Friday, April 19, 2019

It's Happening Below the Surface, With Asterisks: Good Friday

Greetings and blessings, internet friends and neighbors, plus those precious relatives who are taking the time away from intense life-dealing in order to find some diversion.

Today is the day western Christianity observes Good Friday. (It's a week later in the Orthodox traditions.) Historically, it's been a time of reflection and meditation.

I think my meditation started with sunflowers.
A sunflower.

My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, decided to do some yard planting in a small way this year. In addition to the tomato plants in big pots on the back porch, she put some other items out. One of those was sunflowers.

Coming home from church last Sunday, she remarked that her sunflowers didn't seem to be growing. I nodded my head, having fearlessly restrained myself from ANY involvement whatsoever* in her gardening frenzy, and did not wish to have that fact drawn to her attention.
*That's not PRECISELY true. Shortly after she had put the tomato plants out, Winter returned for a brief, but intense, visit, and we had a few nights of sub-freezing temperatures. On those nights, I moved the potted plants in to the kitchen at night, and put them back outside when it warmed up the next day. Here ended my contribution.
Yesterday Uncle Mylon and Good Dog Diesel came for a visit. He is my oldest friend with whom I am in frequent face-to-face contact;* we go back to 1977, in Riverdale, Clayton County, GA.
*I DO have an older friend, Billy. He and I go back to Cub Scout days in 1965 or so, then made later contact in 1969-ish, when we were significantly involved in each others' lives for the last years of high school and first year of college. However, he and his intensely lovely, precious, devout, funny wife Vicki live a long way from here. I did take the the whole Chattahoochee Patterson fam, plus a small Blackstone Patterson fam, to visit his farm ("Best For Last") a couple of years ago, but since then, Facebook is how we stay in touch.
Uncle Mylon, who is the most gifted artist/advertising person in the world, also has a landscaping business. Therein lies a tale which NEEDS to be told; and, in fact, I HAVE told it, face to face, on numerous occasions, but I'll not reference it further at this point except to say that if a person combining the best features of David Ogilvy and Pablo Picasso offers to trim your hedges, just shut up, and watch your hedges become a thing of beauty. Oh, heck; here's ONE of Uncle Mylon's bits of art; it's one of his images of me.
Yes, I AM a Scot by blood.
I do not own bagpipes

Anyway, as I was saying, Uncle Mylon and Good Dog Diesel  came by the house yesterday, and Uncle Mylon worked his magic on growing things. We were chilling a bit on the front porch afterward, and Uncle Mylon said "Your sunflowers are looking good! Before long, you are going to need to stake them." And that was Thursday, just four days after there was no visible evidence of them showing up.

And I am thus encouraged. 

I have children, you see. And grandchildren. ALMOST every bit of evidence that I have,  for those I am privileged to interact with on a regular basis, is that they are fully aware that all of the screaming, shouting, outrage, fear, and hostility is about things that are of transitory importance (if that). But sometimes, I allow myself to grow, a bit, discouraged when one tells me of a choice that I KNOW is going to produce unpleasantness.

It's the same discouragement I feel on those RARE occasions when I permit myself to glance at a newspaper headline, or have a report of some stupidity come my way. Stupidity, for example, along the lines of the person who scrawled threats on the wall of the boys bathroom, in the high school located next to my house. 

I'm not worried about the outcome of that particular 'threat.' I'm discouraged by the stupidity of the student who did it. Don't they know that the high school has security cameras, and while they DON'T  look into the bathrooms, they SURELY DO see who goes in and out the doors? Within the next day or so, some parents are going to be sitting down with the cops and the school administration and their kid, and having negative amounts of fun. 

Perhaps today. On Good Friday. And, perhaps, for that family, memories this day are going to be forever linked with a stupid act. But, I hope, with results eventually similar to that on the first Good Friday.

The most important things happen beneath the surface. That's where the sunflower grows. That's where the investment of time and heart flower in our kids. And a couple of millennia ago, that's where the greatest miracle of all time took place.

Peace be on your household.

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