Reportedly one symptom of Covid 19 is the loss of taste, which in rare cases could be a blessing. The worst thing I’ve ever tasted was a stink bug hidden in a bowl of fresh raspberries. Stink bugs emit a foul odor when disturbed, but they taste far more foul when bitten.

I doubt God has ever bitten a stink bug. I imagine the worst thing God has ever tasted is hatred. Even a little bit of hatred can ruin the whole savory stew of a creation born of love. I spat that stink bug out, brushed my teeth, and gargled, but the taste lingered. I shudder to think what we’re doing to God right now. But maybe it’s God’s own fault. The stink bug was entirely accidental. We’re not. There’s nothing accidental about us.

Some of you may wonder about the motivation, sanity, and content of this blog…as have I. Right now, you are reading my 200th post. Just over five years ago, I had a chance encounter with cancer. Facing imminent mortality yanked my consciousness around. Disbelief and indignation got all tangled up with gratitude, terror, and determination. My connections to the Great Beyond, the God of Bigness, Littleness, Cosmos, Critters, Creative Urgency, and Salvation expanded like stretchy strands of spider web, tenacious as dry rot eating through brick; God, the ever-branching tentacles; me, the crumbling brick.

I’ve gotten to know my bothersome Co-Author fairly well because I live by a river, and it’s quiet sometimes–quiet enough to hear the continual cracking of God’s fractured heart and green enough to witness the courageous mending wrought by the small yellow flowers as they befriend their fate.

Every day, I try to follow suit and befriend my fate. Bark peels off the fallen tree into my hands, and even this has become more beautiful than I can bear. I lay the best pieces on the water and send them downstream to people I do not know and cannot name; gay, black, beaten, homeless…the hungry and the dead.

No one comes back to tell us anything about legacies or regrets, but I am convinced everything matters a little. Like attending. Showing up. But to really show up, to take it all in, I have to pry myself open to touch and see, listen…and yes, to smell and taste. Even after the stink bug incident, some days I bravely sniff the breeze and roll the taste of God around in my mouth. No matter how fresh or putrid, bitter or sweet, I try to savor. Some days, God bravely does the same with me.

I wish each ferocious moment of connection would be enough, but that’s not how it works. Thus, I ponder and write. Thank you for reading these blogs and for prying yourselves as open as you dare. Openings create legacies, fleeting and fine-boned, as all legacies should be. For that, I am grateful.

20 thoughts on “Legacy

  1. It’s amazing how our sufferings open the doors isn’t it? I am glad you started your blog and opened your heart to us readers Rita.

    I am also grateful that God raised me high above any bitterness or sorry feelings for myself that seem to dog people after traumas. It appears that you too have been touched by Her grace.

    Sending love across the ocean ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I looked for you earlier this morning. Then you showed up. For you, I am grateful. For John Lewis, I am grateful.
    Two hundred is a good number.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So grateful to receive your writing each Sunday. Today, I’m especially grateful for YOU and the way you’ve allowed yourself to be pried open and the time you take to be open. Thank-you.
    And, yes, everything matters a little. May every little bit be a step toward better/stronger/deeper connection.


  4. Thank you so much for your insight Rita. As one who has yet to stare my own mortality in the face (and not looking forward to that event) you have perspective that I lack. Every bit of bark floating downstream helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, a weirdly circular, linear, journey that goes no where and everywhere. The joints creak, the brain falters, but hopefully the heart expands and grows wiser. Thanks for the many ways you help that along in the world…


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