When this whole thing started - the spread of COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, grocery shortages, heroic deeds in hospitals, actions of public servants, and creative problem-solving within essential businesses - I kept sensing a deep connection to my mother, gone some 15 years now. I know she would have said, we've stopped praying the Rosary, so bad things are happening in the world.
Now, before you click away, I promise, I'm not here to push religion on anyone. In fact, I'm feeling a little vulnerable even writing about the subject. I want to convey the comfort of the connection to tradition, whether for you that's religion, prayer, meditation, or something else.
A little back story. I was raised in the Roman Catholic faith. Yesterday morning, I went digging around to see if I could find my First Communion picture. I couldn't find it, but came close.
This portrait, complete with oil-painted highlights on the dress, is me at around age 5. A long time ago. Not my Communion picture, but not too far off.
By the time I was in second grade - the year I would have made First Communion - I had Shirley Temple ringlets, thanks to a box of smelly drug store chemicals, tons of itty bitty curlers, and lots of tugging, curling, and rinsing my head and hair!
I'm not such a 'good Catholic,' but I do find comfort in the traditions associated with being Catholic. Don't we all have comforting traditions that have carried through from childhood, regardless of faith?
Right in the middle of all the COVID mess, I met Kathleen. She is in a business group with me. She lives in Atlanta, and she's in transition from selling her products at craft shows to selling online. She makes lovely, hand-tied, knotted rosaries and other jewelry.
Inside was a pocket Rosary. Representing one decade of a full Rosary, or 10 hand-tied knots. It is such a special piece! Not fancy or intrusive, but a tie to my own past and tradition.
Does this mean that I've gone all woo-woo on you? No, I'm still right here.
I see the 10 knots as a way to center myself as I carry them in my pocket. I feel them there and I'm good.
The 10 knots represent different things for me each day. They could be 10 prayers. But more often, the knots represent people or remembrances that I want to keep close, even as restrictions cause separation. They can be 10 wishes, or 10 ideas, 10 minutes to just *be* as I take time for myself. 10 blessings to consider. 10 memories that make me smile . . . or cry. 10 personal 'somethings' that create a connection to a comforting tradition. One day or one knot at a time.
Would you like one, too?
If you want to know more about Kathleen, I highly recommend that you follow her - sign up for her online news at her website. I really like her, I think you will, too.
And if you're so inclined, find a pocket Rosary like mine HERE. Or if you like something more colorful, CLICK HERE to have a look at some other options that include the Serenity Prayer. If you decide to make a purchase, use code BIRDS2020 for a little savings. The coupon is good until Sunday, April 26th.
And above all, tell Kathleen I said, 'Hi!'
With just about 10 minutes of sunshine on Sunday (I'm exaggerating, but it sure didn't feel like enough sun!), it seemed appropriate to quote Mother Teresa of Calcutta with some sidewalk inspiration. (I can't take full credit here, Kathleen reminded me of this quote with a card in my package.)
"I know that God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much."
And if all else fails. How about a little chocolate to lift your spirits. (Thank goodness both daytime and night-time pajama pants have elastic waists!)
This One-pot Brownie recipe is SO stinking easy AND so stinking delicious. And no, the name does not reference an added ingredient, although I suspect a little extra 'pot' might enhance the euphoric chocolate experience, or so I've heard. . .