You might wonder where the Country Mother has been since my last post in June.
I have been in the garden! Before that there were miles of driving and just generally living summer. There has been a lot of weeding since we returned from our adventure in the Midwest. The weeds were in danger of over-running everything, so there was a great deal to accomplish, especially if I wanted to harvest anything this year.
I think that now most of the damage is under control. It was painful going for a while during our heat wave but now that the temperatures have moderated I am enjoying being on my knees with a section of the flower bed or vegetable plot to reclaim. It is a quiet time and one that just naturally invites introspection. I have mentally composed numerous posts on a variety of topics, but procrastination and vacillation, two of my own personal “weeds” entwined around my ideas and they never materialized.
Right now, though, the thought that keeps resurfacing is the power of prayer, (so fresh after today’s Gospel reading) and the strength of a family praying together. They are not new ideas and to many may seem trite, but the reality is indeed so amazing.
At the end of June our large extended family traveled by car to St. Louis where we met our son, Fr. Tom, who was just flying in from Rome. He celebrated Mass for us at the “Old Cathedral” and my parents were able to renew their vows on their 60th wedding anniversary. Andy & I were married there, so it held a special significance for us as well. From St. Louis we drove north, following the path of the Mississippi to Quincy, Illinois, where my parents both grew up.
Another Mass of celebration in the church where they were married, some grand family reunions and that strong family prayer each morning bringing us all together around the altar. We met our newest grandson and witnessed his baptism with his uncle pouring the water and reciting the ancient formula. Things happened so quickly and with such a chorus of activity that the significance of the days was almost hard to hear.
The silence of the garden has given me the gift of reflection and “praise must be ever on my lips” to God for the gift of my parents and their parents who passed on life and faith to us. How else would we manage to survive the everyday storms and the occasional hurricane of life without the knowledge that we are constantly sustained by the loving hand of a Father who knows all our needs and is ever ready to provide us with the grace to weather any disaster? How else would we recognize the gifts that are all around us and hear the voices of those crying for assistance? Where would we be without the grace of the sacraments?
We had the great privilege on our trip to pray together as a group and now that all are in our separate homes, we continue to support one another from a distance, but a distance made incredibly small through the union of our minds and hearts in God. Deo gratias!