pollen painting

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the rain came and washed away the pollen

or so we thought

until the wind nudged the leaves along the sidewalk a bit

disturbing them in their slumber where the rough storm had left them be

 

and there underneath was the brightest yellow

where all had collected and gathered

protected

beneath the leaves

as the storm passed

and the day began

 

a perfect painting of what once was

and would not be again

 

 

 

 

the bird who knew no time

It was 1 a.m. and the dark house was filled with the quiet of the hour.

Only I moved in the house from one room to the next until I sat on the edge of my bed, the side closest to the window my own.

I squinted in the darkened room to see if there was much moonlight outside, and that is when it startled me.

Eerily piercing the darkness, the silence, as though it were noon and not the wee hours of the night, a bird’s melodic offering.

Again and again, over and over, he sang.  No one else joined in, with me as his only audience.

And I wondered why.

Was he practicing for the luring of his love on the morrow?

Was he seeking solace for some sadness he’d suffered earlier in the day?

Was he pontificating about things only he seemed to understand in a language that far too few bother to learn anymore?

Was he cheerily telling the young ones asleep hours ago of stories from his youth?

Was he from out of town and jet lagging like so many when arriving to a new place?

Was he without vision and the darkness could not pierce his spirit?

Did he sense me there on the other side of the bricks, sitting all alone and lonely in the darkness?

I’ll never be quite sure why he sang, but I listened to his offering, unable to sleep.  I wanted to hear his story, to hold it in my hands.  I wanted to know why he had to sing despite everything conventional saying he should not.

Thank you for piercing the darkness with your song and opening my eyes to the light, sweet one.  Your song reminded me of brighter days and evenings lit by lightning bugs.  Your song soared among the clouds and landed on my heart.

Sleep well, little friend.  Until we meet again.

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Sparkling Trails in the Sunlight

This morning as Miss Sophie and I went for our morning constitutional, the sun was bright and it wasn’t quite so cold.  I could almost believe that Spring might be on her way.  (Yes, PLEASE.)  The sky was a vivid blue and the sun was reflected on the sidewalk, turning it almost white.

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In that gorgeous sunlight I noticed the sparkling silver trails across the sidewalk.  I wondered where the trailblazers were and if they had made it through the night.

Looking at those trails reflecting the morning light, I wondered, will my own trail reflect the light like that after I’m gone out of sight on this journey?  Will it be a beautiful thing to see and think about on a morning filled with hope?  Will those who knew nothing of me see the path I’ve traveled on and feel inspired?

Something to think about as I plan my steps and make my way.

Love to all.

 

Her Lovely and Gentle Ways

Today found Winter clinging to every last bit she could, refusing to let go of the grip she had on my toes.  I am so tired of being cold, weary, and of coming home in the dark.

But on this day, when Winter was hanging on for all she was worth, her genteel sister crept out from behind the veil where she was hiding and whispered.  As her breath hit the air, it warmed slightly.  It was as though she were timid and not ready to be seen in large gatherings, but still–I caught a glimpse.  It would seem she took a little walk and left in her wake her dainty little footprints in the form of the blossoms that bowed and nodded as a gentle breeze wafted through–the pink a shade of blush or bashful, I couldn’t be quite sure which.

In the air, all around serenaded her, trying their best to convince her to stay as the birds sang their songs and frog music played in the background.  Even the sun put on a show for her before he headed for bed, inviting her to stay over and continue her visit tomorrow.

Ahhh, well, as the sun parted company with the sky, and all grew dark, I knew she had left us for a bit, uncertain if the timing was right or not.  As my soul thirsts for bare feet and warm grass and the kiss of the golden sun on my face, I do hope she will feel more at home tomorrow.  Or the next day.  And maybe she will set up camp and plan to stay for a while longer than a day here or there.

I’ve missed her.

And all of her lovely and gentle ways.

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prunus persica in bloom

The Stick and the Stalk and Their Stories

Six or seven years ago I was at the Super Savings Store with the littles.  I remember going in through the gardening section and seeing they had a lot of “plant type” things on sale.  I saw that they had Iris bulbs.  For less than a dollar.  I grabbed them up–a couple of packs.  We paid for them, brought them home, and as a part of my daughter’s school project, she planted them in little shallow holes in the ground.

So much that could have gone wrong.

Old cheap bulbs.

Amateur planting.

The fact that we had no idea what we were doing.  At.  All.

And yet, they grew.

And they have every year since then.

I love the Iris.  It started with the Fella bringing me some when we were courting.  We had one printed on our wedding napkins.  And when we had to travel to Okinawa to have a Level II ultrasound done in anticipation of our Princess’ arrival, the room we stayed in for that trip had a painting of irises on the wall.  It just seemed…..right.

This year.  This year the green stalks came up out of the ground.  They looked weak and wimpy and were easily blown over with the wind or rain.  I just knew that it wasn’t happening this year.  It had been a good run.  I mean how long can those little brown knots keep growing such beauty?  Surely not much longer.

After all, everything else has long bloomed and moved on.

And then yesterday–

The tea olive, a gift from another sweet friend, has grown up so lovely, and the irises seem to be happy rising up amidst its branches.

The tea olive, a gift from another sweet friend, has grown up so lovely, and the irises seem to be happy rising up amidst its branches.

they took my breath away.  I forgot how elegant they are.  So graceful.  And that color.

