Beannacht- Blessing

images  Dear Reader:

What if we could imagine a world where blessings fall like rain upon the earth…sprinkling all of us with the ingredients needed to grow and bloom beyond our imagination.

Don’t we recall saying something (sometime in our life) about a serious, older acting child being born “an old soul”?  Guess what? If you think about it…we are all “old souls”….millions of years old. We were all made of the same clay from the time of Creation….yes…we are all “old souls.”

But no matter the age of our bodies or souls…we crave being blessed by our Creator…feeling loved. We all want to love and be loved…it is what our Creator wants for us too.

Luckily we have talented poets who can put into words what we can’t always express. The following poem is such an example. Anne ended the Sunday School class with it last week….and a soft, peaceful sigh fell across the room. Just beautiful. So for today….Tuesday…April 15…Beannacht-(Blessing.)

Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

in the *currach of thought

and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

beannacht – john o’donohue

*Meaning of Beannacht (a Blessing) and curach (a skin-covered timber framed boat). …

……………………………….

*chalkboard

Talking about love and protection of the ancestors before us…if you can….watch Ken Burns’ ADDRESS tonight at 9:00 on ETV. It is about a group of struggling (boys) students from Putney, Vermont (Greenwood School) who each learn the Gettsyburg Address (from memory) each spring. As you follow one group….see how Lincoln’s speech still touches troubled youth of today. Truth and love are eternal.

* Mandy and I took Eva Cate to the Aquarium to see the Mermaids yesterday….In order to get a seat I held two places on the bench in front of the large (sea) viewing area (for an hour) and told Mandy to take Eva Cate around….. finally (only)two mermaids showed up…danced to three quick songs and the program was over at 11:12…it started at 11:00. Need I say more?

A good example of love for a child and grandchild.. but quote the raven “Never more!”

Pictures from my stay with Mandy and Eva Cate. Eva Cate had more fun playing at the park, putting Boo Boo change in her piggy bank for Disney World, feeding the geese in her backyard…and playing “mermaid” in the bathtub.

img_9752img_9758img_9769img_9783img_9785img_9787img_9776  Eva Cate playing “mermaid” in the tub…much better actually than the others.

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So until tomorrow…let us “old souls” know we are each individually “blessed”  and loved beyond understanding.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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“The Dancing Mind”

51AXlL29tLL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Dear Reader:

This title (by John O’Donohue) means “soul friend.” In Irish folklore and tradition it is the bonding of two ‘like souls’ who recognize each other as following the same path (spiritually) through life.

It was Donohue’s first publication (while still an acting priest) and I can’t put the book down….Anne found it in a book store a couple of days ago and got a copy for both of us since we want to go to some of the places he mentions in his books while in Ireland.

I love this sub-chapter because it talks about solitude, meditation and creativity combined into one. Let me share some excerpts from it…..hope you enjoy it too.

There are many different kinds of solitude. There is the solitude of suffering and darkness where the lonely, intense, and sometimes terrible things live. There are none of us that can escape these bleak times in our lives. 

O’ Donohue emphasizes that it is during this type of solitude that we must become very gentle with ourselves.

I love the image  field of corn in the autumn. When the wind catches the corn, it does not stand stiff and direct against the force of the wind; were it to do this, the wind would rip it asunder. No. The corn weaves with the wind, it bends low. And when the wind is gone, it weaves back and find its own poise and balance again. We humans can learn from the corn….we must learn to “go with the flow” of God…to let our minds and souls dance.

Another example: There is also the lovely story of the wolf-spider, which never builds its web between two hard objects …like two stones. If it did, the web would be rent by the wind. Instinctively, it builds its web between two blades of grass. When the wind comes, the web lowers with the grass until the wind has passed, then it comes back up and finds it point of balance and equilibrium again.

In both cases we are being taught that when obstacles come our way ….learn to dance with them, not stand rigid against them. O’Donohue concludes:

Sometimes the best way of caring for your soul is to make flexible your hardened views….for these alienate you from your own depth and beauty. CREATIVITY seems to demand a flexible life. To stop, no matter where, in our daily lives and turn something mundane or ordinary into some quite extraordinary. 

The statement on creativity came alive yesterday for Anne and myself as we went to our pew holding a palm frond. Our back pew neighbors, Jon and Katie Osterritter, had taken theirs and made a cross out of it. * Talk about taking something ordinary and turn into extraordinary…they were doing it right in church.

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Of course we wanted one too…so Jon made Anne’s and Katie made me one.

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So until tomorrow…help us Father remember to be kind and gentle to ourselves when we are crossing “troubled” waters….let us learn to dance with our minds, hearts, and soul.

