Thursday, March 31, 2011

Word Work Two

Another Mission Planning Council meeting tonight. Nancy S ran most of it, because we are going to have a chili cook-off in June. I am trying to picture people strolling around the property eating chili, live music playing, the smell of spices in the air.

Before we got to the fun part of the meeting, I did a review of how our Council fits in our five-year plan. We have a new member, and we're half-way through our five years, so a review was in order.

I pulled out our old newsprint and sprinted through a summary, tossing newsprint into a heap behind me as I went along. Half the people there have just heard all this a month or so ago, and half had not really seen this stuff before. So I was torn between Brevity and Clarity.

I'm n
ot sure who won that battle. But the winning visual was the newsprint of all the changes we've had in the last two and a half years. If you look at all the words, it's not brief. And it is clear that we've seen a lot of change in a short time. Not all of it planned or necessarily what we wanted. But the sight of all those words scribbled on the newsprint seemed to catch everyone's attention. So I guess Clarity won.

Maybe it's my interest in history, but I think it's just as important to look back as it is to look ahead as we carry out our mission here. Or anywhere. All those meetings and agendas and minutes and summaries, and even all that newsprint, it all adds up to something. We gain confidence and focus by keeping in mind that the words we spoke last year, and the years before, have born visible fruit. We said these things, then we did these things, and here is where it has taken us. Now what do we say? And where will it lead us?

Who can know? But, at least, I think at least I can count on a chili cook-off happening in June.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Feast Day

I never thought about it before, but this is a really good time of year to celebrate the Annunciation. I know it's supposed to be nine months before Christmas, but I never thought about the season before. The cusp of Spring.

Spring is always way too late for me since I moved north. Back home, the azaleas and the wisteria are in their last hurrah. Spring weather, flowers, and short sleeves started up weeks ago. Not here. Sometimes, I think I'll never feel the sun on my bare arms again. It's March, April... May??? and still too cold?? What is up with that!

But this year. I never lived through a winter like this one. There is still a pile of snow outside my bedroom window. Much smaller than before, when I literally could not see out my window, but it's the principle of the thing. When are the leaves getting here? I want leaves.

Yesterday, I went to Mercy Center in Madison for spiritual direction. Afterwards, I went and walked on their beach. Wow. The sun was shining, the flowers have started blooming there. I really, really liked it. That's just an hour and a half south of here.

Now I am looking out the window, at the barren lawn and the barren trees and the little piles of snow. And I am thinking.... it is Spring already, believe it or not. Happy Feast Day! Like Mary getting the news from Gabriel, the land is stirring with new life that no can see. Yet.