Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Star Watch

I have been out of many of my morning rituals... journal, walk, watch, pray, praise & simply spend time with my Creator & Lord...All relationships need time put into them, especially with my Saviour. To be in relationship with my Creator, I must also be in relationship with myself, & as one of His many creations. My morning rituals open the doorway to myself. Pastor Reggie said, "Insignificant? Try telling the Maker of all tings, the One who created you, that you are insignificant!"
Most or every morning, I awake with a praise song on my heart & this morning, I was compelled to head straight outside. I didn't walk or roam. I simply sat out under the incredibly bright, vivid & colorful sky of stars. I typically have Psalm 8 running through my head when I stargaze. ("What is man that thou art mindful of him?") This morning was different. I looked at the star-filled sky & was simply in awe that the maker of all things IS mindful of ME!...wanting to give me the very delights of my heart. Moreover, He wants to spend time with me. His child & creation !! I felt incredibly renewed. As this came over me, the purest blue-white star streaked across above me, never fading even as it disappeared beyond the silhouette of a huge pine.
When the giddy chill subsided, I brought out my Bible, journal, & a ceramic platter of candles. Two fully blooming pots of lavender mums laughed & sang alongside of me, as I read the book written by the "Maker of all things". The sky still star-filled, the candles' glowing, I am renewed & refilled for another day of creating with kids !

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Get Up So Early?

Moments like this, a gift of our Creator-God.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Listening for Peace

While most of our days are still quite warm, the hours of darkness are growing cooler. I find comfort in the ritual of reuniting with my jeans & hoodie. Wrapped in their warmth, I left the soft glow of a dozen candles, & headed out into the barely blueing darkness. The sound of an owl's last calls accompanied me down the trail to the Glade. Even from lakeside, the waterfall behind our home out-roared that of the dam. I listened as the crickets & katydids slowly quieted, replaced by the wrens chorusing the start of another day. They are first in our forest to start the day in mighty praise.

For a better view of the lakes' surface, I sat in a chair on the bank. I carefully chose a seat under sweet gum, sycamore & maple as the thuds of walnuts being released crashed their thuds all around. Still, the dampened forest seemed quieter than usual. With the ebb & flow of autumns' coming winds, the stalks all around me seemed to nod & sway in silent conversation. A remaining, forest sunflower seemed eager to tell me of all that I had missed. I was blessed with an occasional shower as the leaves released last nights' rains. Some of the ducks have relocated here, from the pond. They glide gracefully in the muddied waters & speak in hushed tones. I studied the cross-currents as the winds moved over the water. A school of fish traveled down the channel & turned in my direction, creating a wave in their forward movement. Had their been enough light for a photo, it would not have shown. This kind of subtlety is only revealed in the habit of careful watching.
As I return to the now lightened comfort of my home. I am greeted by a chorus of cheerful mums and the coffee pot's irregular gurgle. The dampening glow of the last candle seems to call it's farewell as I continue in prayer. As the daylight grew, I returned to the deck to bask in the rush of the waterfall. I noticed the chirping of the chipmunks that reside in our gardens. As I had prayed to my Heavenly Father, He carried His reply aloft in the early autumnal breeze. The peace of lakeside in early morning has accompanied me home and I find myself renewed in my Saviour.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Working in the Rain : It Started with a Stick