“Today is my favorite day.”  Winnie the Pooh

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My first bulb bloomed!

And look at other “pretties”…. orange snap dragons and purple agapanthus…the right colors!

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Mollie and Rutledge are dancing to the rhythm of life….just like O’Donohue recommended….

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“Nobody Sees A Flower…Really…”

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Dear Reader:

Isn’t this blue morning glory by Georgia O’Keeffe dauntingly beautiful? I find myself holding my breath just looking at it. The title of the blog today is the first part of a famous (Georgia O’Keeffe) quote… that has been around for awhile…but remains an eternal truth.

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Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – (like to have a friend takes time.) Georgia O’Keeffe

Friday night, after I got home and had watered the garden…I sat on my bench and waited for all the solar lights to come on….and suddenly an overwhelming sense of homesickness fell over me as my garden turned into a lit faerie land.

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This is ridiculous I thought to myself….I just left everyone (the Ya’s) a few hours earlier. I knew that Libby was on her way to Pawley’s Island with her daughter and granddaughters for a few days of spring vacation. Jackson was nursing a bronchial infection and Brooke was back home again in the “Boro.” What was wrong with me?

As I stared at my beautiful garden, listened to the fountain’s soothing sounds, stared up at the luminous moon….I should have been perfectly content…at peace with the world. Instead I felt homesick.

So first I called Jackson to check on her and she said she was feeling better but had experienced the same feelings of friendship loss. Then I called Brooke and she repeated the same sentiment. And there is no doubt Libby would have echoed everyone’s feelings about homesickness.

We know each other so well…that we finish each others’ sentences….we have been through the silly college years together…in everyone’s wedding, birth of children and now grandchildren, shared stresses over failing marriages, divorces, worry over our children’s comings and goings and even deaths of family members.

In every sense of the word…we are a family. And when one leaves her family…(like my childhood experiences at camp) you miss them…you get homesick… For a time we thought we would always be young and together….in a way our dream came true…we are still together and still very… young at heart!

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To me…that is what Georgia O’Keeffe’s quote is really all about: “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see… takes time – like to have a friend takes time.”

How true….all the most important things in life do take time…in fact…a lifetime actually. I understand this statement, more fully now… The other day I read another quote by a gardener (in a magazine article) who said: Grow your faith while growing your garden. 

…And that is exactly what is happening to me. Each morning and evening when I greet my “green” friend….and tell it good morning and good night…I feel both our roots connecting closer together… as time goes by.

In the foreword to the Gardener’s Bible the same sentiment was expressed quite beautifully…

It is not by planting in spring and gathering flowers in summer

that the heart of the garden is won; rather it is the aim achieved

by an acquaintance which has deepened to friendship,

and through friendship ripened to love. (H.H. Thomas)

images Another thought also came to mind over this quote…which prompted me to ask Anne to share her thoughts with you as an artist painting flowers.

Every time I have looked at an art work of hers (in progress) while visiting her home…she explains to me that this painting is in this stage and this one needs, perhaps, darker coloring, this one needs lightning up….but each must wait for the right time for the next coating or strokes to emerge.

I always thought an artist just looked at something or held something and did it…just painted it. I had no idea about the amount of detail that goes into every shape, contour, and light setting. All of which must be achieved in the dimension the artist is striving for… the amount of time necessary to achieve the artist’s final vision is unbelievable.

Anne emailed me and made several new observations on this quote and painting in general…

… What makes me most sad about the quote is that it is true for human interaction as well. No one has time to really see that when someone responds to a “how-are-you” we miss the sadness, the facade covering the hurt, the loneliness, etc.

Painting DOES take time and it has taken years for me to develop my ability to see in a new way. I can now see how the lights and darks need each other, how colors compliment each other, and how the design of a composition makes or breaks a painting. I always spend a lot of time on my drawing, because, as in teaching, if you fail to plan, well, you can pretty much plan to fail.

Each time I start a painting, I spend time with the photo, remembering the day, the temperature, the essence of the subject – and it all takes time. It’s where I lose myself (kairos) and find myself – to quote Katherine Patterson.

After I have my sketch, I decide on my palette and mix plenty of paint and go in with a light, first wash over the whole painting… and then WAIT until it is totally dry. Then the medium colors go on next or another wash and WAIT again until it’s totally dry.

Then I tackle the darks, then the details, waiting in between each step. But that also gives me time to critique, to think, to problem solve, to recheck my reference photo, etc. I struggle to finish paintings – and hopefully that will subside as I gain confidence and skill!

*Let me see if I can attach a few more pink daffodils for you!

