October

chrysanthemum

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!      ~Humbert Wolfe

October in South Texas brings welcome change, but not only from summer heat. The mornings this week have been cool, heavy mist rises from the lake, sunrise is coming later, and pecans are falling from the trees. There are only slight changes in the green of the woods, but the thing I notice first is the way the light changes. It sifts through leaves and falls more softly, dappling and dancing.  Chrysanthemums and marigolds color faded flower beds like mini sunsets.

 

 

Burning Layers

SunriseJune112016

 Sunrise, June 11, 2016

“By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, when in fact we live steeped in its burning layers.” ~  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 

September Sunrise

IMG_3173 (2)

Driving toward Houston at dawn is a rush of hurrying commuters headed for their work target, streams of traffic, sounds of impatient horns. On a morning recently when Joe and I were headed to an early appointment in the Medical Center, I photographed the quickly changing colors of sunrise.  The car was moving fast, the clouds and colors shifting, and there was no opportunity for focus. The wash of color is still a gift, and a reminder to me to look for beauty everywhere, all the time.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.

Clinging

hear November whisper and sing

rain drops and ball moss cling

morning light holds onto night

a few brown leaves hang on tight

I linger like these  and pray

reluctant to busy my day

yet still, yet silent

clinging

 

IMG_1939 (2)

 

 

 

IMG_1936

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Different Way of Seeing

IMG_1877

Underneath a caladium leaf in morning light

IMG_1875

Standing in front of the same caladium leaf in the same light.

 

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

IMG_1879

IMG_1878

The pot of caladiums on my front porch continues to multiply and thrive in our cool mornings and sunny afternoons. Every time I come in that door I pause to to appreciate the soft colors and hint of scarlet at the center and edge of the leaves. They are pretty. But this morning when I opened the front door to go outside, I looked from a different place and what I saw took my breath away. Veined and shaded, the leaf’s translucency drew me closer. Morning light streamed through emerald tissue and glowed like stained glass.  In this moment,, in just this angle of sunlight, there was beauty I would have missed if had hurried by.  I believe we have countless opportunities like this to see with the eyes of our heart. I am grateful for this one.

 

This Morning…

IMG_0399dear familiar line and color

velvet spread of leaf

magenta and vermilion petal

held in the sweet curve

of glazed garden pot

one brief glimpse

telling me

this is home

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”

~ C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

This Morning, I Do!

005

The cardinal pair which is faithful to choose nesting sites in our garden is a consistent source of delight for me.  Their song draws me from my own nest with pillow and lamp, put down my book,  walk barefoot on the cool wet stones of today’s path.  I am called to pay attention, to  have my heart pierced as the sun rises, to love this world and to cherish this life, to exclaim of the dearness given to me new every day.  I love Mary Oliver’s poem that prompts these words for me.

 

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?
~ Mary Oliver, “Peonies” from New And Selected Poems

Full of Light

002One of the things we love about Advent and Christmas is doing things the same way we have done them for many years. There may be minor changes and adjustments, but there is a sweet remembering in the things we do each year.  Even more, a balm for rough times and a surge of hope as we repeat the journey of the heart.   I found this entry in a journal i kept 6 years ago.  It is dated December 17, 2007, but it could have been words I wrote today.  These thoughts were in my mind then, and  now again.

“…the most important things that occur during my day usually aren’t on the to-do list. This Monday morning I am reflecting that fact as I finish my Old Testament reading and pray.  My heart is preparing – more important than the myriad things that will get done as the day unfolds:  laundry, house cleaning, finishing gifts, mailing cards, baking – each becomes an expression of my heart’s preparation.  I am so full of awe and wonder and gratitude for the great gift of Christ, the gift of God himself.  My home is full of Christmas music, Christmas color, Christmas light.  Christmas Light.”

Morning Meditation

005
 dawn casts veiled promise
through this day’s window
I come to the quiet
in shifting shadows of morning light
inhaling peace
exhaling all that I need to release
grace settles like a shawl around my shoulders
dance of stillness, silent song
enough