Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Sinking into Spring's Beauty

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Sinking into Spring's Beauty

Article excerpt

It is that time of year in the Midwest when spring is running riot. The redbuds alone could push one into a swoon. The world, if only momentarily (keep the TV turned off, and the spell lasts longer), seems in a kinder, gentler mood.

Balm for the soul.

So calming, in fact, that I had a few kind words the other day for Sam, the dog. Sam is big, huge really, yellow and handsome as they come, docile as a doormat and willful as a 2-year-old being shushed in church. Sam doesn't do anything he doesn't want to do. Mostly he wants to lie down or pretend he's catching chipmunks in the woodpile in the corner of our small yard. It used to be a woodpile. I've given up on it. Stack the wood and Sam explodes it the next minute. He never catches any chipmunks. He can't see them scoot the second his paw comes off the deck and onto the grass. He's blind. Which also complicates things. It's tough taking him for a walk because he weaves around and you have to keep making sure he doesn't bump his nose on a telephone pole. We've made an easy accommodation of each other and to show my love I regularly feed him pretzels from a bag, the sound of which can summon him from incredible distances, given his inclination to not move for almost anything.

I was contemplating Sam because I was drawn into the backyard the other day just to take in the sights and the smells: the lilacs, redbuds, the forsythia and Sam rolling on his back, as he hasn't for months, in the newly green grass.

I hope that where you are the world has turned this way recently or will soon and that you will get a chance to sink into the beauty of a small corner of it.

It occurred to me in reading the story that appears on Page 6 that in some Catholic circles, Episcopalians and other mainline or "old line" denominations are easy targets for criticism by those who think those denominations have compromised the Gospel, lost their rigor and given in to "liberal" trends of the secular culture. …

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