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Thank you Anne for sharing your thoughts and analogy on painting and waiting to see, really see, nature at its finest. (Like these beautiful daffodils….now you really must paint them…at least one!)

Honey and Mike are back in the mountains and she told me the tulips are exquisite in Hendersonville….Mike shot me this picture….so true!

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So until tomorrow…let us all realize that time is precious but made more so when we stop and study God’s gifts around us…from nature to human behavior…and friendship.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Every time we started into Jackson’s neighborhood I saw these precious “rabbits” on the front doors of a house and Brooke finally got the photo shot on the last drive down this road.

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The latest Rutledge photo….obviously still feeling good….hope it continues until the tubes procedure on the 22nd.

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Garden of Light

img_9723Dear Reader:

When I got back from Columbia yesterday afternoon a package was waiting for me. A cousin from North Carolina had ordered a gift for me for Christmas and it ended up back at her home about a month ago. She got brave and tried it again…and viola…this beautiful solar angel of light and literature is sitting on the deck trying to get in a few hours of sunlight to charge her batteries.

I love all my solar lights in the garden when they start coming on as the sun begins to sink…a little later each evening. For me…the “Reading Angel” (metaphorically) is the Angel of Light because reading is that important to me. Reading opens up the light and knowledge of the world to each of us.

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After I had placed the angel in the sun…I decided to see if anything was written inside the book she was holding. The store owner had taken a golden marker and written a “Thank You” on one cellophane looking page….along with her name…an Asian name that I struggled to decipher. On the other page was written Wink, SC …Your Garden!

The mystery was solved about why it took so long to get to me…but I had to laugh at the same time….what a great God’s Wink for my garden! She must be a special angel indeed.

Even funnier was the “new” position of this sweet angel….As I began watering the garden again Friday afternoon this little statue (that always faces the deck and the front of the garden) was completely turned around….her face (almost hidden) inside the rosemary plant. (Squirrels…she’s pretty heavy?)

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A mystery indeed… but then I thought…if someone stuck me in a garden beside a rosemary plant….I would be ‘turned around’ sniffing it too.

In my new book NIV  God’s Word for Gardeners Bible…the author used the following line of scripture to set the tone and setting for gardens of light:

They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. (Revelations 22:5) ………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

By scooping up a handful of dirt to form Adam, God showed us our connection to the earth. Our bodies contain the same elements as the earth, and are daily nourished and replenished by the earth’s nutrients and minerals as we eat and drink. For whatever metaphorical, physiological or biochemical reason, many of us feel a deep connection and gravitation to the earth through our gardens. 

We love to get our hands on and in the dirt, in the grass, on the trees, on the flowers, while breathing in at once the compelling smells of leaf mold, sweet blossoms, savory herbs and conifer needles.  We feel grounded as we’re intuitively touching life’s great processes while simply digging a few holes or puttering here or there with the pruners.

So when we first consider the Holy City and its dazzling display of gemstones, we may not be immediately drawn in. We’re more likely to be motivated to grab garden tools when we read that God put people in the garden to work it and take care of it.

At some point in our lives, however, God starts reminding us that we must loosen our grip on this earth. We are, after all, children of light. In the beginning we were made of the earth; in heaven we will be filled with God’s light.

The Holy City will be brilliant with precious stones and will attract us because we belong to the light. Doesn’t this give a whole new dimension to the idea of a “rock garden”…filled with chunks of jasper, chrysolite or sapphire edging our borders?

God’s revealed presence will transform the familiar beauties of earth’s landscapes into shining glories; his light will be in us and renewed in us continually, and so we will be endeared to this new landscape in the same way we have been held close by this old earth. From dirt to dazzling light. …………………………………………………………………………………………

So until tomorrow…be with us Father as we transform ourselves daily from gardeners to light carriers…remembering that we have the opportunity everyday to bring light to someone else’ life…to help someone grow and flourish.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

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* As you can see Tommy survived the Ya’s chitter-chattering at Fishbone restaurant. Ironically we went there to get seafood and all of us ended up with steaks…go figure? But it was fun…it always is when we are together. *Most importantly I wanted Tommy to see me with my special Ya’s from college and feel the love and support we give each other.

I was so drawn to Jackson’s front yard Friday morning…. by the lights and shadows descending across the house and lawn..they looked like they were playing a game of hide and seek on this beautiful marvelous day.

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After this picture was taken… we left to do a “little” shopping that turned into a “little” BIG problem. I found a plain wooden bench that can easily seat three, even four people….great to use on the deck with company and otherwise in the garden.

