Today as I prepped the front flower beds for fall planting, working in new, nutrient-rich soil with the old, I was struck by the idea of abundance.
We have an absolute abundance of joy in our lives: good health, a strong marriage, the best friends, a beautiful home, jobs we like … so very many blessings.
But at the same time, there is so much sorrow and suffering, others’ and our own. The other day, a Facebook memory from three years ago popped up from a funny moment with Mama J in her final days. And Denise had posted the loveliest comment on the original thread. Both moms gone now. A dear friend whose mom will likely reach her heavenly home today. Another running friend who lost her husband this week, much too young and soon.
I have remarked before that it feels like a flaw in design, that if we are built this way, to live and die, then why are we not designed so that the death is not painful for those left behind? Do we appreciate the abundances of joy because we experience the abundances of sorrow in such equal measure?
Today we drove up from the grocery store to find a wren, a blue jay, a cardinal, a brown thrasher, a red-bellied woodpecker, and a robin in the front yard. I dirtied my knees and plunged my hands into the soil, where soon beauty will arise to sustain us through winter’s cold.
Perhaps the sorrow makes the joy all the more beautiful, or as Wendell Berry says in one of the Sabbath poems:
“How long does it take to make the woods?
As long as it takes to make the world.
The woods is present as the world is, the presence
of all its past, and of all its time to come.
It is always finished, it is always being made, the act
of its making forever greater than the act of its destruction.”
May today be rich in an abundance of joy. ❤️