In college, I read C.S. Lewis' sci-fi trilogy. There is a passage in one where someone assumed rain would call off a picnic. The hostess commented something to the effect of, "Oh, don't you like weather? We like weather. All sorts of weather, not one kind or another". They picnicked in their car. That has stayed with me & while most folks seem to bundle & hide away from rain, I rush out to greet it. My heart & lips are full of praise. It is not uncommon for me to worship through dance to the sweet & gentle rhythms of the rain. Who cares what anyone else thinks? I dance for my King !
When I place rocks or branches on a slope, I return after heavy rains to find them shoring up the land. With a lot of help from God's blessed rains, I built steps out back, as well as a rock-lined, tiered garden. In recent months it has been mostly dry, but last weekend varied between misty drizzles & "healing rains". As I continued praising, I began to wander the side forest, noting how erosion has altered it's floor. A pile of rocks marking a decade-old squirrel's grave is now a sizable mound. Around the same time, I had relocated large ferns from the banks of the creek to line our driveway. Once on level ground, they now reside atop a ridge with azaleas.
The floor of this tiny, wilderness retreat next to our home is strewn with many small trees. They are the victims of drought, storms, pine borers & probably some "boy-fun". I began gathering long sticks, that once stood more than twice my height, placing them along the backside of the ridge. This revealed a steep slope, so I lined them with forsythia bushes I had rooted. Those were lined with lariope / monkey grass, given to me when our friends moved out.(God knows our needs before we ask). This led to another stick-built tier& another & still more. That morning, I had discovered a mountain of mulch dumped along the forest's edge up the street. God had also anticipated all of this & used our friends to further bless us with a small trailer for yard work. With permission granted, Tom & I retrieved several loads of mulch. It was comprised of freshly chipped pine trees, along with their needles. The aroma was divine! Delving deeper into the pile, the temperature rose sharply. Good. As it breaks down, it will return the soil to the forest. The azaleas will love the acidity!
I have been wrestling with things out of my control...changes in the neighborhood, in schedules & health, as well as the toll of erosion & the kudzu invasion of the forest. That very threat will now be a blessing as it shields the glare of night-time suburbia. God & I do a lot of communicating when I am at work on His land. I pray & praise, wrestle, & work out problems while in the garden & last weekend was no exception. I have felt more fully restored in spirit & in my relationship with Him. I didn't know where I was going when I laid that first stick along the ridge...I had planned a movie festival, yet found myself working in the rain for 2 days.

When we follow where He leads, we are always in store for blessings we cannot have imagined !

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Return of Candle's Glow

For some strange reason, I frequently wake up at 3:13...exactly. I like my morning time, but this is really too early for days filled with middle school artists. A different praise song wakes me every morning & I arise with a song on my heart. That has me pumped for another day of thanks & gratitude.
As the first signs of autumn appear, the forest is thinning. Lights are revealed that were recently hidden by dense, summer foliage. Rarely are the insects & occasional bullfrog interrupted by the sounds of man. The stars are clear & our winter guardian, Orion is back in his place. At 4:00, the seats are dry, but by 5:30 they are dew-soaked. It is really a beautiful time to sit out.
I collect 2nd-hand candle's that people can't bear to burn. I can fill my house with candle's glow & this morning, I have started this "long-night" ritual once again. I burn all sorts of sculpted candles & get a kick out of it. This morning I have 3 teacups & 3 jars alight all around me. There is a wonderful sugar cookie fragrance wafting throughout my home intertwined with vanilla from 2 candles given to me by a beloved student. I remember those things. That is one reason I have so much "clutter" in my home. I remember & am touched.
This morning, as I sit near the sliding door overlooking the lake, I added several pillar candles out on the railing. The glow is inside & out. Turning to look I see those outdoors & the the reflection of some from within. It is a very peaceful way to start my day. Candle lights is so much like God. It illuminates the darkness, but doesn't knock you over the head. It gently beckons & it warms when approached. It is far-reaching but not glaring. It reveals truths, but only when approached. It is comforting. It seems only yesterday that I grieved the passing of winter nights & candle's glow. Now the time has returned & I have added outside glow to the ambiance. It is all good !

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nearly Full Circle

As I walked the forest one evening, the Solomon's Seal along the path caught my eye. I wrote about them on April 29th, as their pastel leaves unfurled & tear-drop, white, blossoms opened. They are difficult to shoot as their blooms hang on the underside of the multi-leafed stems. They are sprinkled throughout the forest, as well as in my garden. Once supple & delicate, they now appear as wax. As I looked closer, I realized they have rich, indigo colored fruit, where once the blossoms hung. I reached out to discover they are firm & seemingly about to burst. Now I know just how they get sprinkled throughout the forest !

