Yesterday I pedaled The Bells, flat roads around our cabin that allow a quick dash home if overcome by sheets of rain or tears. The last time I rode like this—between hailstones, that is—my Dad was with me. He was 92 and on a trike. It was slow-going but still about as interesting as anything I can imagine. Same yesterday as—must it be said aloud?—he was there again.
Since March 2020, my Mister Fix-it has replaced the kitchen faucets at home and at the cabin, fixed a bathroom stopper and a leaking shower, replaced our pressure regulator and leveled a toilet. Not an unusual list in a year’s time given these old buildings. What is extraordinary is that I have noticed how he, methodically and ingeniously, does these tasks. I have watched and asked him questions. Is the miracle that one can do these things or that I am so thoroughly amazed and grateful?
I am clearer now that I recognize there are two creation stories in the Bible and the first one is about how good God knows this is. Plus there are theologians who write God has confidence in creation so we are free: radical passivity = ultimate gift = God’s desire. I am learning to love in this way: enjoying and offering assurance.
Since the Enlightenment, we whites have leaned culturally toward science to explain phenomena. Others, Thank God, like Ta’Nehisi Coates, can describe something as complicated as the Underground Railroad in a story. And truth reigns. This novel gallops along through the sheer wickedness of slavery to holy freedom via the path of “conduction.” I wonder if Coates means the power of prayer, a mystery erudition could never explain anyway but Coates, lyrical storyteller that he is, can?
So, magnoliadave called my bluff. Of course I didn’t wait until a Sunday feast day to eat that ice cream cake. OK, I’ll also admit: Chef Carolina, our creative daughter who is finishing culinary school, hand-crafted marshmallows for our Saturday-night pleasure. Clearly I am not one to “give up chocolate for Lent.” But, I do have arthritis. Refined sugar inflames me. I hurt. Maybe this is a nudge to use the Lenten structure—six days for fasting then Sunday—to calm these fake flames? Maybe I will draw closer to God as I come clean?