Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Goodness

The month of April brought new growth (and work) in the gardens.
My birthday is in April. The bouquet of tulips and the tiered dessert platter are birthday gifts.
We got some chicks. Light Brahmas as layers.  Olivia is in love with the chicks.  She will spend as long as we allow, cuddling them and rocking them to sleep. Yes, they do go to sleep. :)
The 29th was our 7th wedding anniversary.  We left the girls with Shilah and her family and went to Sandpoint overnight. We came home with Goodwill treasures, a kiddie pool, and a flat of herbs. We bought herbs for landscaping, because the deer don't care for culinary herbs. That'll be the day when they go gourmet! I really hope they never do.
The picture of the girls was taken at Grandma's.

Wabi- sabi

I first encountered the term wabi-sabi in a child's book I had gotten from the local library. The setting of the story was Japan, and the main character was a cat.
The cat in the child's story, whose name was "Wabi-sabi", was an unremarkable brown tabby. Wabi Sabi went on a journey to find the meaning of her name. She discovered that wabi-sabi is a type of beauty. It is the beauty of  the  commonplace, the imperfect, the impermanent,  the incomplete.
Jay and I were intrigued with this concept because it is so much the way we view our world, our home, our gardens. I love the philosophy of it. It makes sense; it's what I have learned about life so far. It's my favorite sort of beauty. The chocolate and the smile on my two-year-old's face after a cookie; my brown sweater that, although it is not fashionable, for some reason I like its lines and the way it feels; the rock wall in my flower bed; that heirloom quilt on Olivia 's bed; the red weathered barn door with bright green moss growing on it; my husband's kind brown eyes, the way he looks in jeans and flannel shirt (don't tell him- he thinks I hate that shirt!); our lane, the way it wends and climbs. The imperfection and fluctuation of life. Knowing that your friends and family are not perfect, but learning to appreciate and love them for what they are. Being grateful for the little things, because sometimes that's all you can find to be grateful for.
At first I wanted to take this philosophy and find its origin in Christianity. Because the ideas are most certainly there! "Be content with such things as ye have." "In everything give thanks." "Love covereth over a multitude of sins." "Suffer the little children to come unto me." "The lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin." "Blessed are the poor in spirit......" In the end, I decided to let wabi-sabi be what it is. It is the name given by Japanese tradition to a truth that is also labelled in God's Word as thankfulness, contentment, kindness, modesty, peace, meekness. And so on. I believe that every truth, every good thing, comes from God whether He is recognized or not.
Our lives are full of wabi-sabi. Our lives are full of God's blessings. Our lives are not perfect. Our faces have lines; our shovels get rusty; people's vices and virtues are often hard to tell apart, but we love them anyway.
I don't know what heaven is like. The descriptions of it in the Bible don't sound very wabi-sabi. That's ok. Somehow I think that wabi-sabi is something just for now. It's a concept that our finite minds can grasp without hurting too much. Maybe it's just a way of dealing with the disappointment of earth, after all! For now I'm grateful. In heaven, may the beauty of perfection reign!