Evening Delight

My schedule is running pretty full & food is not something I plan for very well.I arrived home from school one day, anticipating a full evening of things to do & places to go. I opened the fridge & discovered a beautiful, ceramic soup tureen.
A long-time neighbor had come by & asked if we would mind sharing in her bounty. "When I get in the kitchen & start cooking, I always end up making too much. Some folks might be insulted, but I would like to share it with you." It was full of homemade, vegetable soup & was absolutely glorious!
Miss Patty is the other "animal & nature lady" in the neighborhood. She & I sat for hours next to the pond, as the bulldozer irrevocably altered our landscape. We compared notes on the neighborhood wildlife, where they live & when we watch. It was comforting to have someone to mourn with. Completely by surprise, on a busy Monday afternoon, this beautiful tureen of homemade soup! She had no way to know our schedule for the next few days & how this would bless us...
God knows our needs before we ask. He had nudged her & she responded. How many times do I heed or ignore "His still, small voice"?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Morning Wake

I have been running from school to 3rd grade homework to scouts, funeral home, soccer, PTA... I stole half an hour & went shooting. I captured some nice things I wanted to share. I want to get back to "Attention to Detail" rather than the wrestlings of my heart.
With less than 1/2 an hour, I went out to see the rising lake waters. Though it was too dark, I grabbed my camera anyway...habit. Passing above the cove, I spooked the Great Blue Heron. His reptilian shriek pierced through the forest & I caught a glimpse of his massive gray wings in the dawning light. His return to our southern cove is a sure sign of seasons' change.
I sat on the dock for a time. I was awed by the stillness of the muddy water. There were no rings from fish, let alone the early morning school I am accustomed to. I made my climb up from the dock. Once I was on the level earth of the glade, I cast one last look back. There was the beaver !!! A gorgeous wake he cast. I would typically see only his head, but this time, he nearly came out of the water.I rarely see him out so late, but the thickness of the silt must have frustrated his hunting. I recalled my camera & fired off this one image. The lighting is never adequate for me to take a shot, & so my sightings remain for the film of my soul...I took it to share with you, so that however blurry, you have a glimpse into the beauty he casts upon the lake's surface.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Not Driving !

I feel like I have spent the last months whining & complaining. For that, I am full of regret. I sincerely apologize. In spite of my feelings I have recently been barraged with the question,: "How/why do you remain so positive?". It is a question I have heard often in my life. Years ago, I had a colleague say, "Can't you just for once stop seeing the best in people & let us [complain]!?" This past week, I have been asked several times, why I always remain so optimistic. The most poignant query came a few days ago, from a friend of over 30 years. "Besides your faith, how do you always remain so full of hope?" Ahhh! "Have you known me so long?! It is BECAUSE of my faith that I have hope!"
My faith puts things in perspective. I look at the moon & stars & am in awe of all that God has set into motion...& yet, he is "mindful" of me. (Psalm 8: 3-5). I am His child & heir to His Kingdom.(Romans 8: 14-19). He made all of it & still cares about my every thought & care. He cared so much for me that He sent His only Son to die, so that I could be with Him for all eternity. (John 3:16).
Through experience I honestly trust that my Heavenly Father will work all things for His purpose. As I told her, "I'm not driving!".

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Work With What You've Been Given

Rarely, if ever, do I crop my photos. What I shoot is what you get. I may take hundreds of shots of the same image, in order to get that hairline edge that balances the composition. In the darkroom, I would have no second thoughts of cropping, dodging, burning, etc. The instant preview of the digital age finds me compelled to shoot until I have captured the exact image I desire. The only thing I may change is in the shoot itself. I may remove a spot from a petal, a stray spider line, or a stick from the background, but I don't like to do that.
As difficult a time as I have with change, I have found that I am not alone. Our community has & continues to go through a lot of change. Many of us moved here for the natural beauty...the peace & quiet, the atmosphere of serenity & calm, a place of retreat. In addition to sod & siding, we find ourselves faced with electronic hums, glaring lights, & missing wildlife.
Two weeks ago, I walked down an animal trail, flanked by long, tall grasses. I found myself surrounded by little pink pigtails... a sure sign of indian summer & the coming of autumn. They were everywhere & I wanted to capture the moment. They were too spread apart for the effect that I wanted, so I tried gathering some of the long reeds & propping them in a cluster. I wasn't going for an award-winning image, simply wanted to share a moment. I never could capture the abundance of tiny treasures.
Many households are considering moving on & even we have spoken of leaving this haven of retreat we so love. A few days ago, I traveled along the same forest trail. I was deep in thought when I noticed the pigtails. They are more prolific now & I quickly set about shooting. No need to move anything around. God worked in His own time without any help from me. From deep within and around I heard God speaking to my heart, saying, "Work with what you have been given. Work with what you have been given..." The image is not what I had hoped, but it has the path that I hadn't thought I could include. I have found a common bond with long-time neighbors & deepened old relationships. God always works things out better than I ever could or would.
Patience... Trust... Faith... Selah!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Went to Jail the Other Night