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Perfection.

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They bring me great joy and what an amazing story they have.  Each one of those lovelies can claim a little brown knot as part of  her family tree.

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That gives me hope.

So does this.

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This “stick” came to us in a box.  It was a gift from a friend who can grow anything.  And her heart is as big as her green thumb.

She told me to put it in some dirt and pray.

So I found this old pot that was Mama’s in its previous life.   I put some soil in and planted the stick with the long root.  I gave it a home on my back porch Roost, and I waited.

It has earned its nickname “Hope Plant,” because each morning I walk out there to check on it, hoping to see some sign of life.

And then two days ago–voila!  That’s exactly what I found.

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Have you ever seen such a beautiful shade of green in your entire life?

Not me.

Today that little leaf was unfurled just a little more.  I shared this picture with friends on Facebook.  It’s been quite entertaining hearing everyone’s guesses as to what it might be.  Hydrangea?  Fig?  Mimosa?  All I know is it is not a Mimosa, because my friend said it’s not.  I promised to keep everyone abreast of its growth through #HopePlant updates.  To see how intrigued this has everyone is too much fun.  I am looking forward to the big “reveal.”  I can’t wait and yet I can.

It’s all about the journey too, isn’t it?

Tonight I’m thankful for the joy and hope that new life brings us.  I love the message that nature shares if we only pay attention.  Beauty can come from the plainest of things.  Good things come from dirt.  And from friends with giving hearts.  And what looks like a stick or a wimpy green stalk might just be filled with a wonderful story.

Just like us.  And our stories.

There is more than meets the eye.

May you find a message of hope in something that crosses your path today.

And everyday.

Love to all.

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This evening as my Aub and I gathered together in a circle of 100 or more people gathered at the Vigil, I looked down in the midst of the singing, and I saw this leaf there on the ground in front of me.  It intrigued me and comforted me.  As prayers were said for the one inside the building hidden by the woods, awaiting to know if her life was about to end or not, I focused my heart on the prayer and my eyes on the leaf.  As prayers were said for the ones who know and love her and would grieve for her both inside and outside of the building with the bars, I focused my heart on the prayer and my eyes on the leaf.

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At first I thought it was a cross, but as I looked a little longer, I realized it was a dove.  Of peace.

And my heart and soul breathed a sigh of release.

And a prayer for grace and mercy.

Tonight I am thankful for a life that is still being lived, a story still being told, and for the souls who shared their stories and hopes with us as we stood in the cold and hoped and prayed and laughed and cried together.  I am thankful for weather delays and cloudy medicines and the chance that hearts could still be changed and justice and mercy can go hand in hand to continue the life of one who cares, who has saved lives herself, and who has told folks they were better than their circumstances.  Of one who loves.

As for what tomorrow will bring, I focus my heart on the prayers and my eyes on the dove.  On peace.  And grace.  And mercy.

And I know that whatever story comes next, in the end, Love Wins.  It just has to.

Love to all.

 

 

 

Other Thoughts:  The Sanctity of Life and the Miracle of Grace

 

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Fungus Among Us…..and Beauty

Early one morning last week this was in my yard.

IMG_4715I was fascinated by its shape and nearly perfect imitation of a golf ball on a tee.  (I think I got that right, I don’t even play.)

Then yesterday morning, this greeted me.  As one friend shared about her yard, it looked like the Smurfs had moved in overnight.

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Isn’t that something?

I don’t know why, but I’ve been intrigued by them.  On my walk with Miss Sophie this morning I saw the tiniest little ones, barely discernible to my bifocaled eyes.  Where do they come from?  What brings them to the exact spot that they grow and not to any of the other 1000 places in my yard?  And why did they choose my yard over my neighbors’ yards?

I’ve gotta tell ya, it feels pretty magical.  I went to bed one night, no mushrooms.  I get up the next day and that right there.

Magic.  Of the fairies sort.  Or a test run for Santa and this is what he left.

All silliness aside, I’m in awe of these creatures.  I do not want a mushroom anywhere near my kitchen and especially not on my plate, but in my yard…..downright delightful.

How do they know how to grow?

I mean, in that perfect circle like that.  How is it that they do it–every.  single.  time.

Amazing.

There’s one in the backyard that my bifocaled eyes first thought was a rock.  It’s brown in color and HUGE.  The top is very full and “fluffy” looking.  It is going downhill slowly.  I wonder what the lifespan is on a mushroom.  I’ve never really had the chance to figure it out before because something or someone usually gets to any that we’ve had before they could reach their natural demise.

That round perfection…..of each and every mushroom in my yard.  The exact placement of each one.  That the One who created me took the time to place each one and taught it how it was supposed to grow, each and every one, in its perfect way…..that blows me out of the water.  Mind blown.

I guess this is where I should say something about grand design and how we are each created to grow and be just as we are…..in our own individual form of perfection.  But I won’t.

Instead I’ll say what I say when I see a perfect sunset or a field full of wildflowers or listen to the birds singing in my backyard (I’m a bird farmer, you know)…..

Good job, God!

I don’t want to eat one, but tonight I’m thankful for mushrooms.  All of them sprinkled across my yard.  For reminding me of the One who creates and for Whom our world and our hearts are palettes.  Such beauty even in the midst of fungus…..sometimes I really like how God rolls.