Cucumbers, Calendars and Dental Floss
No, they are not related, and even my desire for all things to cooperate and connect cannot
make them related.
Last week I was sitting over iced tea with a friend and wanted to take notes about his ideas so I
started digging in my purse for a pen. A fresh garden cucumber, an old-fashioned paper
calendar and a little white box of dental floss were all I could put my hand on. No paper--a
napkin would have to do, and a toothbrush handle where my pen should be. That’s all my
search yielded! Well, that and a moment of laughing frustration that such a sensible leather bag
could be so badly provisioned.
I’d have passed over the moment completely if my friend had not suggested it might be blog
material, and I realized he was right. Most of our lives are made up of unplanned and
unlooked-for odds and ends. Opportunities that come dressed as frustrations, forcing us to be
creative. Residue of past decisions that now must be the seeds of the future. Good
components that are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Scraps other people have
dropped into our lives.
The Celtic way of seeing is that everything belongs, in its own way, and everything needs to be
recognized and honored. Not necessarily loved or even preferred, but given its place as part of
the way things are in the world. And the way things are is what we make our lives of.
Mismatched memories and hopes. One sock, a bent teaspoon, and a beautiful new bicycle.
This is your life. What are you going to do with it? How do your cucumbers, calendars and
notes on napkins make you more creative, more whole? Where is God in the leftovers and the
imaginings? It’s a daily challenge, and one for which we need each other’s support.
Eileen J Terry