bouquets as well. What kind of bouquet would compell those at odds with your ideaology?
Os Guiness speaks about freedom, virtue and faith. Very Very