Kaleidoscope

There is a snowstorm forecast for later in the week; I do not want more snow. It is late enough in the year that I would happily forego any more serious snowstorms. But I especially do not want bad weather on Saturday, because I am heading back to Chicago for two weeks of spring classes. And I want it to be spring, at least a little bit.

Close-up of a torn dried leaf, mostly oval with a pointed tip, splotchy grayish brown in color. It is encased in partially melted ice, greenish-blue and grayish-white, with visible bubbles.

It’s all still a jumble, but it’s a calmer jumble than it was right before leaving for January classes. I am thinking, in no particular order of priority, about Leviticus and leprosy and clay pots and leather garments, about the unfinished personal-reflection paper that is half-written in another window, about the frustration of Time Change Sunday (why does it have to be on a work day? Couldn’t it happen on a Tuesday or something?) and the art of sitting in an armchair while wearing a dress, about packing and laundry and scarves, about selecting hymns and getting proper permissions and writing liturgy for a collaborative vespers service, about paperwork – always paperwork – for various things and hoping I have not missed any deadlines yet, about theories of religious education and creative synthesis and stages of self-actualization or something, about unfinished personal conversations that will happen at another time, about laughter and absurdity and conversations with cats, about denominational history and congregational history and the parts we tell and do not tell, about the logistics of getting paid gracefully, about gratitude for short-notice plumber visits that turn out to be brief and effective, about wasabi peas and shiny red shoes and sitting in the sunbeam as a form of prayer.

Close-up of a crocus, deep yellow with rounded petals and grass-like dark green leaves, growing in rocky garden debris.

I am not ready to go back to classes; I am ready to go back to community. I have more things to do than I have time to do them in and some of the things will be done halfway or delegated or late and I trust that it will, sooner or later, be okay.

When I get back from Chicago, it’s plowing straight forward into a major church event, then I have to decide whether to attend the district conference the following weekend, then the Sunday after that is Easter, then after that things start getting busy with the end of the church year and the end of the school year. I have deadlines for papers in there someplace, and evaluations, and a final project.

And I preach Memorial Day weekend, and the day after Memorial Day I start CPE for the summer. And off we go.

A jumble of thin branches with swelling buds with bright blue sky behind them.

This is what life looks like now. Rich and busy and full of color and chaos, like the rainbow shards of light that flash around the porch when the sunlight catches the prisms I have hanging in the windows. I am a sucker for little crystal prisms – I bought my first one when I was about twelve and visiting California with my grandmother. I think I still have it, but I’d misplaced it in the move to Maine and so I bought another one like it… and it turned up, and I’ve acquired a few more since. When the sun is bright and low-angled, my little porch is like being inside a psychedelic tie-dyed disco ball.

The photos in this post are all from March 2010. Spring came early that year; four years ago the snow was gone by now, and the earth was starting to come back to life and I could believe in spring. Tonight, things are still encased in ice and snow, with more wintry weather on the way. But at least I have the joy of small things and an abundance of work that is worthy of being done. For this I am grateful.

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