However it was a rather long bench….Jackson had driven us to the furniture store….she said she had room in her car for it….but did Brooke have room in her car…..since she had driven to Columbia…and did I…since my car was in Walterboro?

To make a long story short…miraculously it eventually fit in each vehicle…but let’s just say that by the time I dragged it out of my car and placed it in the garden….I was pooped!

* I got the bench from Nadeau whose business slogan is: “Furniture with a Soul“….believe me it took ‘heart and soul’ to get this bench home to my garden.

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* This is Brooke’s car….I had to ride in the back and we had to talk over the front seat all the way to Walterboro from Columbia….Brooke said she felt like she was “Driving Miss Daisy”…..I told her “No….Miss Boo!

Thank you Jackson and Brooke for going the extra mile and then some…I think I will have to write your initials on the bench….JB…to stand for “Just Blarny”….because it was just plain blarny (on my part) to try to get it back to Summerville…loading and reloading three times!

img_9724img_9725  But with determination comes success….I love it! And the store was right…it does have soul!

 

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The Penny That Keeps Showing Up…Could be Good!

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  Dear Reader:

I think the article below caught my attention since I have been going through lots and lots of pennies, lately, looking for certain years to go into the new water fountain/wishing well.

There was also another familiar element in this author’s story….we both liked to hide coins, messages, and trinkets when we were children. For me it was a rock embankment which sat near a stream across from the Cape Fear River.

I would leave messages, pirate treasure maps that lead to a penny, trinkets, costume jewelry….all kinds of things. But every (sadly) time I returned to look under the rock…whatever I had left was still there.

I think lots of children do this…even grown-ups…so that’s why we should all believe in hidden “treasure.” There’s a lot out there left over… from many childhoods of imagination.

What we realize, as we grow older, is that “copper pennies”  (besides that these pennies aren’t copper anymore) change form…they come to symbolize whatever become precious in our eyes at different stages in our lives. Today it might be grandchildren, or pink daffodils, or spouses, or friendships….or nature in all her beauty.

“What You See….Is What You Get”

Annie Dillard

When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take a precious penny of my own and hide it for someone else to find. It was a curious compulsion; sadly, I’ve never been seized by it since. For some reason I always “hid” the penny along the same stretch of sidewalk up the street. I would cradle it at the roots of a sycamore, say, or in a hole left by a chipped-off piece of sidewalk. Then I would take a piece of chalk, and, starting at either end of the block, draw huge arrows leading up to the penny from both directions.

After I learned to write I labeled the arrows: SURPRISE AHEAD or MONEY THIS WAY. I was greatly excited, during all this arrow-drawing, at the thought of the first lucky passer-by who would receive in this way, regardless of merit, a free gift from the universe. But I never lurked about. I would go straight home and not give the matter another thought, until, some months later, I would be gripped again by the impulse to hide another penny.

It is still the first week in January, and I’ve got great plans. I’ve been thinking about seeing. There are lots of things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises. The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But—and this is the point—who gets excited by a mere penny?

If you follow one arrow, if you crouch motionless on a bank to watch a tremulous ripple thrill on the water and are rewarded by the sight of a muskrat kid paddling from its den, will you count that sight a chip of copper only, and go your rueful way? It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won’t stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.

989 It is that simple. What you see is what you get. …For a week last September migrating red-winged blackbirds were feeding heavily down by the creek at the back of the house. One day I went out to investigate the racket; I walked up to a tree, an Osage orange, and a hundred birds flew away.

They simply materialized out of the tree. I saw a tree, then a whisk of color, then a tree again. I walked closer and another hundred blackbirds took flight. Not a branch, not a twig budged: the birds were apparently weightless as well as invisible. Or, it was as if the leaves of the Osage orange had been freed from a spell in the form of red- winged blackbirds; they flew from the tree, caught my eye in the sky, and vanished. […] These appearances catch at my throat; they are the free gifts, the bright coppers (pennies) at the roots of trees.

It’s all a matter of keeping my eyes open.

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So until tomorrow…let us keep leaving out treasures behind…who knows? One day it might be a turning point along someone’s life journey….a detour to a better path.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Will let you know Tommy’s survival status from his night out on the town with the Ya’s……

 

 

 

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God’s Watering Can

download (1)-watering can  Dear Reader:

As soon as I got back from Isle of Palms yesterday afternoon I ran to check the garden. Even with the rain Monday afternoon/evening several plants and flowers were already starting to wilt. I am beginning to realize that the life of the gardener revolves around the two “W’s“….Weeds and Water. That is what I immediately started attacking again.

