Red Baron Peach blossoms, February 28, 2019
Here. Now. This.
I want to notice.
I want to pay attention
to beauty that won’t wait
to music that may fade
to chances to be kind
We planted several fruit trees, including a small Red Baron peach tree in our back yard in 2017. That winter, one unusual hard freeze produced a couple of 19 degree nights so several of the trees did not survive. The little peach tree produced a few leaves in the Spring and stayed with us. Last winter brought more cold than is typical for us. The tree looked like a 3 feet tall stick. When the roses nearby were blooming in January and February, we often noticed the sad little stick. Then, proving survivorship, it began to bud. The buds swelled to these brilliant blossoms. Four days later, Winter came back with a vengeance. Even though we covered it with a pillowcase, our tiny tree is now a stick again. But the story is not over…
my outstretched hand stops
plan to cut the last Vitex bloom
changed by looped poison ivy
I will “let it be.”
summer heat withers most flowers
defiant, these Old Maids stand proudly
strong of stalk and bold of color
still telling the stories of my childhood
urging me to stay strong and bloom
garden beauty is not always found in flower beds
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!
scarlet nasturtiums nestle in green beds
saffron sunflowers lift faces to sunlight
indigo spires of salvia wave
all singing the song of summer
canvas tarnished like old silver
charcoal branches pierce fog,
wait for birdsong
In winter all the singing is in the tops of trees. ~ Mary Oliver
First Baptist Church, Richmond, TX December 8, 2017
A few days ago, a rare (for this area) snowfall briefly covered our homes, our gardens, and our church. Young and old rushed to the windows to watch as flakes began to drift down. Later, the rushing was to go outside, to lift faces and palms to the wonder. I often think just when I need the sense of wonder quickened, a gift like this comes to do just that. Wonder at snowfall or the tiniest dewdrop glistening on a rose petal is a nudge to be open, to remain open-eyed, to be receptive to the fullness and expectancy of Advent.
Wonder is the only adequate launching pad for exploring this fullness, this wholeness, of human life. Once a year, each Christmas, for a few days at least, we and millions of our neighbors turn aside from our preoccupations with life reduced to biology or economics or psychology and join together in a community of wonder.The wonder keeps us open-eyed and exceeds our calculations, that is always beyond anything we can make. ~ Eugene Peterson
Recently I found this large bald cypress bathed in morning sunlight. Every ferny leaf seemed to glow. I wanted to capture that luminous image before the light changed. It is a birthday week for me so I have spent time considering what I have learned in these 77 years and ways I want to spend the time ahead.
I am grateful for light and the ways it touches and changes. I thank God each morning for the new light another day brings. I am grateful for being able to see this, grateful for grace to know that as light changes, new ways of finding and seeing it will remain.
“Defend me against the chances and changes of this life, not that I may escape them but that I may meet them with firm resolve; not that I may be saved from them but that I may come unscathed through them.
Defend me from discouragement in difficulty and from despair in failure, from pride in success, and from forgetting you in the day of prosperity.
Help me to remember that there is no time when you will fail me and no moment when I do not need you.
Grant me this desire: that guided by your light and defended by your grace, I may come in safety and bring honor to my journey’s end…” ~ Norman Shawchuck
in shade under pine trees
stepping slowly through pine needles
careful in this dark corner
I laughed to find
one bright spot