Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's almost Easter again. Christians all over the world observe the story of this week in an annual re-telling of the events of Passion Week. It can be a tough week for those of us who know and honor the end of the story. To be pressed down by the horror of crucifixion belies the uplift of Easter. Instead, this year, my thoughts move to Gandhi's quote that values one deed of kindness over many prayers.

Gandhi said, "To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer."

As always, there is a time for prayer. I cannot discount that. My arguments and pleadings and gimmes with and to the divine One are frequent and sometimes plaintive. But, this week, I'll try more deeds of kindness, emails and written words to family, some phone calls, maybe a meal cooked with love, cookies made with care. For now, that might be bettter. That might bring Easter's touch closer this year.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I wrote a column for a weekly newspaper in Michigan. That column, "From Under The Willow," chronicled my observations of life in a rural small town. My children were often the focus of the columns; sometimes there were comments about current events or news events. But, more often than not, the subject matter centered on children and family.

We lived in a red brick house on the west side of Pigeon, Michigan at that time. On our lawn was a giant willow tree. It became the symbol of my writing "from under the willow." Now, many years later, I'm claiming that old column title for a new blog.

The tree still stands. The house is gone. The village has changed. My life is very different from those early days of raising children and wondering if the world had passed me by. So let's begin another venture of hearing "from under the willow" and, in the spirit of the old column, know that I shall sometimes sign off with a blessing "from under the willow that shades us all."