Measuring My Days

February 2006
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“ Perhaps the most profound question asked by life is the question of significance and meaning.  All of us have to find some purpose or mission in life that will confer upon us a sense of personal distinction and worth.  We need to believe that our lives will make a difference for someone or for something."   John Powell


 Chalet L’Abri, February, 2006

….Measuring My Days….acg        

          So we write “finis”(-31-) to the first chapter of a new year and now begin chapter two.  February in Virginia witnesses the essential end of winter and the first evidence of resurrection.  I shall welcome the warmer days as they tease their way into blustery March, tiptoeing over the upstart crocus and daffodils.  In recent days, I have watched hosts of resident winter birds (titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, finches, sparrows, and cardinals) at my feeders and upside-down woodpeckers at the suet boxes each morning soon after daybreak and again in late afternoons.  Providence has ordained that they take their fill and in my imagination I see these richly adorned actors and divas at dusk finding their own L’Abris [sheltered places] and settling in for the coming night with blissful sleep and dreams of cherry trees, hayfields, and God’s great big beautiful world.  “Imitate our carefree life”, they tell me.  Come late February, the migration north will begin with a whole new company of opera stars requiring my greater attention to the feeders and their moments on the stage.  So with me great anticipation and hope abound, knowing that spring’s production has a Master Director prompting all entrances and exists precisely each tick of the clock, my own included!  As the curtain goes up, Aida’s grand entrance march fades to pale in comparison. 

          “One month is past, another is begun, Since merry bells rang out the dying year, And buds of rarest green began to peer,” rhymed Hartley Coleridge {Feb 1, 1842}.  The second month derives its name from februare (to purify) and the Roman festival of atonement (Februa).  In Victorian times, poet George Meredith saw February this way:  “Now the North wind ceases; the warm South-west awakes, The heavens are out in fleeces, And earth’s green banner shakes.”  February’s theme of love (ala St. Valentine) offers this paraphrased wisdom from Hannah Whitehall Smith (1887) : If you take all the love you have ever known, dreamed of or imagined;  all the love that ever existed in all the world, in all of human history, and multiply it by infinity, you would still only just begin to comprehend the love God has for you.”