by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Spring, with its promises of renewal and love, is burgeoning in Ashtabula.
The love affair began when Buck, a 14 year old Golden Retriever began taking walks with his owner, Raye Smith, and a friend from St. Peter's Church, Jim Heath and his Golden Retriever, Muffin, fondly called Muffy by Jim.
After one such excursion, Buck, defying vigorous attempts by Raye, refused to get out of Raye's Jeep Cherokee, staying there all night. The next day Raye was forced to drive back to Jim's house, where Buck bolted out of the car. From there, she walked him home, two short blocks. She then returned on foot for the Jeep, appreciating she said, the exercise.
The two dogs, both long since spayed and neutered, vastly enjoy their time together. Is it love? Perhaps.
Raye and Jim have found walking their dogs to be a delightful form of exercise and also begun what is often referred to as St. Beading on Wednesday's at St. Peter's Church, where they both attend.
St. Beading happens when a group of devotees arrive at the Church on Wednesday afternoon. They design items for wear and devotion, including necklaces and rosaries. On Sunday you see many of these beautiful pieces worn by worshipers there. Love shines through their work.
Love is a thing of wonder, providing joy and hope for all of us who believe unfulfilled dreams can become reality. Often, our dreams are fired by the legends of what is possible, from tales such as the stories of King Arthur.
St. Bede, best known for authoring "Ecclesiastical History of the English People," never traveled far from Wearmouth, site of the Monastery of St. Peter's, moving only seven miles to Jarrow when this twin community was founded in 682. What we know of early English history is credited to him.
While St. Bede did not mention Arthur by name, St. Bede is cited as a main sources for the life of Arthur.
Since celibacy was not mandated by the Catholic Church for another several hundred years it is very possible St. Bede was married and would have understood the emotion Buck feels for Muffy. He wrote, "Formerly I possessed a wife in the lustful passion of desire and now I possess her in honourable sanctification and true love of Christ." Love lightens the burdens of life and can bring us closer to another, and to ourselves.