441139 While I was gone the book I ordered (thanks Michele) had come in and I couldn’t wait to read a few excerpts at least. Then…I couldn’t help but laugh…here I was fussing about having to water again so soon…and while  opening up the book at random….what did I find?

Title: God’s Watering Can- Scripture: Isaiah 44: 3

 

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground.

“There are times when the land is a metaphor for how we feel: thirsty and drying up; fearful, doomed, vulnerable, losing hope, unsure and shaken.

Whatever circumstance has led us to feeling this parched, it is not beyond the reach of the spout of God’s watering can.  If God is faithful to pour out the water on the thirsty land, how much more he will refresh, renew, and restore us, his people.

After all he is a gardener, having a water can is a “must.’ Surely God has his basics down! He will know down to the last detail whether we need a nozzle with an “even, coarse, or fine spray.”

In the foreword, Shelley Cramm (author) explains what she hopes the gardener/reader will get from this book.

How I hope that by spending time in the devotions before you, your love of gardening deepens your acquaintance with God, changing over the course of these pages to friendship and love…that crazy, delightful love that surprises, giggles, and laughs, all the while saving, guiding, and setting things right. 

May you come outside and play. May you embrace his possibilities and live with nothing less.

  Much Love, Shelley

As part of the book format…Shelley gives a main verse of scripture to go along with a piece of gardening….but then she adds related topics/scripture under the subtitle: Fertilizing.

I love that idea…we first learn the basics of gardening and then begin to realize that we need to add extra to help some trees, plants, and flowers along…a little fertilizer works “miracles”…like scripture!

The idea of watering, a watering can, and God’s watering can…brought back the memory of this powerful  cultural story from the first year I started the blog. It is a little more “fertilizer” for the soul.

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“A Basket of Water”

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this old wicker coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.” The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the old wicker basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old wicker coal basket, it was clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand it all or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” ………………………………………………………………………………………

So until tomorrow….Help us turn to You, Father, when we feel depleted of the core substances we need to flourish and grow…trusting You to provide the waters to nourish the body and soul…inside and out.

“Today is my favorite day”   Winnie the Pooh

Monday night I took pictures of Rutledge in the tub and kept telling Mollie that Rutledge looked different. Now I realize that the fever and medicine was showing up in his eyes….they didn’t look round and perky like normally….but the smile was still there…..

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Tuesday afternoon…the sun was out and the weather balmy so we went on a stroll….the eyes were still a little weak…but the smile brighter….I told him we were looking for Easter bunnies…and we found three….two statues and a flag.

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The stroller ride must have worn him out…he had a long nap and was ready to go…so we met Kaitlyn and went out to eat. Rutledge entertained the deli for sure….no one would suspect he had been a sick little boy with his ear infections.

Kaitlyn put her glasses on him…. he wanted to look like daddy now.

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By Tuesday night, at bath time, Rutledge looked and acted more like Rutledge.

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Wednesday Rutledge and I squeezed in a stroll before it was time to see Dr. White…ear specialist. At the office I held Rutledge so Mollie could start the tedious form-filling out procedure.  (Rutledge was showing off his “gams” when we pulled in from the stroll)

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Growing up is hard to do…with ear tubes and all…..but I am sure the little man with the straw hat… will come through with flying colors.

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343d189  I am leaving again today to go to Columbia. The Ya’s are taking Tommy out for dinner. Libby’s son, Robby, called to warn him….”Be afraid…Be VERY afraid.” (Dead men tell no tales)

* Look what happened…the first pink daffodil bloomed…and Anne said there are about a dozen more ready to pop! Just beautiful!!!

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And two moon flower seeds have sprouted next to the magical moon gate! It’s just a matter of time now! Climb, climb, climb….as high as you can-aim for the moon!

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In The First Waking Moments …

1531979022_e704bded72_z  Dear Reader:

As you know I am still with my wonderful grandson, Rutledge, and waking up to that love of my life, is beautiful.

When I saw this poem about thoughts that filter through our mind in the groggy state between consciousness and sleep….I fell in love with it. It is the “golden moment” of morning.

What to Remember When Waking
–by David Whyte (Dec 30, 2013)

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth, 

You are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from…

Another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be what urgency calls you to your one love?

What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?

In the trees beyond the house?

In the life you can imagine for yourself?

In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk? — David Whyte - 

……………………………..

So until tomorrow….My first thoughts in the morning are ones of gratefulness for the GREAT FULL ONE who gave me life and the daily opportunity to plant seeds for the ones who come behind me.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

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” Oh Becky Girl…The “Dingles” Are Calling…

 

images (6)  Dear Reader:

I was waiting for the “perfect” time to tell you that I am going to Ireland this summer….a big check on my life’s list of things I want to do.

