Sunday, March 15, 2015


I've seen the signs all along recently, noticed the geese returning and pairing up, even a duo of swans with their necks intertwined on the frozen bay.  Its ice still thick at least a quarter of a mile out, the lake begrudgingly has given up some of its winter coating of white and snow and we can spot deep blue water freed at last.  Now I sit here at my writing desk, with my window cracked open so that I can hear the birds chattering and the sounds of  wildlife emerging from woods and yards, sounds no longer muffled by cold air and arctic wind.  What a joy the coming of Spring is to all of our senses!

There are other signs of rebirth, too.  Lent is upon us, midway, with its opportunities for self-denial, reflection and meditation on the Passion.  Danny and I look forward each week to our church's practice of the 14 Stations of the Cross, a series of prayers, readings, and musical interludes that help us focus on Christ's ultimate sacrifice on Calvary.  Lent is a time when we pray for the world, for Pope Francis, for Bishop Thomas, and for all those who are suffering at the hands of violent and ruthless captors.  We especially pray for the children who are homeless, uncared for, or victims in any way.

On the less serious front, it is March Madness at our house.  Coach Danny is glued to the brackets with 84 teams being narrowed down to the final winner of the NCAA basketball college tournament, over the next several weeks and games.  On the Pro Team level, the Cleveland Cavaliers are our pride and  joy here at the Roth household. Then there is the beginning of the training season for the Cleveland Indians baseball, now begun in Arizona.  We look forward to seeing Kluiber on the mound this season.  We might look at these things as a rebirth of kinds in the athletic world, a sure sign of spring.

The signs of spring are everywhere, but perhaps the most exciting sign of spring within myself is that rekindled desire to paint and paint and paint.  I wake up in the morning eager to look at the paper and paint laid out on my drafting table from the night before.  What did the paint do?  How did the colors change?  Stand back and look.  What is the next step?  The transformation of my attitude toward my craft is a sure sign of something stirring within me.  It is a sure sign of spring and with it is a strong hope that my paintings will challenge me to grow some more, to paint happiness for others to see, to explore with courage new possibilities, both in art and in my life.
Baptism (From River People, cElizabeth Roth)