Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sunday reflection: Not your usual week

Apologies to my Sunday Reflections readers, but it's been a week where I managed to read paragraphs 189-193 of the Pope's encyclical with highlighter in hand... but that was all. It has been a very warm week, one that has gardeners (like me) getting into the dirt. I spent this afternoon digging weeds, watering trees, and waking up my compost piles instead of moodling about Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, and now I can barely keep my eyes open.

It's been an odd week here for the beginning of May, not only weather-wise, but because my radio station -- the usual way I get news because we don't have TV -- has been taken over by Fort McMurray wildfire coverage. Edmonton is the city closest to Fort Mac, and we've been inundated with donation and volunteering requests, stories of fleeing families and lost homes, and endless news reports on the latest wildfire information. My cousin and her family are safe, but there are many who are still trying to protect neighbourhoods that haven't been destroyed, though it's tough to do much more than that in the face of the inferno that is the wildfire. Suddenly, I am understanding ancient stories about fire-breathing dragons in a new way.

So I'll forego my Sunday reflection due to sun tiredness and grief for the folks who have lost their homes -- and because it's Mother's Day weekend, and I don't want to spend Mother's Day at my computer. Pope Francis' letter to the world seems even more important as we see so many climate refugees coming from Fort McMurray to Edmonton... but the encyclical will be there next week, too. In the meantime, perhaps we can look back at some of the challenges Laudato Si has offered thus far, and do our best to live in harmony with our sister, Mother Earth.

The thing that strikes me this week is how tenuous life is -- we have had such a long period of peace and prosperity here in Canada that when something like this wildfire happens, we are in surprise and shock. But our brothers and sisters all over the globe who have been through all sorts of natural and human-made disasters understand better than we, perhaps, that few things in life are permanent, and that grace abounds even in times of trouble.

Enough about that. Happy Mother's Day to all Moms, Grandmas, Godmothers, and mothering souls who might not have their own children, but who care for young ones regardless. God bless us all, and I'll say it one more time: God, please send a good, soaking rain to Western Canada and other dry, dry places. That would be the best Mother's Day gift of all.

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