*Then I got a call from Mollie yesterday saying that Rutledge is running fever again…problems with his ear and asking if I could keep him for a day or two.

So quickly I am writing this blog for Tuesday and leaving one for Wednesday. Then I am back home Wednesday evening…packing to go to Columbia Thursday and Friday….and oh yeah…squeezed in there Thursday morning I am doing a storytelling session for some friends….retired teachers in a teaching sorority.

So this quick overview of the upcoming trip will be just that…but I have learned that there is never a “perfect” time …it is always a perfect time to be with the ones you love.

Anne first mentioned the trip last January as we ate at Poe’s Tavern. She said that she would like to rent a cottage for a month in Ireland…and then have any family/friends interested in making the trip come visit. This was something she really wanted to do.

My own family has talked about it for ages…but trying to get everyone in a large family together at the right place in their lives…especially financially…(and when small children are involved and future children)…is almost an impossibility.

This offer was unbelievable. The lodging was already there….Anne asked me to pick a week and come on…so I said….”How about the first week?” …so we can fly out together and share the initial adventures…including two days in Dingle, Ireland before heading to Anne’s rental home.

We are leaving June 19 and I will return on the 29 as her sister and brother-in-law come in for the next several days….Anne will return in July.

Look at this adorable cottage Anne lucked up with….all the comments, from previous renters,  are fabulous and the scenery is breath-taking.

 

In Dingle…one of the first places I want to see is Walsh’s Bed and Breakfast…too cute! Surely it must be a long-lost cousin who runs it.

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A “Dingle” by the way (how the town got its name) is a wooded valley or dell. And Dingle, Ireland is just that….a town wedged below the rocky, beautiful cliffs of Dingle….jutting out into the Atlantic ocean. The closest part of Ireland to America.

I will tell you on a later blog about our itinerary for the initial, first two days of the trip in Dingle.

Then we will head to Ballyvaughn…where the cottage and mainstay for our trips outward….is located. Here are some scenes from the area.

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Every time I have doubted this decision to go…another God’s Wink has appeared and one, in particular, turned out to be amazing. So stay tuned….for the next Ireland blog ….coming next week…to fill in all the winks and surprises that showed me…this is my path!

But for now….my baby is calling with his “boo boo owie” ear and Boo must leave to be there for Mr. Rutledge….I can hardly wait!

So until tomorrow….let us remember:

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…And that my friends…is what I intend to do!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* A “Big Shout Out” to my nephew Lee, who was interviewed “live” via telephone on PBS Radio yesterday. What a great job Lee…very articulate!

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Looking at Life Through Different Prepositions…

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Dear Reader:

I promise I am not writing a blog post on grammar…since I feel my old English teachers must be turning over in their graves at how quickly my grammatical errors have escalated with time.

I read an “aha” article the other day, however, titled: Your Life Can’t Go Wrong. It made me re-think the use of prepositions… used in a spiritual sense….to change our outlook on life’s path.

Aren’t we all guilty of playing the “Woe is Me” “Pity Party” victim who stands accusingly before life….pointing our fingers at it, the universe, karma,  even God and yelling, “Enough! Stop picking on me…what are you doing TO me?”

And what if you heard an answer back from life, the universe, karma, and God saying…”Life isn’t doing anything TO you…it’s doing something FOR you.”

We like to use expressions likes “falling off the beaten path” or taking the “road less traveled”  to explain periods in our lives when we feel like we left the path God intended us to follow and were lost until we found it again. But have you ever thought that the “road less traveled” and the path less visible are exactly the paths you were supposed to travel. You are your path; your path is you.

You can’t take a wrong path because our Omnipotent God knows exactly where you are with every step you take….and for the good times and bad…it is your path through life’s journey…through life’s lessons.

“Life Can’t Go Wrong”

In reality, your world is set up so that nothing happens to you, but everything happens for you – for your awakening, for your growth, for your inspiration, for your exploration – even if you forget that, or sometimes cannot see it, or sometimes fall into distraction and despair.

When there is no fixed destination, you cannot ever lose your destination, so you cannot ever lose your path, so nothing that happens in your life can take you off your path. Your path IS what happens, and what happens IS your path. There is no other.

Everything is a gift on this unbreakable path that you call your life – the laughter, the tears, the times of great sorrow, the experiences of profound loss, the pain, the confusion, the times you believe you’ll never make it, even the overwhelming heartbreak of love – even if you forget that sometimes, or cannot see that sometimes, or lose faith absolutely in the entire show sometimes.

