Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days in January that we have had for a long time, with the sun so brilliant that if one didn't have the luxury of weather forecasting, would not have anticipated the storm ahead. This morning, as I write this post, there is a thin blanket of snow outside, one that is due to dissipate by afternoon when the temperatures are expected to climb to the forties. It is that way with life, always having the unexpected storm which lies ahead.
My youngest grandchild, Ryan and I enjoyed our walk yesterday, after bundling him well in the carriage, alongside his home. It was so peaceful in the wood, a road less travelled. We experienced the sounds that I love best, the peaceful sound of the many running brooks visable from the side of the road, having also heard many tweets from the various birds inhabitating the area. Ryan loves to observe all things and is as quiet as a mouse the entire time. I used to take Nathan around my neighborhood when he was little, but now, is all grown up at six and going to school. Nathan always wanted to see water drains and flags. Ryan loves to see doggies. A beautiful dog unrestrained, walked part way with us and Ryan was in his glory making noises that only dogs would understand.
Later, Nathan was greeted at the bus by his parents who planned it as a birthday surprise. Ryan, waiting at the door, was so excited to see his brother running up the driveway. He probably had been waiting for him all day. His mom, in her capacity at work, has the ability to be flexible with schedules and sometimes even works at home. Dad had his usual day off, Wednesday, like golfers. I enjoyed watching him open his birthday gifts, ones that Santa forgot to bring him on Christmas, Nate thought. They are very lucky boys being raised in a beautiful loving family. A road less travelled today. I am glad to have had the opportunity to be with them, on Nate's "special" day.
Ryan cried at the door looking out as I left to go home, as he has done in the past. Driving home, I thought about the many days ahead, that spring-like, we will go for many more carriage rides. As I drove on the road, less travelled, I thought about my own life. I had always been a person that did not do what was popular, and followed the narrow path, which led me to become Orthodox in my late thirties.
Orthodoxy, is my way of life. It is the road less travelled, one of peacefulness and gladness, and joy unspeakable, where there is so much love and hope. The Orthodox life is like the springs we saw from the road yesterday, sometimes having a little ice around the edges, but steams flowing evenso with the sun resting upon your head, crisp and clean. A refuge, amongst the throngs of life, and a refreshment for the weary traveller who is on the road less travelled. It is not the popular faith here, as in the world, yet. Numbers mean little to me.
I think it will be an early spring, I think...yet, somehow spring is always within me, an eternal spring.
The words of Jesus, taken from the The Orthodox Study Bible, (John 4:14)says... "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
Life depends on water. The quality of water determines your wholesomeness. This is the month we talk about the Baptism, and although there is a physical manifestation of water present, what happens is much deeper than the ocean. We are raised to "newness of life" our life in Christ, a "new birth" to a life totally intimate and a continuous communion with our God.
It is a rite of passage, given by Christ to the Church, as an entrance into the Kingdom of God and eternal life, having died to our former self, we are transformed and united to Christ, that we may have life though Him.
I wonder if the kings hat that Nate wore home from school, along with the sticker on his chest would be as appealing at the age of lets say, sixteen. Somethings are a kind of given, are we know that he most likely would find it an embarrassment at that age. There are things left to be discovered "later," like how much God loves him like we do.
Just Read: The Flag
1 month ago