Organic

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I am one of those people who likes to buy organic foods. I look for fruits, vegetables and other items that I think are grown as naturally as possible. The other day while I was grocery shopping it struck me that I feel the same way about my spiritual values. I like organic. I like my religion to be natural, simple, and without a lot of additives. I believe my faith should nourish me with the basic elements for a healthy spiritual life and not mask its flavor with a lot of sugar or disguise its intentions with misleading packaging. For me, faith is organic. It grows from the earth, from the rain, from the light of God. This matters because, after all, we are what we eat. ~ The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw

I was drawn to this comparison of food and faith.  I believe tn addition to avoiding adding unhealthy ingredients and misleading packaging, I must know what tends my garden of faith, and take the time necessary for planting and tending.

rooted and fed

faith flourishes and sustains

turning always to Light. 

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11

Don’t Wait to Celebrate

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tissue paper ruffles

unwrap scarlet star

releasing arc of fireworks

today alone is mine

IMG_0724folded petals crumple

fireworks fade into the night

don’t wait to celebrate

 

Please see a related post from last year:  www.stonesandfeathers.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/i-have-this-day/

 

Silence

IMG_0585One of the disciplines that is hard to achieve in our bustling, hurrying, sound filled lives is that of silence. But if we do not know how to practice silence, if we do not make space for it, we may miss the time we are offered the chance to give that gift to one who needs us to listen. I love the silence of early morning – sitting with my cup of coffee as darkness opens to soft light. It is as if I am stilled in the lap of God, resting in the dawn of a new day’s hope.

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Talking always comes much easier than listening, but it is in silence that I can tune my ears and learn what it means to really hear. In my recent reading, I found the words from Rachel Naomi Remen as well as the poetry by John Fox. Both speak to the value of learning silence and deeply listening.

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”

~ Rachel Naomi Remen,

 

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.WWhen someone deeply listens to you
ithen it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered.

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

~ John Fox

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Rain

IMG_0656the smell of rain comes before pelting of drops

crepe myrtle branches whip, scattering white blooms like snowflakes

pattering percussion crescendos to drumroll of thunder

sheets of water bend tree limbs

showers slow to a whisper

slowly, quiet returns

puddles glisten

cooling air offers respite

wilted fern and rose revive

 

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Taking the Heat and saying Thank You

 

 

Summer’s heat and humidity are  the most common complaints on the South Texas Gulf Coast in the middle of July.In the Spring I hear “April showers bring May flowers”, but there don’t seem to be any comparable sayings pointing to blessings that a 106 heat index brings. However, the gifts are there, and I am reminded to count them.  Here are a few.

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Summer’s heat produces these vermilion flowers twisted into a tube with extended stamens protruding from the whorl. Some call the plant bleeding hearts; my grandmother called them Turks’ Caps and always had them in her East Texas yard. I adore these little twisted turbans.  Their scarlet flashes are rivaled only by the red birds that like the berries left after the flowers fade.

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Morning glories!  Without the heat from the morning sun, they would stay closed shut. But with morning light, their fragile cobalt petals unfurl so the star in their throats can shine.

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Honeysuckle vines reach for the heat and produce sweet nectar- bearing blooms that lure me with their fragrance.

IMG_0580Golden day lilies bare their cheerful faces to sunshine.

 

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Peppers of all shapes, sizes and colors thrive in summer’s furnace along with yellow squash, zucchini, and melons.  All these add nutritious goodness to our summer suppers.

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Figs!  Our abundant crop of figs is plenty to enjoy and more than enough to share.

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Peaches are at their best in summer’s heat.  My favorite variety ripens in August.
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Fennel, basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, and all my favorite herbs don’t even begin to thrive until it begins to get hot. Cutting them just before they go into a light summer soup or salad gives a rich, fragrant treat for the cook!

Still counting…

I am grateful.