The mundane and the holy

Pushing tiny buttons, reading the manuals which some wag perfectly summed up today as "just the inventor's opinion," I tried this week to address the myriad appliances that needed to respond to Daylight Savings Time. Of course the computer does it automatically, with a pleasant window that announces the change and software that makes you check the change. Many other appliances also change the time on the appropriate date. However, when I found a simple clock on which I could just move the big hand in one full forward circle, I felt such a simple and straightforward satisfaction.

With less light in the morning, and more in the evening, the day's balance needs to be readjusted. Here in the Northwest, the days can start with an ominous gray cloud cover and end with a soft, misty sunshine. But our daily rhythms have been to get the evening meal on the table, check the homework requirements, answer the family requirements, the friends' requirements - basically, to soldier on with our evening rituals in spite of the beautiful light outdoors. This must be the time to stop and readjust the requirements. Perhaps just a little snack and then a wonderful walk and talk, or a bike ride, or a brief paddle in a kayak in these soft-lit evening hours.

One can also wonder about the "Savings" aspect. Should I put the daylight in a piggy bank? Can I save this wonderful light in such a way that I could have access to it in the cold, sunless days of winter?

And then this week - it is also a very holy week for many religions. I was talking with a dear friend about this religious season. He spoke so eloquently that I asked him to write for me. I want to share his words with you.

"Gardening is not the only reason that we find people on their knees this season. Along with the sacredness of the abundant renewal in nature that brings gardeners to their knees, Lent, Holy Week, Passover and Easter find many of our neighbors drawn back to their spiritual roots ... and their knees. Recently, I was asked about the blessed Trinity. I sighed as I plunged into this topic. When I saw this young man's eyes glaze over after a couple of minutes, I said, 'The bottom line here is that the Trinity is a mystery. One can go only so far with attempting to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. Then one must choose how to respond when face to face with mystery.' I find in our culture that we have a difficult time with mystery, for we want answers. We want proof. Allowing mystery is part of what it means to be a person of faith. In whatever way you choose, celebrate this sacred season of renewal."

The writer of those words is Thomas Allsopp, born on Queen Anne Hill and currently the Chaplain of Bailey Boushay House, a skilled nursing-care facility in Seattle.

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