Summer kept its grip on the valley well into November, so that autumn was a mere mention before winter (such as it is) arrived in Phoenix. My finals wrapped up in time for a bit of Christmas busyness this week: some shopping, some baking, and best of all, apple butter. It's as close to a tradition as we have, something that comes with the cold weather and makes the house smell like heaven. I hope when I'm long gone my children will know that apple butter was my love language when I didn't know what else to say.
There's so much beauty right in our grasp, yet we go on, oblivious. Not just oblivious to what's there, but confident that we know all there is to know. I'm not taking this story anywhere in particular, but it's starting to mirror where my faith is at these days. I don't want to give up what's familiar, but I need to see it in a new way. I know there's treasure inside. I know that it's sustaining. I know it's a language of love, that it nourishes and soothes. I want to see the star that points me to the beauty of the universe. I want more, but not more. My friend and mentor Herb Brokering once reminded me, "In a little is a bunch." I need to get back to that kind of thinking for a while and reclaim the true and simple.
As we turned back to cooking, my daughter kissed the apple halves she held before adding them to the rest. It was right and meet so to do. What is a sacrament, if not the holy placed in our hands?