Friday, June 9, 2017
desecration and redemption..
It was a sunny, mild June day when we arrived at the mountain cabin. The first thing we did, as always, was to go to the small pond down the road to look for beaver.My young son had often said that this beautiful spot was his favorite place in the world. Surrounded by his three huge favorite maples, it was a shaded paradise. His freckled face beamed whenever we talked about it .We only went to the cabin once a year, so this trip to the pond was special.
As we started to approach, something seemed very wrong. There was the pond, but two of the trees had been chopped down and lay in pieces around the pond. My young son 11 at the time, sat down on a log and started to cry. He was inconsolable over this desecration. He turned and ran to his room in the cabin. As slow as a funeral procession, I walked back alone, sat at the old kitchen table and mourned.
As I often do, I started to read some psalms and then write in my journal. My hand flew across the blank pages with words of wisdom that were not mine:.
"Take heart, this is a most important lesson. How much empathy do you have for those who have suffered a loss greater than the death of two trees? Talk to your son about some losses you have had.Tell him about the card you sent to an acquaintance who almost died in surgery and how that note brought a wonderful new friend into your life. See if he remembers the sympathy card that meant so much to you that your other children sent when your special friend, the Lab, had to be put down. Use this heart break to lead your young son to understand that he has the power to help those suffering as he is suffering. Ask if he would like to help to plant two new trees, renewing the pond place with your own hands. Do you see the beauty of living ?"
I wiped my tears, and called my son to the table. In my mind I could see the acts of empathy that we could do, together or apart, as a field of bright lighted fireflies, dancing and following our souls into eternity.