Cathedral

I love the ancient oak trees growing near our church. To look through the arching branches reminds me of the relationship between ecclesiastical architecture and the hands of God seen in nature.

Cathedral

rustic arbor of arching branches

twisted in patterns of Gothic lace

inviting me to look beyond

to light

Home

photograph by Jeremy Parker

When I first saw this photo, I almost missed the tiny, solitary figure of my 11 year old granddaughter standing still to gaze at the beauty of this mountain lake in Nevada. She and her sister hiked here with their Daddy, my son. They fished for trout in the clear cold water. I am thrilled to see that Maddie also stood still and experienced the wonder of tall reaching evergreens, and glistening lake with its ripples and reflections. I like to think about the beauty she experienced here, the sounds and fragrance of the woods. I have seen her Dad stand still and wonder, too.  I believe moments like this do come suddenly, as glimpses, when we turn a corner. I am thankful I can experience this with her, prompted  by a photo, felt deeply in my heart.

We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes… –Madeleine L’Engle, from The Rock That Is Higher

Autumn’s Gift

jenleavesLast fall my niece Jen sent me these 2 lovely autumn leaves.  She lives in New Jersey, so autumn puts on a more colorful show there than we get on the South Texas Gulf Coast. They arrived in perfect condition and I pressed them between the pages of my gratitude journal. This week I smiled with pleasure when the leaves fell again –  out into my lap. I texted her a thank you. It was as if they waited until the calendar said go for their repeat performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting, Still

purpleflower

This bloom on a small container potted shrub reminds me of another purple bloom, in another place, the garden we moved away from a few months ago. It also reminded me that I still need to sit, that I need to be still. The birds and flowers are different, but there are yet the settling and knowing, the holy moments.

“Sitting in your garden is a feat to be worked at with unflagging determination and single-mindedness – for what gardener worth his salt sits down. I am deeply committed to sitting in the garden.”       – Mirabel Osler

Sitting still is necessary for so many things: I listen better when I sit still.  I hear things unheard when I am crunching on the gravel or digging or clipping.  The butterflies and hummingbirds come closer when I am still.  The cardinal pair lingers longer on the fence.  Appreciation and savoring of beauty may run after me when I am on the move but they settle around my shoulders like a soft cover when I sit still.  And in the stillness I begin to settle – the cloudy debris of things which can fret and hurt begin to drift to the bottom, leaving pure, clear knowing.  Holy moments can happen when I sit in my garden.   (Reposted from this blog, written on August 17, 2013.)

Still true, in a very different garden. Three years ago, this is the picture I posted, a different purple bloom on the Vitex tree in that garden.

vitex

 

Deliverance

dragonflyfree A few days ago as I sat on our back porch after watching the sunrise, I noticed a dragonfly near the edge of Bougainvillea planted nearby. Something about it made me get closer to pay attention.  Then I saw the dragonfly was trapped in a strand of spider web and had beat the edges of one wing to fray.  Now it hung suspended with only an occasional wiggle.  I called to my husband, who reached up and gently disentangled the lacy wing and held him in the palm of his hand, then placed him on a begonia leaf.  We watched happily  as awareness came, wings lifted, and the dragonfly flew away. The photographs tell the story.

dragonflytrapped

 

dragonfly3dragonfly

dragonflyrescued

dragonflyfree