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 The Lenten spring has finally arrived. Even though outside you can't tell, but underneath the snow, the very tiny bit of snow anyway, life is starting to stir.

For the next couple of months, we try to fast from indulgences, to temper our wants and desires, to be kinder and softer to those in our lives. After which, Pascha, or Easter, will triumphantly arrive and become the culmination of our faith and of the long and hard winter journey. I for one, am ready for this winter to be over. Like that chatter box in the rear seat yelling every three seconds: "are we there yet?" I too am just about jumping out of my seat at every landmark that brings us closer.

Who needs steak and candy when you can have this?

Yeah I am that crazy. So crazy that I am actually relieved that our 40 day Great Lent has arrived with its austerity, haunting music, and limited menu. Glad that now I don't have any more excuses to keep me from de-cluttering my mind and soul. Finally, I have the energy and the right tools to help me sweep out the junk and dust collected during the year. And even though I am accompanied by the howls of despair from my five year old, I gleefully cover up the TV screen and hide the remote. I'm usually never too unhappy when lent starts, but this year I am extra glad. Like with anything in life, the higher the ups, the lower the downs will be. And that has been true in our life since the arrival of our little Leo man.

His story has been one wild ride for all of us. Between the brushes with death and the freaky unknowns, we have also experienced major highs of pure happiness. But happiness is weird thing. Everyone wants it so much, that we make ourselves unhappy pursuing it. There is always the swing of the pendulum to throw us off our "pursuit of happiness." Today, as I reflect on our spiritual and emotional state of the past year and half, I realize that I am also looking forward to stopping that wild swing. Happiness is a misunderstood term. That crazy high of bliss, is actually not what we should be pursuing, because it is not a state that can be achieved for very long. And once it is over, it is to easy to plummet back down into depression and "unhappiness." Sometimes it seems that with so much death surrounding us, even those highs happen more and more infrequently. How can be become at peace? Where can we find those calm waters?

Hint: This icon is called the Extreme Humility
We can only find those still calm water through humility; not that cheesy hallmark kind we are familiar with, but the humility that defies reason and understanding. To truly humble oneself by acceptance and faith is the kind of humility I'm talking about. And Lent, with all its strictness, services, and calls to repentance is a sure-fire way to put our feet gently back on solid ground by putting meaning into the word, "humble."  Lent helps clean up our souls and bring harmony and balance to our surroundings; to stop the wildly swinging pendulum until it rests peacefully and lightly in perfect equilibrium. That is the "happiness" we should be striving for. Isn't it weird that the only way to get there is through humility? Or perhaps it isn't, because in true happiness, there is no room for  our egos.

This year I feel that perhaps I just may be able to get there, mostly because there are so many less lows in our life. And seriously, I have much to be thankful and humble for. Leo has put his major ops safely behind him, and although there will be other hurdles ahead, he is now very well equipped to deal with them.

And, because of that, so are we.

Get those feet moving boy! he is now officially pulling up on EVERYTHING, and very proud of it..
So my wish for all of us in the next coming months is that we "learn to tread lightly upon the earth beneath us," and though there will be trials with temptation, we will go through them all unshaken so that we can more fully experience the true happiness in our life.
We all need a little help in the beginning. Leo's big sister, learning to step lightly.

Wishing you all a very blessed lent, love from us and especially little man who despite all his surgeries and traumas, will give you a smacking kiss without holding back his trust.  Just don't try to touch his head...



notice how much the swelling has gone down on his right side! you can almost see his new temple..

Comments

  1. it's true, hun, during Lent we are meant to "tread lightly on the earth", which by the way is an American Indian phrase that is so fitting during Lent, but Lent is also a time to simply not do stuff too, no resolutions, no goals, simply "being", connecting at simpler levels with self and humanity, and ultimately with the Source of Life. It means more concentrated effort into not sabotaging with anxiety and that feeling of rushing those everyday encounters such as connecting with family (especially children) strangers and friends. It's definitely an internal revolution but it's silent, almost a passive endeavor, a new orientation. Love you

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hear you. Blessed Lent; may God strengthen and protect you all!

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