Spring Is Here!

Spring has arrived! So here is one of my favourite new life stories written by Craig Boly, Roman Catholic priest, theologian and writer.

Once upon a time, life began for twin boys in their mother’s womb. The spark of life glowed until it caught fire with the formation of their embryonic brains. With their simple brains came feeling, and with feeling a sense of surroundings, of each other, of self.

 When they perceived the life of each other, they knew that life was good and they laughed and rejoiced, the one saying,” Lucky are we to have been conceived, and to have this world.” And the other chimed, “Blessed be the Mother who gave us this life and each other.”

 Each budded and grew arms and fingers, lean legs and stubby toes. They stretched their lungs, churned and turned in their new found world. They explored their world, and in it found the life cord which gave them life from the precious Mother’s blood. So they said, “How great is the love of the Mother, that she shared all that she has with us.” And they were pleased and satisfied with their lot.

 Weeks passed into months, and with the advent of each new month they noticed a change in each other, and each began to see changes in himself. “We are changing,” said the one. “What can it mean?” “It means,” said the other, “That we are drawing near to birth.”

 An unsettling chill crept over the two, and they both feared, for they knew that birth meant leaving all their world behind. Said the one, “Were it up to me, I would live here forever.” “But mightn’t there be a life after birth?” asked one. “How can there be life after birth?” cried the other.” Do we not shed our life cord and also the blood tissues? And have you ever talked to one who has been born? Has anyone reentered the womb after birth? No!” He fell into despair and in his despair he moaned, “If the purpose of conception and all our growth is that it must be ended in birth, then truly our life is absurd.” Resigned to despair the one stabbed the darkness with his unseeing eyes, and as he clutched his precious life cord to his chest, said, “If all this is so and life is absurd, then there really can be no Mother.”

 “But there is a Mother.” protested the other. “Who else gave us our nourishment and our world?”

 “We get our own nourishment and our world has always been here. And if there is a Mother, where is she? Have you ever seen her? Does she ever talk to you? No! We invented the Mother because it satisfied a need in us. It made us feel secure and happy.”

 Thus while one raved and despaired, the other resigned himself to birth, and placed his trust in the hands of the Mother. Hours ached into days and days fell into weeks and it came time. Both knew their birth was at hand, and both feared what they did not know. As the one was the first to be conceived, so he was the first to be born, the other following after.

 They cried as they were born into the light. And coughed out fluid and gasped in the dry air. And when they were sure they had been born, they opened their eyes for the first time, and found themselves cradled in the warm love of the Mother. They lay open-mouthed, awe-struck before the one they could only hope to know.

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Winter Holiday

 (From We The Storytellers, 2013)

A number of years ago when my husband Ernest and I were consumed with our fledgling careers and our son Chris was young, we all felt the need for a holiday – at least a few days to stop, relax and have fun – to enjoy laughter and one another’s company. Ernest and I both worked from home so we were always at work. We thought it would be good for Christopher to experience another country but in addition to the fact that we couldn’t afford to travel, it was February, the middle of the school year and, as always, the middle of work deadlines. It was a particularly rotten February and we were feeling trapped in our apartment. One morning the radio was playing a catchy Jamaican number and when it ended, the program host, who had visited Jamaica, began to laud it as a haven for the weary and playground for all. Christopher said, “Let’s go!” First, we all laughed. Then we stopped, thought, and creative imagination kicked in. “Lets have a Jamaican week-end . . . in Toronto.”

Christopher, then eight years old said,

“What will we do in Jamaica? Is the food good? Is it hot there? Can I take all my stuff?”

With these questions and others in mind we made a trip to the library for illustrated books of Jamaica, and a visit to the travel agent for brochures. We borrowed some recipes, complete with where to get the ingredients, and some reggae recordings from a Jamaican friend.  Ernest rummaged around in the storage room and found a sun lamp saying,

“If we’ve got to do this we may as well come back with a tan.”

Finally, and most important, we covered all our windows with orange, yellow and red tissue paper. We couldn’t see the snow and ice outside, but the light came streaming through in brilliant colors. Then we boosted the heat and turned off the phone ready to relax, read and play. We forced ourselves to stop our busyness for just a few days, to have child-like fun and to be refreshingly unproductive. We came “home” as relaxed as unstrung puppets but energized and ready to tackle the rest of winter.