Friday, August 19, 2005
A Winter's Day
Boston, November 2004, Holy Cross.
I realize that I am approaching the winter of my life. My father in law has brought a sense of mortality to our household. We watch him plunge inexorably into the abyss of his disease. He will eventually be speechless and helpless, a 190 pound infant. He will die in the same state he was born in, absolute dependence on someone who might love him enough to care for him.
There is a cold beauty to death. It is the blessed curse, the end of life spent in the bleakness of corruption and struggle, futility and the stark, chilling cursedness of the consequences of human sin. It is also the leaving behind of beauty, the still-green signs of life and warmth and resurrection, of love. Its curse is that it confirms the solitariness we brought into the world through the breaking of our communion with God. Its blessing is that it ends the inexorable plunge into the abyss of corruption and defeat and loneliness. The winter never quite destroys all life, sin never quite destroys the image of God.
Yes, sin separates, its winter is a cold and lonely place. We sit in the snow, yet among the trees, in the cold and yet in the sun, alone, yet loved, waiting for this mortal seed to bear the fruit of eternal spring.