But even the loss of faith in the show is part of the show, and even the scene where ‘something goes wrong’ is not indicative of the show going wrong, and so you are always exactly where you need to be.

Life can be trusted absolutely, even when trust seems a million light-years away, and life cannot go wrong, for all is life, and life is all…because life is God.

Understand this, know it in your heart, and spirituality is profoundly simple, as simple as breathing, as natural as gazing up at the stars at night and falling into silent wonder. The universe is more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

–Jeff Foster - 

…………………………..

That article took me back to the basic philosophy courses I took at Erskine…when I discovered the “simplest” thoughts (floating around in the universe) are also the most complex…like “You are your path”…”Your path is you.”

Just one little preposition telling us that everything in life that happens… is for us and not to us….can change a lifetime of misconceptions. To us sounds pre-mediated and callous….For us sounds compassionate and understanding (of the big picture) beyond our ability to visualize and/or internalize. The power of the preposition…

The “path” that lead me to this insightful article has been interesting too. You might remember a few weeks ago…I did a blog on “Honor the Seed.” It talked about the importance of family contributions from generation to generation…how we should honor the ancestors who came before us and made our lives possible and even better for their sacrifices.

Well… it was this article I had saved as a “favorite” that opened up another series of spiritually motivating stories where I found the one today….and I believe I was supposed to follow this path…not only for the sake of finding this perception-changing article…but also….because….

Yesterday I was “honoring” another seed…a moon flower seed. Finally….at last…I got one “cocktail looking peanut” moon flower seed to puff up and get a tail (root) so it could be planted. Then I discovered that several other seeds were on the brink of “puffing.” I just needed patience and hope to stay alive for them.

And…the moon flower seeds that Anne gave me so I could get my porch planters ready with moon flower and morning glory seeds…have, not only appeared above surface, but started reaching for the string to climb up the porch pergola to bloom each morning and each evening.

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So until tomorrow…may we welcome the gifts the universe has to offer but also acknowledge the difficulties and obstacles as learning experiences interwoven along our path of our life’s journey.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

A “shout out” to this beautiful daffodil….joyful painting…by multi-talented Anne

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The Dazzling Dandelion’s Divine Secrets

659a81b5e16503773560bc01f7bbb944  Dear Reader: I am learning so much science with my garden…who knew? (And loving it!)

In the past week (since Tim cut the grass/weeds) the yellow dandelions have gone “nuts.” Patches of yellow increase daily and that is just fine with me.

I always wondered how the dandelion could be yellow and then turn white with a “top” to blow wishes on. So this year I decided to do my “homework” and discovered just how amazing the dandelion really is. Answer: The yellow “flower” and the white globe are one and the same. The round white globe is actually seeds that are formed when the yellow flower leaves disappear. It is kind of an interesting weed because it creates it’s seeds and then recreates itself. 

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* Take a minute (literally) and watch this time lapse as a yellow dandelion flower becomes a white globe seed head. Beautiful!

Time lapse Dandelion flower to seed head – YouTube

Isn’t that cool? It “creates it’s seeds and then recreates itself“…you go little dandelion! Children, of course, adore dandelions. In fact the first “flower” you ever got from a “proud” child was probably a yellow dandelion…looking back on it…the best floral gift of all. Without dandelions there would be no little children’s first flowers for us. With the Flower Town Festival in full “bloom” this weekend… I have been taking all the back roads I can find to get around. The crowd gets larger every year. I am happy for the town and the YMCA even if it is hard maneuvering around the obstacles on this special weekend…(over 200,000 visitors…wow!)

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Also, by being forced to take back roads…we see the incredibly beautiful “Fairy Land” that we get to call home…Summerville!  Isn’t it why we all moved here? I know I am bias…but there can’t be a prettier place in the spring than our home town. I still have to pinch myself every day that I ended up here…thank you Father! And speaking of fairies….besides the white globe dandelion (filled with seeds) being good for wishes….there is also a fairy element involved.

The legend goes like this:

If you blow on a dandelion…thus making the seeds scatter through the fields and grass… fairies, once trapped inside the seed pods, are released to freedom. The freed fairies, then, return to destroy the dandelions for their imprisonment… thus freeing green lawns from their presence. (So next time you see a dandelion…be kind, keep blowing and puffing…you will be repaid with a dandelion-free lawn or garden)

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One of my favorite stories about dandelions is one I discovered a couple of years ago…it stays stuck in my memory and every time I see a patch of dandelions I think a “Thousand Suns.” (The name of the story)

“A Thousand Suns”

 “Tom! Did you hear me?”My wife´s tone made me sigh, put the newspaper away and rise.-” Ok, ok, I´ll go.”

