you wouldn’t know it looking out the window today, but it is spring in wisconsin. under barney, the old piano in the backyard, green is sprouting up through the mulched-up-leaves and mess leftover from winter. along the back fence are some reminders that, indeed, there are plants there. in the front yard, next to the old brick wall, the daylilies are insistent and green shoots are rising amid the dried beige of fall’s version of ornamental grasses. spring. a time of new. out of the fallow, out of the dark.
yesterday, in the meditation book jonathan gave us, there was this sentence, “please give me a clean blackboard today and help me to do the writing.” do you remember writing on the blackboard in elementary school? it was always an honor to have that chance. the feeling of chalk on your fingertips, eraser dust in your nose. stretching to reach high enough, that sound when your fingernails scraped the board. and those days that the teacher chose to use chalk in many colors? it was nothing shy of pure excitement. funny how simply colored chalk could change things.
i loved this reading. the vision in my mind’s eye of a blackboard – or an etch-a-sketch – or one of those magic slates where you can still hear the “pfffffffft” sound in your head as you lift the cellophane off the cardboard pad to clear the picture you drew with the plastic stylus. a chance to do it over. draw it again. live it again. spring. green out of beige and brown. grace. another chance. color. new birth.
as i awake each day this spring, i cannot imagine a more grace-filled thought than please give me a clean blackboard today. pffffffffft!