In the midst of a purple penitential season, comes a Sunday of uplift and relief, the pink candle -- for Joy, some say for Mary.
Pink is the West’s cultural color for little girls, and apparently, Catholic Popes, cardinals and priests who wear it on Gaudete Sunday. Let’s light a candle for all the girls today, those who don’t get to go to school, who are abducted by warlords, those who are neglected, abused. For girls who are claiming their power, joy and agency in a world that would deny them. Let’s give them one Sunday in our Church calendar.
Lately, I have been enjoying poet Leonard Nathan’s “Diary of a Left-Handed Birdwatcher.”
Throughout the book, he is searching for the perfect word to describe the feeling of the moment of recognition, identification of a bird in the wild, especially a more rare one. “Epiphany,” is close, but not quite. How to describe the rush, the surprise, the sheer singularity of that moment of joy, success, wonder. The bird you were told might be there, appears, as a gift! Nathan’s wife says he will never find the right word, and he was comforted by that. Some experiences even elude a poet’s arsenal of perfect words.
This morning, as my dog Gracie and I were driving to her favorite park, a bald eagle swooped and dashed in front of us, whhooosssh! I let out a little cry, and laughed -- it was a moment of pure joy, good thing no one was behind me.
Later, a ditch full to the brim with egrets and herons breakfasting on pond scummy things also lifted me from whatever brooding, mundane thoughts I was having.
In this Advent time of waiting, as we light our one candle, such as we possess, may it be a pink one this time. For the girls, for the birds, for the planet. Gaudete!