2023-02-02 10:55:57

2023-02-02 10:55:57

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Pine PollenPine Pollen

  It’s pine pollen time on the island!  Though I rarely see the yellow particles in the air, I can readily identify their presence on everything left outside—tables, beach shoes, chair, and our car.  All surfaces are coated with a fine yellow film that makes some cough and sneeze.  Once I saw the wind dislodge clouds of pine pollen, setting drifting across the bay though usually it’s invisible.  Despair and depression can be like that.  Individual causes may seem minor, but soon they accumulate and coat everything that should be shiny and bright.  Suddenly the world is dulled in despair and hopelessness.  Please help me, O Lord, to shake myself free of this choking coating so that my enjoyment of the life you’ve given me is not clouded by the accumulation of problems and worries I’ve let pile up.  Help me to breathe in the breath of your life and your love so, like the pine pollen set adrift over the water, I am free to be joyful in your presence. Amen.

Don’t Touch!Don’t Touch!

Today, early in the morning, I approached an unfamiliar object on the beach, just above the water line. Its label warned that it was dangerous, phosphorous-filled, and should not be touched. The finder was asked to notify the police or military. The discovery saddened me. In the midst of so much serene beauty, under skies still washed with dawning light, I had stumbled upon something that hinted of death and destruction, something unconnected with the morning’s beauty. I remembered the passage from Philippians where we are told to think of what is pure and lovely. I tried to fix my thoughts on the right, the pure, the admirable, the excellent, and the praiseworthy. As I reported the object to the park ranger, my duty was complete. But now I need your help, Lord to find a way to live in this world with its unpleasant realities and still reach for you and your perfection of goodness and beauty. Help me find beauty even in the midst of ugliness. May I put aside this ugly object and try to be an agent of peace and beauty in a troubled, violent world. Amen.