Generous Souls Came Visiting…

jarsKim and Sarah came to my house bearing gifts–rhubarb chutney, candied jalapenos, relish, grape juice, tomato soup, bread & butter pickles, peach salsa and dandelion wine.

These two women love preserving food, and since I was writing about preserving food I asked if I could meet with them to talk. I offered to take them out for coffee, but they made it easy for me, and came to my house instead, bearing gifts, as I said, from their pantries. They described grandmothers with basement shelves from ceiling to floor filled with jars. Kim talked about jam being the gateway food that hooks people on preserving. We talked about how they are welcomed to forage or gifted with a good bit of the produce they preserve, and I wonder if  because they’ve been recipients of generosity, it makes it easy for them to be such good gift-givers themselves. They greet new neighbors with jars from their pantries–jars filled with hard work, creativity, and good food. New moms, teachers, people recovering from surgery, or heartache have all been recipients of their generosity. As have I.

Their generous souls humbled me.

I am far less generous by nature than Kim and Sarah. It is true. Mark will even tell you so, although he likes me very much and thinks me very kind. He is the generous one, always planting more than we need because he would rather give away excess than risk not having enough, always wanting to give away what could be sold.

Lent takes place during the 40 days when winter and spring have it out–battling to see which will win. Will winter keep hold, or will the green warmth of spring emerge victorious? Spring wins every year.

During Lent we get to remember a story whose ending we already know. Lent ends with Easter. Life triumphs over death. I’ve not thought of Lent this way before, not until learning that Easter always happens after the spring equinox–after the days are longer than the nights. It’s been good for me to think about Lent as a battle, even though I know the way the story ends. I’m given a reminder that I can shift from one way of being in the world to another, to one that is more gracious, more generous, more affectionate toward all God loves.

It seemed fitting that Kim and Sarah visited on the 1st day of spring, the first day when the light lasted longer than the dark.

So I will use this season to stretch toward greater generosity, to be moved by the witness of these two young mothers who love their families, friends, and strangers widely and deeply. May I stretch toward the hope of the resurrection with a grateful heart that begets a generous soul.




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