Wet redbuds and damp robins

Such a balmy evening! I ate supper on the side porch stoop: gazed at the emerald green , freshly mown lawn, at the redbud branches flung crazily hither and yon, laced with elegant purple. Then on an impulse I moved to the upstairs porch, brought down from the attic a folding table we use for camping, then retrieved a folding LLBean chair a friend gave me for my birthday last year, fetched a peach rug from its winter hibernation in the spare room. This is the evening closing a day off. Precious, very precious, but only because I love my work and therefore desperately need my rest too.

I cheated today: did some work-related email and finished off a sermon. I had home chores too: bills, laundry, grocery shopping, lawn mowing, all unglamorous. But I played too: saw yellow winter cress, yellow violets, and held my face up to a hot yellow sun. I listened to a brown thrasher at noon, marking his territory with rare song. I rubbed the bellies of my panting, thirsty dogs. And I settled in my summer chair on the upstairs porch, my summer room, while I relished the fact that the tipping globe sends milder air. Now I can dwell outdoors in this high perch, eye level to swallows catching insects.

No sooner had I sat down and snapped a few photos of the redbud across the drive, when the wind whipped furiously, and storms clouds chased one another, and the rain began to pelt for awhile. I ran with my laptop inside.

Twenty minutes later, it is quiet again and ten degrees cooler. But before I head to my outside room, with a blanket this time, I want to say what I am deeply grateful for.

In the work email that I read, but shouldn’t have read on a day off, I learned that four people have stepped forward. They have volunteered their energy and enthusiasm in various tasks where their help is desperately needed in our faith community. I am in awe of God’s provision and their dedication and offering. Christ is indeed risen and showing up at unexpected times and doing surprising things. I guess one of the best gifts a pastor can receive on a day off, is to know that the Holy Spirit is in control…not me.

Now, back outside to wet red buds and damp robins.


  1. That was one beautiful doozy of a storm on Friday. On the drive to and from Indiana last week, blooming redbud and dogwood were constant company. I was pleased to learn that a parishioner will begin our memorial garden (at the top of the little hill on the church property) by planting three redbud trees. I was also bemused to learn that around here, they are sometimes known as “Judas trees”.

  2. I have a few red bud volunteers I want to carefully nurture and replant. The tree is beautiful, but so brittle and breakable. Why Judas? I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be grace-filled if red bud beauty could grow even in the most broken of us, Judas included.