As the end of another church year draws to a close, I remember that death and time separate me from both my beloved ancestors and the descendants I long to know.
The reality is more astonishing than the illusion.
Hurrying around the parish campus, trying to get ready for our patron feast, Saint Michael’s Day, I would have easily missed something wonderful!
Little did I know that reconnecting with nature and my inner being would help me reconnect with God, too.
Some of my earliest memories are exploring the forty-five acre farm I grew up on. I remember my cousin showing me how to find spit bugs and thinking it was a miracle that hundreds of these little bugs were there wrapped under leaves and yet I had never seen them before.
I’m a carpenter’s daughter. My father built the suburban Chicago house of my childhood with his own hands in the evenings after working his for-pay job. Suburban sprawl put food on my table and paid half my college tuition where in environmental science classes I was taught about its horrors.
It’s been less than a year since our family’s returned to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, so there are still surprises in the liturgical calendar. “Please wear red on Pentecost,” invited Father Randall. I owned nothing red except for a waffle-knit funnel-neck shirt that obviously screamed fall even though the weather was basically expected to be just that.
My mom texted a picture to all seven of us kids at the end of August after Nathan, my youngest brother and twenty years my junior, left for his freshman year of college. “In the first week of empty nesting we found an empty nest!” she wrote.
Recently on a car ride, my four-year-old asked my ecologically-minded fifth grader and me the question, ‘Why do trees grow?’
We give our children an invaluable and timeless gift when we practice prayer with them.