Is there any parent who doesn’t have some regrets? Is there a father or mother anywhere on the planet, or temporarily off of it that hasn’t thought of mistakes made? Which of us has not remembered some decision, choice or action that we sorely wish we had made or taken a different one? I won’t begin to list mine here nor ask for yours, but will assume that the answesr to that short series of rhetorical questions are "no," "no" and "none."
It may seem odd to think that this brief reflection was prompted by walking down to the horse shed in the dimness of pre-dawn light. Just the tops and brushy ends of the slender trees lining the east ditch stood up against the sky, barely silhouetted in soft strokes. I began to wonder why it is that I’m always fascinated by the beginnings and endings of each day and the thousand ways that light can play in the sky, against the hills and on the ground. I didn’t struggle too long with the "why" and then remembered that it has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Along with the dairy farm chores of early mornings and late evenings, there were the views of fields and fencerows, gentle slopes and dark branches. I suppose I could have grown up doing the work and paying no attention to the beauty around me.
But I didn’t.
And yes, my parents were not perfect and I could list several of their deficiencies with barely a moment’s pause. And, a longer list of virtues. Either we we wallow in a worsening pit of anger, criticism and harshness or we learn to live in a stream that flows with gratitude and forgiveness. It is that flow that lets us know that we, though human, have the capacity for divine inclinations. In it, we discover that each act of grace cleanses us, renews us, heals us and blesses us. We can come to each day, ready to rejoice in the small and grand glory of life’s complexity or we can begin each in the accumulated filth of past hurts and insults, sleights and injuries.
Is it really that hard a choice?