Jesus plopped a little duo of parabolic gems about patches and wineskins as response. This is one of those passages in the gospel of Matthew that have most of us scratching our heads and wondering, “What exactly did Jesus mean by that?”
I think, and this is pure supposition, I admit, that when Jesus said these words, he may have given a little wink to Matthew, his host and new disciple. Because Matthew understood exactly what Jesus meant by this:
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wine wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16-17)
My insides are rustling in breezes making the scratching music of dry leaves on dead twigs.
It is a lonely, little song. Not much of a song at all. Just the skittering whispers of my spirit. The wind blowing through the holes, my experiences and knowledge and beliefs all scattered like garden detritus at my feet.
Barren. Bare twig. Dead leaf.
And I make a decision.
I’d rather the wind howl in my soul full of holes. At least the hollow moan is real. Undressed, unfilled, naked, waiting.
Just like that and summer comes to a close.
Arriving on time, autumn slips through the screen door right around Labor Day weekend.
And all those endless sundrenched days of July and August strung like daisies seem to end in a blurry blinding bright spot in my memory.
Poppies don’t unfurl demurely, as the rose, or uncurl like the clematis and daisy. Poppies flash and pop and flare their skirts like flamenco dancers. They sail on wind and hold the thunderstorm rains with gentle hands. They surprise.
Balsamroot blooms as far as I can see, a sunny carpet beneath the scraggly bull pines. The well-worn path winds round rocks and under low branches and through the sea of gold. I unleash the corgis and they scamper and sniff while I take stock of the northern wildflowers in bloom this mid-May day. The yellow, daisy-like bunches of balsamroot steal the show, but upon closer look, I see the splay-leafed lupine beginning to rise, the feathery-leafed yarrow, and a groundcover of purple phlox peeking beneath the swaying grasses. The purple Grass Widow with her downturned bonnet and the sunny buttercup – our first wildflowers of spring have quietly faded, unseen until next March. Just down the street, I tend to my own garden. I plant, spray and dig cultivating my flowerbeds into a three-season bloomfest. But here, where neighborhood meets county land, I am quieted. I feel no urge to transplant or yank weeds or examine for pests. I simply rest in the day’s unique beauty: the dry crunch of pine-needles underfoot, …