Spring seems to have finally arrived here in Walltown. It’s incredible to notice the difference. I sit here on our wheelchair ramp (we don’t have a front porch at my house) and can hear the impact that just a dozen or so degrees makes. For the first time in months, children are outside; I can hear their laughter and the occasional scream of excitement. More than that, if you walk down the street, people have returned to their porches, sipping sweet tea and exchanging the latest neighborhood gossip, which they’ve had do without during the frigid winter months. Despite the occasional warm day during winter, something about today says, “Spring is here at last. Come out!”
For us, the most difinitive sign that spring is here is that the neighborhood kids start coming over. For whatever reason, winter keeps them out too, and so the presence of 4 loud 11-13 year olds signifies a change of season for them too. Basketball season is over, so our front porch and dining room become the new hangout.
I, too, feel the effect of a new season. More than likely, spring will be my last season at the Rutba House and in Durham. I feel a bit of sadness about this, but over the last few days, I’ve been reassured that there is a grander vision for my life that I can take comfort in. Durham is not my home; Dorothy Day has been reminding me that we are all pilgrims. At morning prayer, we often sing this song that says, “We find in You everything we ever could call home.” Strangers and pilgrims, with no earthly city. To follow Christ is to give everything up, even the comfort of a community and neighborhood that has been so life-giving. Yet I know that I’ve been called to DC, and have been graced with a clearer of vision of what that could look like in the coming years. I’m not quite at the point of saying goodbye-after all, I still have almost 3 months until I’ll be leaving. But I am ready for all the discernment and decisions that need to be made in the next couple weeks. Maybe it’s the weather.
Dorothy Day reflected on how much weather can impact our desire to love. She felt her heart warm towards others as the days grew longer and warmer. In reading today, she reminded me that generally if we decide that we want to love someone, and we even pretend to and go through the motions of it, eventually that make-believe becomes reality. What comforting thought, that while I’m at my worst, internally, if I am making even an effort to show love, God can replace my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.