Summer Snapshot: Lichen

“Life is an intricate pattern of simple designs;
we see the intricacy,
but once awareness is raised,
we can then see simplicity in all things.
Start with nature – get outside and embrace it today.”

[Unknown]

 

Lichen

.

For by him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—
all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.

[Colossians 1:16a]

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Summer Snapshot: Serenity at Dawn

It is a good idea to be alone in a garden
at dawn or dark
so that all its shy presences
may haunt you and possess you
in a reverie of suspended thought.

James Douglas

 

Serene Morning Mist

There is only one day left, always starting over:
it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.

Jean-Paul Sartre
~

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

Proverbs 4:18

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In Pursuit of Coolness

 

Weather2

Nothing profound from me today. It has been, is, and will continue to be hot. Please don’t see this as a complaint. I wouldn’t dare complain for fear it suddenly changes to unending rain! Instead, I’m trying to think of a positive side to hot sunshine.

It does bring on the flowers. I’ll say that for it.

Summer Peony

~

Summer Sun

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

 Robert Louis Stevenson
(from – A Child’s Garden of Verses – 1885)

~

I remember reading that to my Grade One students a good many years ago. There are lots of good things to say about the sun, but I don’t do well in the heat and right now I need something cooling to distract me.

Water 1

Ahhh… yes, that helps.

Water 2

Oh, this is much better! Now I’m of a mind to go in search of a beach and some ice cubes — the perfect pursuit on a hot summer day. :)

What’s your best way of cooling down when it’s too hot to think, let alone write?

~  ~  ~

There will be a shelter
to give shade from the heat by day,
and refuge and protection
from the storm and the rain.

(Isaiah 4:6)

~

 

Watching and Waiting: a poem

You may be getting tired of my bear photos, but I’m hoping you’ll bear with me a little longer. (I honestly didn’t intend that to be a pun!) I’ve been taking part (after a fashion) in a book study being done by a group of us on Facebook, organized by Sandra Heska King. The book is MAKING MANIFEST: on Faith, Creativity and the Kingdom at Hand, by Dave Harrity. ‘Taking part’ is presumptuous… an over-statement. I’m barely auditing the participation of others, reading portions as I have time, skipping bits, or re-reading others that particularly appeal to me.

There is an exercise for each day, a prompt provided, meant to stimulate a response to the day’s chapter. Day #21 was about “Making New: Bear [or bare] yourself before the page, wait, be patient. Ask for something impossible. Come to the desk [or the yard] for renewal,” and we were asked to write a ten-line poem that features an animal.

It made me think of our recent visiting bear, waiting for her invisible cub to finish its nap, hidden away behind the greenery. Thus my ‘bearwatch’ poem was born.

I don’t write much poetry, but I believe the required spontaneous creativity has a spin-off effect on my other writing. How about you? Do you ever write poems? Do you prefer the tidy, measured, rhyming kind, or the more emotional free verse? If you’d like to try your hand at this exercise I’d love it if you’d add a poem in the comments section below. (I won’t critique yours if you don’t critique mine.) :)

~

 

WatchingBear

 

WATCHING AND WAITING

~

Patience stretches time

into moments undone

unseen

hidden in green

waiting while a babe restores.

We would do well to emulate

watch and wait

and be recreated

a child of God

in His endless time.

~

(Carol J. Garvin for the ‘Making Manifest’
book study group’s Day #21 exercise)

Disappointment… or not!

I should have known better. I’ve tried before to take shots of the moon with my ‘big girl’ camera, and despite its zoom capabilities, they’ve never quite managed to replicate what my eyes see. But Wednesday evening as we drove home from the church and discovered the moon rising low and large, I couldn’t resist trying again, using the only camera I had with me… my iPhone’s.

Full Moon

The resulting lunar blob is insignificant, barely more than a golden glow in the ebony night sky. And yet… and yet, when I get it uploaded to the computer, this view appeals to me almost more than the crisp orb of previous attempts. When I tilt my monitor, the focus becomes not so much on the moon, but on the moodiness it paints into the surrounding sky and landscape.

My initial disappointment has been replaced by the realization that the less-than-perfect can sometimes be of more value to me than that for which I intentionally strive.

My mother would have called such discoveries “happy accidents” but I think of them as God bumps — nudges in a better direction, perhaps intended to help me navigate the challenges of my writing journey. What I take away from this nudge is that perfection is not all it’s cracked up to be! Doing the best I can with what I have may well produce something far better than I could hope.

Have any happy accidents or God bumps occurred in your life lately?

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Thoughts on Seeing and Believing

No writing analogy today, just some backyard ponderings…

Geese
In the stillness of early spring mornings I hear them — the Canada geese, returning to our marsh, honking in harsh duet. They aren’t the only noisy occupants of the marsh right now. The tiny Pacific Tree Frogs also make their presence known. At barely one inch in size, I rarely see them, but they sure do fill the air with their nighttime — and sometimes daytime — concerts.

Pacific Treefrog
In chorus together, the geese and frogs create quite the cacophony…

Amidst all the noise, I’m thinking about the words, “seeing is believing”. I don’t really need to see the geese or frogs to believe in their existence. They make their presence obvious. But when it comes to matters of faith, it’s not always easy to believe in something or Someone we cannot see. We want proof!

After a few days of rain I awoke yesterday to see footprints in the wet grass — two sets, one large and one tiny — evidence that our visitors of last week had meandered through the backyard once more. I didn’t happen to see them this time, but I have no doubt they were there.

Bear Tracks
After Easter when Jesus returned to his disciples, Thomas was as doubtful as we would probably have been. A dead man returning to life? Impossible! But Thomas’ doubt soon turned into belief and the reality of Jesus’ existence was acknowledged.

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” [John 20:29] In fact, it is believing that leads to true seeing, and not the reverse. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1]

Three weeks after Easter I’m still in an Easter frame of mind, and in awe of this wondrous gift of faith.

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