Friday, September 2, 2011

I Even Tried to Count the Stars

Written by 

{Note:  The author of this blog is Fr. David Tumback - Pastor of Holy Family Parish}


I will admit that at times I can be somewhat of a negative person, most notably, when the conversation turns to the weather. Many days I have sat and wondered why we no longer have those beautiful summer days of years ago. I remember being on the farm and lying on my back in the pasture looking up at such an amazing sky of blue, hearing the intoxicating songs of the meadowlarks and the shrill cries of the gophers while the smells of wild sage and yellow roses swirled around my head. They were blessed times. I remember complete relaxation and peace; free of stress and an absolute permission granted to be bored. Then something happened. I grew up. And peace and relaxation disappeared in favour of work, friends, visiting and trying as best to avoid any miniscule resemblance to boredom. And for some reason the busier I became the more the weather seemed to be bad. If it wasn't windy it was cold. If it wasn't raining it was overly hot. I came to realize that I was nothing more than a "weather Scrooge" who couldn't be satisfied. Last year it seemed summer would never end. Cold, rainy and mosquitoes. I desperately sought the Holy Book to find out which plague we were experiencing in the vast eternal story. I wondered if God has just given up on revealing his true beauty in the glory of warm summer days.

And then came this summer. Within the first three days of the "official summer" season my life was filled with a sister undergoing breast cancer surgery, my best friend's wife being diagnosed with colon cancer, and my good friend Rose, a retired teacher, having her cancer return. I could easily be justified in proclaiming a pity party for myself. These are not easy things to deal with. However, the amazing part of this summer was that God used these events to show to me how much I truly was missing. The reason I no longer found summer as inviting was because I had become so pre-occupied that I stopped seeing the presence of God in nature. Summer cannot be beautiful if I do not even take the time to witness the season.

So I sought my consolation in the one person I knew would not let me down: God. I took the time to look. I gave myself absolute permission to be lazy and bored. I laid down on my back and gazed up on the same eternal sky that has remained unchanged since he formed it. I drank in the warm and sweet smells of the lilac flowers growing on the bushes next to the fence. I gazed upon hundreds of dragon flies - numbers that I had not seen since I was a kid. I giggled as I watch the soft, white clouds change their appearance and I tried to identify which parishioner the clouds looked like. I took the dog on walks and let her stop and see and discover the things that she wanted and I allowed myself the right to make the walk longer than 30 minutes. I made and ate sandwiches of Detta's freshly baked buns and the Kehrig's fresh cucumbers and tomatoes and in the evening I even tried to count the stars.

And through all of those experiences I though of my sister, and my best friend's wife and my good friend Rose. Yes they are all battling and struggling and the most beautiful part is that they have invited me along on their journey. God is faithful and God will look after them according to his will. God has always been faithful. I just had ceased to see it.

Then it struck me. In the midst of disease and struggles, of fresh tomatoes and home made bread, of family and friends and double scoops of Chapman's chocolate ice cream, this has been (weather-wise and life-wise) the most beautiful summer that I have ever experienced.

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Read 9628 times Last modified on Monday, January 16, 2012
Patrick Clarke

Patrick Clarke is the Administrator of the Cathedral of the Holy Family.  He is married to Tanya.  Together, they have two children: Ava (7) and Lachlan (4) and they are expecting their third child in February, 2013