When I lived in Oxford, I had the chance to actually hold in my very own hands sketches by Raphael from the Italian Renaissance! I had special permission from my art history teacher to go behind the scenes at the Ashmolean Museum to do so...Being 20 & in love, I never made it...I have to forgive myself, but a lifetime of regret leaves me more likely to seize opportunities where I can.
I am taking a class on teaching "at-risk boys". It is really a class on teaching to gender differences. We had special permission to tour the jail & I didn't miss this chance. As instructed, I wore jeans & a t-shirt. I typically wear "witness shirts" to keep myself in check, but that night I chose one to share. It simply reads,
"Our God is an Awesome God."
The 1st thing I learned is the difference between jail & prison. Most in jail are awaiting trial, though some are there for sentences less than a year. Many have been there for years upon years. Our group was hesitant, so I took "point" most of the night. We first entered a block with some 50 women & 1, unarmed officer. Most stopped their chores or climbed from their bunks to tell us about life in they have to let go of the little stuff, because otherwise, they just make their time worse. It is a good lesson for us all. There were several who stood out to me as particularly pretty & sweet, seemingly fascinated to see a group in street clothes. Most cling to the hope of, "I'll be out real soon." One woman, who seemed to have been watching me, leaned over the end of her bunk as I passed by to leave. Blond, soft-spoken with resolved, yet lonely eyes...she made eye contact with me & simply said, "Please pray for us". I told her that I do, but now with faces, I would even more, & for her specifically.
Back in the corridor, our guide told us, "those are 'the people who you see on the news at night'. Though 'innocent until proven guilty', they are in here for murder, even of their own child"....It is the ones who are picked up for a short time who get rowdy & make dangerous mistakes in jail. Those who know they are in there for the long haul, have had to learn to adjust & accept. There are so many things I take for granted ...taking a walk outside, where & when I eat or sleep....
We are all in a prison, of sorts....a holding place, until the Lord takes us home & the party begins. "Why does God cause bad things to happen?" He doesn't. He wants nothing more than to give me the delights of my heart...For, I am His adopted child & heir to His Kingdom...For now, however this is the domain of the Adversary...the author of confusion & strife, the great Liar. One day, I will see the other side of this tapestry we face...Now I see a jumble of unrelated threads & knots...On the other side it will all make sense & be beautiful. Just like those women, I also have to let go of the drama & make my time here easier. One day I will see a glorious tapestry on the other side...everything will make sense...I pray I won't look back upon too many missed opportunities I had to serve others & my Lord.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fishing Corner

Rounding the curve out of my driveway, I head down to the "pond". It is technically a lake in it's depth & spring-fed movement. It even has a "current & wind-blown beach" when the level is dropped. First to greet me is a cluster of trees: a maple, a bunch of young sumacs & an old, half-fallen locust. It's larger limb drapes in & out of the water. I have to look fast to see the line of turtles sunning themselves, for they will slip off on my approach. In the spring, this tree will have fragrant, wisteria-like clusters of white blossoms. It's limbs above & below the water provide shade & safe harbor for ducks & many fish. It is my favorite place to cast my line. In certain seasons, I simply drop in my bait & pull out a big after another after another. London is out for the predators of those who hide in my fishing tree & works the banks in a wider range. It is such a wonderful bonding time. Walking home we pause to play amidst the shadows cast by the sumacs. They make an amazing pattern of light & dark. We often stay past dark for that very reason.
A few mornings ago, I sat on the gate across the road & watched the life inside this sliver of my world. A woodpecker tapped away, while others laughed & chirped & chased. My baby wrens were there, as were some young goldfinches. Even the young cardinals were dancing in & out of the foliage. The kingfisher chittered in & out, but was too busy to stay long. I heard the occasional splash as bass chased brim. Sounding more like a monkey in a tropical jungle, the pileated woodpecker laughed & screeched digging beetles from a dead pine above me. This small stand of trees blocks the houses from my view & I feel miles from anyone. It was a magical time.

