The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Transmute The Dust Into Stardust


In our closing ritual, there are five words in particular that have always appealed to me and as the years pass, become more meaningful. There is a fascinating story about them...

Mrs. Terry had been on vacation and was coming home, driving through western Kansas. It was a pleasant time of day to drive, just as the sun had set. Suddenly, at the rim of the horizon she and her companion saw something that looked like a mound of earth slowly rising upward.

In a very short time it spread into a weird and ominous orange- yellow fan-like cloud. They pulled into a filling station and asked the attendant what it was. "That," he said, "is a dust storm. If I were you, I would not drive into it."

She wrote, "we needed no persuasion to accept his advice. The tone of his voice and look in his eyes were enough! We stayed the night and the dust storm did not reach us. But the next day, as we journeyed onward we read the ugly record it had left behind."

The scene was like a picture painted by a madman. For miles, dust lay in arid drifts along the roadway and against the fences. Where fields of tall green corn had stood the day before, there were now only sere, brown stalks, stripped of every leaf, leaning dejectedly like inanimate scarecrows, bent in the path the storm had taken.

The following spring, Mrs. Terry had occasion to go that way again and the picture she saw was a very different one. As she looked out the train window onto the verdant landscape she said her eyes teared and her heart filled with gratitude for the story of the resurrection which comes to earth every spring.

Everything was new! The fields and trees were singing with color. The dust had been transmuted into all of this. A dust storm is an ugly thing. There is strangulation, defeat and death until it be transmuted into better things.

Sometimes, we too, feel the road we take seems obscured in dust. Have we the skill and grace to pave it with stars? To transmute the dust into stardust?

When we are useful and give of ourselves free from self and selfishness, we reach a higher level of character, thereby manifesting the deeper teachings of our rituals.

Regardless of the road we take, if it is obscured in dust all we need do is the best we can, jump the hurdle and transform what is not good into something that is . . . transmute the dust into stardust!


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