As is not unusual around here in January, the heavens have opened and that liquid water stuff is pouring down. It's the sort of day that makes me want to huddle up with blankets, drink tea, and knit. As both E. and I are sniffly and coughing, we definitely did some of that. Followed by a walk in the rain that necessitated a complete change of clothes and some drying off with towels. After that, we had milk and tea and warmed up.
The walk in the rain was fun, though, and the fresh air's good. So I've been told. The park had turned mostly into a marsh punctuated with playground equipment, and I was the only mother mad enough to be out in that weather. E. waded through puddles, insisted on trying to swing on the big kid swings, and fortunately didn't try to climb up to the tallest slide.
By the time we left the park and headed for the produce store, she was drenched and I was getting there. My raincoat is useless in extremely wet weather, since it just directs a stream of water from my front straight onto my trousers. I ended up soaked from just above the knees on down, and a not insignificant amount of water made its way past the hood and onto my hair.
When we arrived home, E. was chilly enough that she calmly waited for me to unlock the door and headed straight in as soon as it was open. Usually she tries to take advantage of my distraction and makes a run for it around the corner of the house, out of my sight, because mine and J.'s DNA has created that kind of child.
I like the rain. I like the greyness of the skies and the scent of water mingled with earth and leaves. I like the cooler weather. It offers a sense of calm, and today was a day when I desperately needed that. I stumbled across a "war is problematic" article which said a lot of things I agreed with. Then I wandered into the comments, which I really shouldn't have done, because a pro-war commenter waded into the battle by posting horrific pictures of dead bodies with mocking captions. And making fun of a person's violent death really doesn't make you the bigger person in the debate. I had to pull away, and cry, and find a way to re-centre after being reminded, not just how horrible people can be, but how blind they can be to how horrible they're being, especially once religion is involved.
So I went to Celtic Daily Prayer. I'm not good with daily devotions, the recommended mainstay for spiritual life in many Protestant denominations. Most of them seem trite, or only helpful once in a long while. And the attitude that it's something you must do to stay right with God never sits well with me. But Celtic Daily Prayer, a new addition to my library, but a book I renewed at the library many times, usually offers something.
And oddly enough, today's reading spoke to me. "Most of the world would like to see something of Jesus, but how we fail to show Him through our life! How seldom when we speak is it what He has given to us to be said!" (Celtic Daily Prayer, 2002, p. 317). And as I searched through earlier parts of the book, through some of the readings that aren't necessarily tied in to specific days, I then found a section of liturgy based on Caedmon's songs. And this was the part that spoke to me today:
"Teach me to hear that story,
through each person,
to cradle a sense of wonder
in their life,
to honour the hard-earned wisdom
of their sufferings,
to waken their joy
that the King of all kings
to wash their feet,
and looking up
into their face
'I know--I understand' " (Celtic Daily Prayer, 2002, p. 199).
I believe that human beings are created in the image of God. Because of that, to kill another human being is to reject that image of God in them. And that is wrong. But whenever I remember this, I also have to remember that people who say and do things that anger or grieve me are also created in the image of God, and as such, to hate them is also to reject that image of God in them. So that commenter on that article today, the one who said such horrible things and posted such horrible pictures, is just as much created in the image of God as were those people in those pictures who must have suffered so much. And so I cried for all of them. And I prayed for all of them. And then we went for a walk in the rain.
I'm mostly sad now, not angry. Introspective and sad. And oddly peaceful.
Let's leave it at that for now.