Wednesday, September 28, 2016
How inspiring, this Fall weather.The window is open and I feel like I just got a shot of vitamin B12.The black birds that descend twice yearly are here stealing all the bird seed but even this is cause for joy.The rhythm of the earth, the seasons changing just when needed most.
The black birds fly down as one, a blanket of birds safe in their numbers.But they also make a huge target for the hawks who live here by the river.The grass is covered in squawking black.When they are not feasting they are haunting the woods with their chirping and screeching.May they all head further south in safety.
Pink and red roses are still blooming in my tired garden along with swamp daisies, with their bright yellow faces that bees love.The Bougainvillea Rain trees have pushed out the pods that will, amazingly, turn pink, coming from yellow flowers.Most of the the leaves in the woods are still green although the summer tired and curled up ones are falling .The sound of their clicking on the small patio makes me smile.
I spent a good bit of time this summer in a screened tent with a view of the mountains.Also, in walks along a country road, time sitting by the brook, hikes in the woods.The Japanese call these walks, woods bathing.Cleansing yourself of the stress and tension of civilized life.No wonder I am having such a hard time being on the highway here.Should this body really be hurtling down the road at 70 miles per hour when it has spent so many months in tranquil sauntering ?
Many moments were spent in prayer.I am not a saint but I need this connection to stay centered.When I neglect this time, which I often have, I spin out and get scooped up by the trivial.And I buy clothes.
There was a theme that came at the end of my mountain time.It is not profound but if I ever write a book this will be the title:"Clover and Bumble Bees".It came as a light but it is so simple I can hardly explain it.I will try: the most important moments are those you spend with the gifts from the Gracious Hand. Things like clover, that come back wildly each year to feed the bees that too come back each year.Do you see the pattern?It is orderly and it works and if we appreciate these things, we will know joy.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
I was never one of those children who took a pen in hand when I was 7 and produced great stories and poems.It never occurred to me to write.I knew no one then that kept a journal. I found my way to this gift when I started a daily running log when I was in my 40s. The entry would start: "it's hot and humid" and then before I knew it, I was expanding that thought to describe the birds I heard and the trees I would pass and so it began.
I am glad beyond measure.
The newest writing class that I facilitate, the third one, started this week and if there was a theme to the writings of this talented group, it was hope.Soaring, freeing, liberating hope.I should pay them to come, these women that have stories and words that bless me.
And as if this gift wasn't enough, the other day I heard from an old friend of 60 years ago.We dated for awhile in high school and there he was commenting on my blog.From the sky, the gifts pour down like pennies from a generous hand that roll around my feet, often unnoticed.
Another penny: next class I will encourage the members to bring a different notebook for a purpose other than our art/writing.I will suggest that they look in Goodwill and tell them why.My most current book cost 99 cents and on the second page, the previous owner had offered two things to contemplate.The first is this: "Allow God to speak to you while you are speaking to others."And then Psalm 34:5 which says: "I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.".A journal that I bought for written prayers already had a suggestion and a prayer in it.
Journal note: June 6,2016
....."There is no reason to fear anything.God is Lord of all and you walk with Him, He has your hand and your heart firmly in His. No harm shall come to your soul and your soul shall arrive one day at His feet to gaze and wonder forever.Peace. "
Lord, help me to notice the pennies.
Friday, September 16, 2016
As I wandered the country roads this summer, I searched for bees.I had heard that honey bees are suffering a steep decline that has scientists very worried.My mind also went back to a shameful pastime that my young friends and I engaged in on summer afternoons on Long Island: catching bees in jars of dirt.One must ask why? Because it was fun to turn the jar over and watch the poor little amber bodies struggle laboriously through the dirt to get to the top of the jar.We would then turn it over to watch them climb upwards again.Eventually, we let them go because we weren't really cruel children.How they fared with dirt on their wings or how long it took to clean themselves off was none of our concern.
Each morning of this mountain summer, I would go up the steep hill to a screened tent that my husband set up for me to write in my journal and pray.On August 30th I was given this thought : "The sky above holds you, the earth below holds you, my eternal Love holds you. Look for the signs of this miracle in your life.You are held."
But, I also received strict instruction about judging others.I heard: " Judgment clouds seeing.You become wrapped up in the rationale for your judging and won't notice the clover or the bumble bee which are infinitely more important.Don't cloud your mind, it shackles your spirit from soaring".
Ah, so what does all this mean?I am still sorting it out.I will leave it to you to ponder but I know this:
the time that I spend in my garden watching dragonflies, enjoying their transparent wings edged in black and their green eyes in a black head is nourishing.They are delicate beyond words and yet, they fly and soar like my soul is to do.The purple clover that always shows up in the summer to feed the bumble bees who also appear, are an anchor in my wanderings. Signs.