gentle off and on sprinkling
then a pouring out rain
cookouts and picnic plans shift
I celebrate in cool quietness
watching a white heron at the lake’s edge
when the rain pauses,
a pair of red birds come to sit in the sunflowers
among our vegetables nestle shining yellow jewels
scalloped, frilled, filled with goodness
making us laugh because they are named Pattypans
Among the most unusual of our garden produce, pattypans squash are beautiful and delightful to gather. The name “pattypan” derives from “a pan for baking a patty”. Its French name, pâtisson, derives from a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mould. I love knowing that my grandchildren help to grow and pick foods for our table. When we sit down for a meal, Nora sings the table blessing she learned at school called the Johnny Appleseed prayer.
Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord
for giving me the things I need – the sun and the rain and the appleseed
The Lord is good to me. Amen!
I often speak of lessons I learn from my garden. I learn, too, from my grandchildren – all of them. My favorite lessons (and photographs) come suddenly. If I am not quick with thought and camera, I may miss the moment entirely.
Nora, like me, loves to be outdoors. Our back porch and yard face north, and the past 2 months have been unusually windy. The wind pushes over waters of the small lake behind our house,whipping tender foliage and flower petals and Nora’s long hair. She does not like the way the wind gets her hair in the way of what she is doing. On the day I took this picture, she had just told me she was mad at the wind, shook her fist at it, and yelled “Go away, wind!”
Of course, the wind did not go away I was not enjoying the wind myself, but when I look at this photo, I see much that is often missed in posed photography. Nora learned focus and determination in imperfect circumstance. The same wind that blew pillows off the porch rocker, snatched petals from the roses, and caused the tousling of a chlld’s hair was responsible for tears a grandmother shed over beauty.
“Christ eastering within us means we have a new center and core from which we live. We now live Christ’s life. Easter is more than a day, an event, a remembrance. It is a way of life”. ~Michael Marsh, in his blog Interrupting the Silence..
My life gathered new meaning when I began to understand the word Easter as a verb, not just a noun.
So what would it mean for you if you knew Easter as a verb rather than a noun? How would your life be different?
“Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us.” Gerard Manley Hopkins
There are countless things that bring my observance of Lent and the daily changes in our garden into side by side meaning for me – changing my heart in the simple practice of being open to wonder. We planted this small Red Baron peach tree less than a year ago. Flooding in our back yard from a hurricane and unusually long hours of severe freezing temperatures during wintertime appeared to defeat the young fruit tree. It stood, a forlorn stick we thought had not pulled through the trials it faced with roots so newly sunk into our soil. Then came a day when leaf buds tentatively swelled and one small blossom appeared as if dropped onto a twig of a branch, followed by 3 more. I see that small wonder every time I look out the windows near my desk. This morning I read excerpts from a book by Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest.. Good words that settled and helped me. The tiny peach tree tells the story too.
“Lent reminds us…conversion is a lifelong process…We never stop starting over.
I fall down. I get up.
Keep marching to the end. Don’t shed your equipment. Keep starting over..”
And when the country priest (who had started over many times in his life) lay dying, he said, “Does it matter? Grace is everywhere.’