“The earth is in motion and growth; the mountains, hills and prairies are green and pleasant; the bounty is overflowing; the mercy universal; the rain is descending from the cloud of mercy; the brilliant Sun is shining; the full moon is ornamenting the horizon of ether; the great ocean-tide is flooding every little stream; the gifts are successive; the favors consecutive; and the refreshing breeze is blowing, wafting the fragrant perfume of the blossoms. Boundless treasure is in the hand of the King of Kings! Lift the hem of thy garment in order to receive it. If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look?”
amy: it’s a period of realignment, this Fast. where shortcomings and strengths are bare before me, and it feels, bare for the world to see as well. i question my choices, my ideas, my plans, my goals, my ambitions, my service, my attitudes, my priorities. it feels like my life crosses it’s own bermuda triangle at the beginning of each year’s Fast – my navigation system goes kaput and i start to panic. i push buttons and pull leavers, trying to find a solution to the turbulence shaking my plane. and then prayer, grounds me again. the struggle to be detached, to be mindful, to be present, drags me – sometimes with great effort and great resistance – back to my charted route. and i am reminded about how grateful i am that elements greater than myself are in charge of setting that route.
elizabeth: i have been reflecting on today’s quotation throughout the day, uplifted by the thought of a coming spring. as my spirit is refreshed and calmed during this meditative time of the Fast, signs of renewal and growth in the natural world make me eager to welcome the new season. the melting of the last vestiges of ice and snow, the warm night breezes, the budding of the forsythia bushes and the anticipation of crocuses, daffodils, and cascades of magnolia blossoms soon to follow. spring is almost here.
leila: when my mother was here recently for my daughter’s birth and to help shaun and i for the first six weeks, she recited and chanted her prayers with the baby in her arms every morning. for most of my adult life i have shared the Fast with my mum, and it is particularly at this time i feel a deep tenderness about our relationship, for the sweetness of early morning devotions with her. now that we live in different countries and she misses sharing her prayers with little Marzi, i am trying to preserve something of this by singing prayers with my daughter, to remind her of her mamani and to remind me of my mama.