“Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.” ~ Giovanni Giocondo
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.
“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
Gifts are a part of our days before and after Christmas, both the ones that are chosen to give, wrapped with a bow – and the ones that we can’t hold in our hands, only our hearts. Come to think of it, even the ones that do come gift-wrapped are ones we hold in our hearts if they come to carry messages of love and caring.
The stones in this photo carry messages of the gifts offered in the birth of Christ. They are prayer stones that I keep in a basket on my porch and I often use them as touch reminders of God’s gifts that I need. The top photo was made some years ago. The picture below is the stones today. As often happens when I photograph something, surprising truth shows up when I look closely. Some stones obviously show more wear than others. I don’t doubt that the most worn stones reflect my past year’s need and requests. As you can see, Patience, Hope, and Peace have often been in my prayers. Courage and Strength show wear as well. The stones may gain refreshing from a Sharpie, but the gifts themselves are always clear, always there. I am thankful for all of them.