I opened the front door and saw our next door neighbor, Mrs Fitzpatrick, sitting on her porch. She had a cast on her leg. I saw her watching the lawn and tapping her chin with her finger. The lawn. That was what had made my wife push me through the door. “Just look at it! All those weeds! She can´t mow it herself. You go out now and do what a good neighbor should”! And so I had come to mow her lawn on this beautiful Saturday morning.

 “Ah, Tom!” she waved at me and smiled broadly,  “Good to see you! Here, come sit with me for a while.” I got to her porch and sat on a bench.

” Beautiful morning!” she beamed at me.

“Err, yes, it sure is,” I said. I hadn´t expected her to be this cheerful with a broken leg and all.

“Just looking at my lawn,” she said. “Oh yes, the lawn. Well I came here to…” “Isn’t it just beautiful!” she interrupted me. I shut my mouth. I looked around. Weeds, dandelions… Not at all the velvety green lawn like everyone else´s in the neighborhood.

“Beautiful”…?  I muttered.

“Just look at those dandelions!” I did just that. I saw the lawn positively overtaken by them. They should be dug up by their roots… and soon. I sure hoped my wife did not think I would do that too. Mowing the lawn would have to do for today.

“Now dandelions are a symbol for happiness!” she smiled.

“I’m not sure I follow”… I stammered, “A dandelion is a symbol for happiness?”

“Look at that bright beautiful yellow color! If that isn’t a happy cheerful color, I don´t know what is! And it spreads just like happiness.”

She laughed at my expression. “I know, you think I´m batty. But just think about it! If you are really happy, you do good things that bring joy to the people around you.” “And once they get happy, they do the same.

And so the happiness spreads. Just like a dandelion. It blooms, sharing its shiny sunny color with everyone and sends its seeds into the wind – and before you know it, you have a hundred copies of the sunny little flower around you.”

“But it is a weed”… I tried.

“A weed, that’s funny. I’ve been sitting here for a while now, watching everyone work in their garden. And I mean work. It doesn´t look very joyful – just working to make you lawn look short and thick and green.”

“You know I never see any of the neighbors sit and just look at their beautiful lawn. They just work on it and don’t enjoy it.”

Well she sure got that one right. I never heard anyone talk about their lawn unless it was to complain how much work it was.

“Everyone seems to be complaining about how stressful life is,” she said. And then she said the most important thing… (I remembered to write it down once I got home). I still write it on the first page of all my calendars when the new year begins, and then I glue a little picture of a dandelion next to it.

“What a bad day, they say”… Instead I look at the dandelions and see a thousand little suns.” ………………………………………………………………………..

 So until tomorrow….help us Father look past the weeds to see the beautiful flower, future wishes, and imagination set free (like the fairies.) The Divine Dandelion!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I managed, using a wheelbarrow, to drag Eva Cate’s fairy table to the garden so she and Rutledge can have a tea party soon.

(Fairies might be light…but not their fairy table)

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I added some plants around the fountain and Honey, your precious turtle is hiding in front of the asparagus fern…..

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Look at my Japanese maple with its first “coat of leaves”   just beautiful against the waning sun in the “Golden Hour.”

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1970559_10203416658488316_92450344_n * Update on family news…”Jeepers, Creepers, Where’d you get those Peepers” Jeepers, Creepers, Where’d you get those eyes!” (now with glasses) Time caught up with Walsh but that’s okay I like Walsh with glasses….and the nice thing is….he can see the world again!

* A “thank you” again to Susan and Kaitlyn for my beautiful and geometrically fun bud vase….you can keep it up right or lean it to the left or right … the water never leaves the vase…..it is perfect for all the flowers blooming this time of year. Thank you…one of my favorite things in life because it is always filled with beauty.

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There are days when I get surprises from strangers who turn out to be kindred spirits in the internet world. Yesterday was one of these “favorite” days….A God’s Wink! Thanks Kathy so much for the adventure that lead you to us.

TimelessLady

I am so glad I came upon your blog. I try each day to write a search word in the WordPress search box and then follow the trail it leads me upon. Yesterday I bought a flat of pansies to plant in my spring gardens. I live in NJ so we are much cooler than you at this time. So…today my search word was “Pansy,” and I came upon your wonderful blog. I so enjoyed reading through your post.

I love the “crown” on your cabbage. Beautiful! I loved your sidebar on Scheherazade. It is good to find “neighbors” and kindred spirits through the world of the Internet. There is so much bad news on here…it is good to find the shining lights too. Blessings on your day! Kathy

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