Saturday, April 20, 2019

Easter Weekend - Jerusalem

"Birds in the Garden" by Hilary J. England, Acrylic on canvas panel, 12" x 16"
Good Friday was yesterday, and I spent the day wandering and relaxing.  I tried to avoid the crush of tourists and pilgrims in the Old City, as I have had my fill of crowds, and I do think the Lord would understand that.  I can have a contemplative Easter weekend in the Holy City without getting squished by a mob.

Today is Holy Saturday, and the city has been bathed in calm since the Shabbat siren sounded last night.  With my windows open, the breeze gently wafted in, and I could hear the reverent and joyous singing of the Jews in the temple across the street.  It was relaxing and made me feel cozy and comfortable, curled in my bed under my blankets -- I have been nursing an infection in my slightly impacted wisdom tooth for the last few days, and it really started to hurt yesterday -- into my jaw, all the way into my ear.  I got slightly disgruntled and alarmed but decided to just keep at the homeopathic remedies -- continued saltwater washes, extra vitamin c, extra rest in the next few days, and prayer and meditation.

I decided a painting in the Garden of Gethsemane was in order.  It was extra quiet and the sun kept flitting in and out of the clouds.  One minute bright, the next, gray and windy.  I looked at the ancient olive trees, curled and gnarled, and wondered at all they had seen in the thousand years or more of their existence.  Did they see Jesus weeping in the garden? He had much to weep for.  He wept for his life, for what was coming, for those he was leaving behind, and the state of chaos the world was and still is in.  The trees stayed stoically quiet.  Their twisted trunks and branches curled into the gray as if they would embrace the sky.  Jesus had sought shelter in their embrace -- he longed to be comforted, for answers, for release.  All the others slept, and he was alone with God, and the trees. 

I looked at the little birds quietly pecking away at the ground.  Jesus had said we were more important than the little sparrows -- but he didn't mean they weren't important too.  I looked at them, in their own little world, so beautiful in their simplicity.  They brought me great joy to see them.  I relate to sparrows.  I've not been much in this life in terms of the world, but that's okay.  I feel I've completed to this point, the tasks I was ordained to, in this life.  And, I will continue to do what is in the purpose of my life -- painting to uplift others, to help others heal, to have a moment of peace and beauty in their day-to-day lives.  I thank God for all the little moments, the precious moments of beauty, like here today in the Garden.

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