Monday, February 16, 2009


Dear Friends,

The lines above are from "The Lovely Garden" by Ethel Fairmont. It is the story of a lovely good young woman who is chosen to mary a hard, cold prince. With the palace gardener a lovely spot is chosen and rare and beautiful plants fill the area. The gardener insists on a wall to protect the plants, and the garden gates open only to the good in heart. The prince is angry and cannot enter, but over time his wife's goodness overcomes his coldness and finally the gates swing open to him.

I loved this book as a child, and thought I had lost it. At my daughter's home recently, I mentioned the lines to her and she said she knew them, and the story. After a few moments the little book was in my hands again, after over 50 years.

Little miracles like this keep happening to me. In church on Sunday the priest used incense, and with my asthma I thought I would have to leave. I watched the smoke rise, and flow in my direction. Tendrils and waves intertwined drifting ever so slowly toward the last few pews. Then, as thought there were an invisible wall, the smoke rose, and came no further. I'm sure there was a logical reason for the "wall" protecting me, but I couldn't discover an open window or reason for a draft. I watched the smoke billow from the incense burner, rise, and flow in tendrils and waves and then rise again, never reaching my position.

Miracles happen to us everyday: a home is saved from surrounding fire, a child lifts a car, someone doesn't get in the bus. Salvation. Not something we've sought but a gift, a miracle.

I loved the little book, it spoke of redemption, and a way of life. I like the idea of joy and the sunlit way. We must face the realities of life, but a smile goes a long way toward lifting burdens, and a focus on the ruby-breasted nuthatch brings peace.

May the Lord's peace be with you.