Scribbles, &c.

Grand news!

So I guess the big news first: we're to be grandparents! Our daughter and son-in-law gave us the news just the other day and we had to sit on it for a bit longer, but now it's all out in the open! Neither of us feel old enough to be a grandparents. And there are still kids here at home! Just as we feared expected! Still, we're over the moon. This kid is going to come into a family with eleventy uncles and aunts (on both sides) and who-knows-how-many cousins when it's all said and done. Further reports as events warrant.

We finished The Woman in the Window; neither of us liked it very much but we were determined to see how the story finished up. When it finally ended, our mutual reaction was "well...that was certainly a thing."

By contrast, I am still very much loving How to Read the Water. I go to sleep at night dreaming of ripples, streams, waves, and bays. I also recently received Volume 2 of Emergence Magazine. I try to follow them online but much of the writing demands a level of attention from me that only a physical copy can provide. I've only gotten through the first couple of pieces in it, but will be ordering Volume 1 as soon as it's back in stock.

My employer has declared tomorrow to be a wellness holiday for all employees and I intend to do a bit of hiking if the weather permits. As it happens, the trail I'm thinking about tracks closely along a lake so I figure my eyes will be on the water for most of it.

I'm in the midst of the Mystagogy period for our recently-received and it seems to be going well. I attempted to do this all remotely last year but attendance dropped off pretty badly after the first session. Zoom fatigue, I imagine. There's a good number of folks who've turned out for these first few post-Easter sessions and the energy they bring comes right back to me so we're having a good go of it. This past session was on the laity, and our threefold vocation as priests, prophets, and kings. We focused in particular on the lay apostolate, which will dovetail nicely into next week's session on charisms. Pivoting from learning to living seems like it ought to be fairly straightforward but after a long period of preparation (several years in some cases) and the rush and emotion of the Vigil, the week or two afterward might feel like something of a letdown.

Well, now what?

They are not at all displeased to hear they - all of us actually - are still very much at the beginning. Yes, reception creates a demarcation point, but now it's salt-and-leaven time with a new understanding of things, new graces, and new knowledge.

In other news I got cajoled into joining the new-ish youth program at our parish and attempt to moderate small group discussions...with seventh-grade boys...on the virtues. 

Saint John Bosco, pray for me!

I kid, but only a little. There is, to be sure, a fair amount of goofing around - but most of them are well-catechized and we get really good discussions. They also come up with some very interesting questions. Last night's session was on the need to forgive our enemies. One of our priests teed off the evening: love - as an act of the will - does not depend on sentiment or emotion. I wanted to use this a leverage point in our discussion. You might not ever come to like someone, especially someone who has hurt you and never apologized, but you can still choose to will their good just as God does. Forgiving them down the road may be more about letting them out of your head more than anything like reconciliation. This, I thought, might make the concept of forgiving one's enemies a little easier for them to get their heads around.

Instead, one of them asked if we could (or had to) forgive someone after we died. Even say, our own killer. Luckily for me, Father was roaming the groups at that time and took that one for me. This, in turn led to more Last Things questions and a bunch of our time got eaten up, which was fine. By then I was starting to lose the small bit attention they were giving me. 

Gardenwise, the beds are in and mostly planted: tomatoes, peppers, and spaghetti squash. I need to order a little more fill for one of them and we'll plant some cucumbers. The final bed will probably be a mish-mash of these leftover flower seeds I have. We'll turn over one of the beds in late summer and use it for garlic, which we'll harvest next spring. The pots out front are full of herbs and the older apple trees are tantalizingly full of little bitty apples. Here's hoping enough are spared for a harvest!