moss tendrils twine

unharmed by winter wind and ice

needing nothing more

Spanish Moss is very common in our area of the Texas Gulf Coast, and in many  areas of the South. It is not a moss at all, but kin to the pineapple. It needs only the moisture in the air for thriving. A freeze does little damage, so in Spring it comes back and continues to grow.  Ice build up might make it heavy enough to fall to the ground.  But if it does end up grounded, it is not dead. Tossed back to the trees,  it will thrive again.  Thinning it actually helps it grow.



Recently, we had a small pot of Calla Lilies sitting in our kitchen window sill. I loved watching the blooms open, each tinted uniquely in ivory blushed with a bit of rose. I like these little flowers as well as their showier Christmastime companions, poinsettias,

As I packed away so many of the symbols of Christmas with decorations and trees, I was glad to keep plants like these, watering them, watching them grow, and enjoying their  symbolism and stories.  The brilliant red poinsettia has its story – called the “flower of the holy night,” standing for a little girl who wept on her way to church on Christmas Eve because she had no gift to bring. As she knelt on the ground to pray, she saw this lovely plant and gladly took its red beauty into the church as her Christmas gift to the Christ child.

But the calla lily plays a role in the Christian Easter service as a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. In many paintings and other works of art throughout history, it has also been depicted with the Virgin Mary or Angel of Annunciation, associated with holiness, faith and purity.

I am thankful for little altars in our home where a flower or a rock or a bit of glass is something I can see and touch, reminding me of the sacred in all our ordinary days.

Begin Again


Author Susan Tweit  mentions hearing her Scottish grandmother repeat a phrase I have seen used in various training programs:  “Begin as you intend to continue.” This is a reminder I am repeating as I cross the threshold for the year 2016.  I will add the word I have chosen for the year – Joyfully.  I choose to focus on  expressing joy in  actions and speech,  with a desire to cause and bring joy. 

I make this decision with intention and purpose as I enter a time of uncertainty and change. I do not depend on circumstance  for reason.  What decisions do you make as you begin new calendar pages? As we take one step, and then another into new experience, may we” pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it.” * We are not alone in the journey.



*credit to Mary Oliver for these words  Oliver’s approach to poetry is seamless from her approach to life and to faith. One section within the poem “Sometimes” sums up all three.

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it