IMG_1704It is Good Friday.  I go into our garden, remembering another garden that became a place of prayer, entreaty, yearning, betrayal, and choosing a path that cost life to give life.  A rosemary bush at the end of our stone wall has wintered, died back, and now demonstrates life beginning again. .Both  the garden I  am remembering and the garden where I walk are places of revelation.

a garden is a place of revelation

seeds that survive to grow

are containers that must open and change,

releasing all that they are

in order to become what they can be.


a garden is a place of repair

a wildflower stubbornly pushes through

a crack in the wall, filling that broken place

with green growing hope


a garden is a place pointing to resurrection

though whipped by winds and dried from drought,

shattered stalks lift up and flower

beginning again


a garden is a place of revelation

but not a place I can stay.

I cross its threshold

and remember.




Green Alleluias



I cannot count how many different greens appear in Springtime.

There is a blush of green on the trees covered with tiny buds trying to open

The changing green as leaves unfurl and fill branches of oak and elm

Sprouting snap peas, lettuces, and fledgling tomatoes are not the same color

Herbs have a whole palette of green of their own: sage, parsley, oregano, chives

Feathery dill and fennel, each uniquely green

All beginning again

All fresh and new

Every green an alleluia,

Singing Easter.

Taking the Day Off


Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.

~ Mary Oliver, “Today” from, ‘A Thousand Mornings’



Photograph by Jeremy Parker, Maddie’s Daddy.

Like the flush blushing of azaleas and sun, Maddie surprised us today..  After days of chilly rain and pewter skies that made it hard to see the new green on tree branches, there is a sudden lifting of spirit and laughter rising.  There is the song of birds and little girls.  There is dancing, twirling, skipping. There is  joy. Tomorrow Maddie will go back home.  Pink petals will begin to drop on the flagstone path.  But having been surprised by this joy (thank you, C. S. Lewis) I will gather this light now, and it will be mine tomorrow.

“Light tomorrow with today.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


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Like snowflakes and bubbles

no baby is like any other

bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh
each son unique, each his own

butterfly kick in my womb
breath and yell
word and step
skinned knee
broken heart
never the same
nothing twice

in a doubling unlike repetition
You lie in my arms
I look deeply into your shining eyes
and think for the briefest second
everything again

Nora, March 19, 2014

Accidental Roads

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When ideas keep appearing in different ways during my week, I begin to recognize the pattern.  Then I begin to consider what I am being asked to learn.  This week in an album Allen Levi’s  song about a missed turn, “Accidental Roads,” touched me with words that included “there was dappled sunlight on that road. I might have missed it if I had been where I planned.”

An online poetry group of which I am a member posted a request for poetry with a theme “In praise of detours.”

In my Lenten devotional book, one day’s practice was to “welcome an interruption today.”

In tribute to lessons learned from interruptions, missed turns, and detours, I made additions to my long to do list…

I will be diligent in my work today.

bills and tax filing have official deadlines

with penalties for avoidance

laundry and cleaning chores need to stay on the list

phone calls must be returned

clutter calls to me from everywhere

there are necessary errands to pharmacy, bank, and market

cooking requires another whole list plus time to do it

I will listen for the different drummer

I will read between the lines

I will take a walk and watch for wildflowers

I will welcome the phone call from someone who is lonely

I will sit in silence with my Friend

I will lean into the accidental roads today…

I love dappled sunlight.