The days keep gathering and then slipping away. It has been wonderful having Sherod here and already, he’s doing his laundry to pack, since tomorrow he heads back to Fort Lauderdale. Then, there will only be 32 more days before he’s back, this time to stay. It will be a busy season between now and then. Yesterday we met with a general contractor because we are going to do a major renovation of the kitchen and our bedroom/bathroom. The work should begin almost immediately and I will be on a steep learning curve as the point person with a general contractor. God willing, it will all be finished by Thanksgiving, but if not, it will be ready when it is ready. Some deadlines mean a lot less to me these days.
I have also ordered 5 roses from Antique Rose Emporium. Some are the same as I grew Memphis. Others are new to me but more suited to this climate zone. All of them have such marvelous, poetic names and spectacular blossoms: Souvenir de la Malmaison, Cecile Brunner, Perle d’Or, Iceberg, Louis Philppe. All of them are wonderfully fragrant as well.
I will begin to prepare the rose beds where they will be planted—the clay here needs to be worked on to sustain the rose shrubs. Over the course of several weeks, I will slowly mix in pine bark mulch and the compost that is already in process in our compost bin. Even that is a small story both of patience and transfiguration—all those things which get discarded in my kitchen, the fallen leaves I gather before I start mowing each week, all of that put together to be transformed by the alchemy of life and death into something rich and life-giving. Every little bit will make a difference next spring, when hopefully, those roses will begin to bloom. This week, I have been reminded of that wonderful prayer by Teilhard de Chardin:
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