Triduum, 2011: Reflections on the First Holy Week of Retirement

Wildflower watch, between Santa Maria and Bakersfield, spring 2010

 It’s been a strange week. 

Our ‘home’ beach, 2 miles below our house on a wintry late afternoon, 2011

       1st Holy Week in many years where I have not been up to my eyeballs in worship planning and leading.
       1st Holy Week we have not been worshipping with our usual community of faith.
       1st Holy Week in which I’ve seen and experienced some devastating changes in my mom’s ability to interact with her world and with me as she spends these days in our home.

These are the ‘holes’ in the fabric of my life just now as I sit in the quiet, reflecting on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the coming of Resurrection dawn.

Looking out from the inside of Hanalei Church, Kauai, Spring 2010

But here are some of the shimmering new threads that are beginning to criss-cross their way into, around and through those holes in the year of our Lord, 2011:

       A noon-day Good Friday service that was far different than any I have previously attended, planned or led – one that was moving, intriguing, lovely.

       A Holy Saturday filled with COOKING of all things.  Really, I thought I had given up cooking for Lent about 15 years ago and just extended that ‘sacrifice’ through most of the rest of the year(s).

       An Easter Sunday in a different church than usual, followed by traveling in a car which will be loaded with way too much food for our crowd of two dozen, gathering this year at my eldest daughter’s home one hour south of here.

Sunset over the inlet, Saanich peninsula, British Columbia, summer, 2007

       And each day laced with some time here at this keyboard – reading blogs, editing pictures, trying to figure out how to make my own blog work more effectively when I have ZERO knowledge of HTML, ‘buttons,’ ‘subscription widgets,’ ‘sidebars,’ and no clue whatsoever how to post a video of any kind.  

What I am observing about myself through these days are these things:
   – I am feeling well and strong for the first time in many, many months;
   – I am finding deep, almost profound, enjoyment in writing and thinking about writing;
   – I am willing to relax into the rhythms of kitchen and laundry without feeling overly stressed about it all;
   – I find myself in a spirit of almost constant prayer – not prayer filled with lots of fine-sounding words, but rather prayer consisting of these simple, important ones:  thank you, thank you, thank you.  Or your grace through me, Lord; your grace through me.  Or beauty all around, Lord, beauty all around.

Layers of sunset beauty in the Pacific northwest, Whidby Island, summer,  2007

All in all, it’s a good place to be.  I haven’t done much reading during these first months away from work – a wonderful memoir written by a friend, a couple of books on prayer.  Not a lot of mental energy these early days.  But I think I’m okay with that – it will do for now.  I wait with growing expectancy for what will come.  And as we head out for worship in the morning, I look forward to joining God’s people in yet another new-to-us congregation as we joyfully shout, “Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!”

Looking through the gateway at Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, summer 2007
Written in the pondering moments of late night on Holy Saturday, but linking tonight with Jen 
at the Soli Deo Gloria sisterhood:

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  1. I really enjoyed reading these Holy Week reflections on your retirement.


  2. Glenda, you are so kind to keep checking in. I always appreciate your comments and wish for you and yours a most blessed Easter Day! He is risen!


  3. A blessed Easter to you. Your photos are exquisite… a perfect accompaniment to your reflections and a worshipful aid to mine. 🙂

  4. Thanks, Carol. Hope your Easter celebrations were wonderful. Today is ‘low Monday’ for me – not low emotionally – quite the contrary! – but low in terms of energy. Hopefully, by tonight I’ll have something else to post as a reflection on a wonderful Easter Sunday.

  5. Love shimmering new threads…all the best 🙂

  6. There is a peace here as I read these words, even though your mom is changing. It feels like total surrender…and finding joy in the process.

    I, too, have found myself in a semi-constant state of prayer. Sometimes it’s “Okay, Lord, what is next?” And sometimes, its just being overwhelmed with His goodness.

  7. Diana,
    I enjoyed your pictures (wow!) and the message here in your post. I wanted to thank you for your sweet prayer, and for leaving a request as well.

    So glad you are linking-up. Your bring a perspective to the table that I enjoy, and I think you have a gift with words.

  8. What beautiful pictures! I loved the part of your post where you said you are in a constant spirit of prayer, full of ‘thank you’s.’ I’m starting to learn what that means, praying without ceasing from the heart instead of praying my mental list.

    Thank you for sharing!