Wednesday, October 21, 2009

St. Francis and the Pony Palm

St. Francis stands in my living room. I see him everyday, gazing lovingly down at the bird on his shoulder, the one who never moves. For that matter, neither does St. Francis, unless I choose to move him.
St. Francis was found very few days after Hurricane Dennis hit my hometown in 2005. He was almost buried completely under mounds of seaweed and other assorted refuse that had washed up on our property - fishing poles, lumber - lots of lumber, trash, signs, dead fish. My husband and I with some friends, after spending days washing muck out of the house, decided to walk a bit along the shoreline - a sort of treasure hunt - and there he was - laying as still as a saint under duress - and we rescued him.
Since that day St. Francis has lived silently in my living room, his only companions his birds and the assorted houseplants I decide look good standing with him. These changed from time to time, mood to mood - until one day he stood by the pony palm , the one we brought home from my mother-in-law's funeral in 2007 - the one that grows and grows. They became permanent companions that day.
St. Francis came to our house after adversity, the pony palm after a death. Visitors to my house may very well have wondered why I have a garden statue in my living room. It is because St. Francis and his friend the pony palm remind me daily that death and adversity are a part of life, sometimes companions - but life continues after death and sainthood comes from coping with adversity for God's sake.

1 comment:

  1. St. Francis is one of my favorite of the catholic saints. I love his prayer:
    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love;
    for it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

    His ode to creation is lovely, too. I just love the way he was so gentle and caring with animals and all of creation. And the way he tried to really live the words of the Christ. He inspires me.