January 12, 2009

I’ve got a hot cup of Earl Grey tea beside me and Hawaiian music on the CD tray; the soft plinka-plink of ukeleles makes the late-night work a little easier. One of the rabbits is snoring (actually it sounds like a squeak) but the beasties are all vegging out big-time. Outside, a big bright full moon has turned the patio into the color of a light snowfall, but as much snow and storminess as my family and friends back home in Massachusetts have been experiencing this winter, the opposite is true here in the Valley of the Sun.

It’s actually been a fairly tranquil winter around here. We had two cold nights the week before Christmas, and the beautiful red bougainvilleas that once created a lovely cathedral effect in my prayer grove got hit pretty good. Carmelo cut them back last week, and the grove now feels tiny and empty and barren like early December. The pool temperature has plummeted to a frigid 48 degrees; my guess is that’s about as low as it’s going to go this winter – we’ll see. We probably have another three weeks before the weather turns, and when it does it will turn fast. Believe me, it’s a short journey from the 65-73 temps we’ve been having lately to the 80s and 90s of March. And then the real heat will be just around the corner. That’s just the way it is around here.

But sitting out on the patio a little earlier today after talking with my parents and hearing about all the snow and cold in New England, it’s hard not to see this place as a little oasis in the desert. A patio with comfy wicker chairs, the pineapple lights above casting a soft warm glow, lots of green (if not flowers) around, the tiki bar lit in all its festive glory. This is exactly why people live in Arizona – they certainly don’t for the eight months starting in March!

While work occupies my activities at this hour my thoughts are on finding a church that fits my spiritual personality and identity. I attended Vespers at St. Thomas the Apostle Byzantine Catholic Church yesterday and it was about what I expected and remember from previous visits to Orthodox churches. I don’t know – as much as I’m in awe of the ancient liturgy and rituals (not to mention the incense!) there’s something inaccessible about the customs and litrgical practices of Orthodox churches (as compared to, say, Roman Catholicism and the western churches) that makes it difficult to see myself ever feeling comfotable and at home in an Orthodox church.

Of course, I don’t think God cares one bit if we’re comfortable or not (my guess is He’d rather we weren’t!), and while I’m not yet ready to put aside St. Thomas as a potential spiritual destination for this world-weary soul, there’s certainly some apprehension about committing myself one way or the other. I will say this – you certainly come out of Vespers at St. Thomas the Apostle feeling as if you’ve been to church! Whether or not I would ever be comfortable enough to make St. Thomas my “home” church, there’s something to be said for that, especially after the travesty of last week at St. Anne Catholic Church. We’ll see what happens…

What was nice about yesterday’s service was getting some holy water from the Jordan River for blessing our house and all the occupants in it. Of course, that means cleaning the house so it can be properly prepared for a blessing! Sigh. That’s the one thing about the New Year – any New Year – I dread: the thought of turning over new leafs equating to turning over dust cloths and brooms and mops and paper towels smelling of glass cleaner.

This is gonna be an interesting year.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:44 | Comments (3)
  1. Phoenix 75 degrees…Louisville will be 1 degree by Thurs…where would I like to be????

    Comment by Jana — January 13, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  2. Hey, I remember the first winter we were in Louisville it went down to -10. We were flabbergasted. So you’ve had that weather before – suck it up! 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 13, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

  3. The only thing I will be sucking up is a hot chocolate with brandy.

    Comment by Jana — January 14, 2009 @ 7:21 am

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