I was once again strolling into work today, noticing the bits of NYC life available to me on my brief walk from the UN 3rd basement garage over to my office building.
Teachers from Holy Family School.... obviously the pre-school division walked on the wide sidewalk, three mini children of about 3 years of age toddling on each side, strolling along with their hunched over teacher in the middle. The caravan was short but wide and not in any hurry... falling down would really hurt on the asphalt tiles that make up the pavement.
All of the boys had those mini sneakers that either made sounds or blinked when their heels hit the ground. ALL of the girls had on sandals. Up they came toward me, a herd of turtles, either distracted by the dogs on the park side of the road or watching their feet so as not to trip.
I looked at the tree lined street. Tulips and azelia had replaced daffodils which had replaced the sad looking evergreen twigs put down around the base of each tree before Christmas. The branches on the trees are that 'new' green. Blossoming trees are decked in full regalia. Lilacs in the Mary garden between the church and rectory of Holy Family RC have shot up with their lilac and lavendar shaded harvest bending over - as if praying - creating a cathedral effect over the statue of Our Lady so prominently on display.
All of these plants are beautiful to me.... but because of asthma, allergies just take my breath away - literally, leaving me gasping for air and a body shaking hack of a repetative cough.
I think of so many wonderful things in life - neutral within themselves - can be wither wonderful or dangerous to the human in contact with them. Contact with dogs, monkeys, birds - our wonderful companions, providing vital service functions to disabled persons - can be deadly to some. Penicillin - a miracle drug - can cure or kill.
Belief in God - must be life giving, right? Yet if we become overly zealous in the man-made doctrines of a faith tradition/denomination the life that God's love affords can be squeezed right out of our hearts.
When I was 18, things were very clear cut to me. Yes or No, Bad or Good, Worth or Worthless. I believe in my middle years I have shifted into neutral.... not so much to coast as to give the Spirit room to influence my life, my actions and reactions. Those changes are very hard to make with the emergency brake engaged!
There is plenty of room for a spectrum, and many shades of nuance in the middle. Thanks be to God!