Returning home a few days later, I heard the bulldozers before I saw them....I was able to capture one last image before they fell into the water. Laid bare before me now, is the sameness of vinyl-sided suburbia....I feel so blessed that God led me to take that last morning to watch the life within my fishing tree. It is gone now. I have but to close my eyes & I am there once again, watching & listening.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I took this shot a week ago. In retrospect, it goes perfectly with the end of my last post.You can see the metaphor I was going for, but I didn't manage to pull it off well. Looking at the synchronicity of it, I feel compelled to post it along with this quote from Tess on "Touched By An Angel":
"There ARE no coincidences. Coincidences are when God chooses to remain anonymous."

Sage Wisdom

I went to college near the mountains in S. VA. One year I took weekend retreats over to Tidewater. I do not recall much about those trips, but one stands out due to the simple utterance of a friend. Jerry was a writer & a poet, an artist & philosopher. At a key point in my life, I found a peer who was also a Watcher. He taught me about glow worms & beavers & countless other things. Once we sat up half a night trying to mix a "new color". The words he spoke were few, but deep & insightful.
Late one night, we made our way across the state without anther car in sight. I slowly slid from one dark, lane to another, commenting, "I change lanes slowly". He casually remarked something like, "You don't change anything quickly". That has always stayed with me & given me pause for self-reflection. I do not do change well at all & have been going through a lot of it lately. I strive to be accepting with grace. During times of change in my life, Jerry's voice always comes back to me & helps me grow.
I wonder what I may have once uttered that stayed with someone...Is it a comfort or a thorn?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lizard Guest

London has always had a way with wildlife, especially lizards. We have anoles (aka "American Chameleon") & blue-tailed skinks in abundance around our home. Even as a toddler, London could snatch a lizard with lightening speed, always taking care to stay away from the tail, lest it break. Last Friday, an anole of about 4 inches came to stay in one of our guest tanks. As it grew dark, London wanted to make sure he was warm enough. He & Tom curled up a string of multi-colored rope lights in the tank.It was a lovely glow for me to sleep by that night. London & his buddy spent quite awhile catching & feeding him insects. Alas, the time went quickly & he had to return to his home in the wild. AS the boys moved to catch him, he broke free & took off for the "safety" of our clutter....not to be seen again. Most springs, we find a mummified lizard or toad that has sought hibernation quarters in our home, but this was our fault & we felt terrible. It was more likely that Mikey-Kitty would "play with him until he breaks"....Today, my husband saw a flash of pekid green at the kitchen window....the little guys had made it through a tough few days & was desperately wanting to go home. Fortunately, Tom retrieved him without any trouble. He carefully set him among dense, garden foliage for camouflage & safety. There he would find plenty of food & dew drops to quench his thirst. So very happy he has a happy ending!

We call him, "Lizard-Boy"...Here's a reason why:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moonlit Morning

The other morning I made my way to the lake, by the light of the moon. I am familiar with the crevices & rocks, stumps & downed branches that even in the shadows of the foliage, I was completely at ease. From the dancing lights on the surface I knew at once that schools of fish were active throughout the cove. Through the eyes of binoculars the scene within was astounding! The shimmers from the fish appeared as a fantastical meteor shower, an added treat as clouds prevented us from watching the Perseus showers. I watched as silver glimmers leaped frantically from ever increasing ringlets throughout the cove. Ever so slowly, the surface stilled as the school made it's way up stream.

Over the ridge behind me, the dawn was erupting. The mornings' praises surrounded me as songbirds awoke. The baby wrens are still fed by their parents, but have more matured voices now...I know them. Our little slice of the world has been overwhelmed by the chirping of baby cardinals & this day was the same. Several mallards chatted as they slipped across the water & the heron made his familiar rounds. The moon is setting later now & it was dawn before she disappeared behind the pines. I began my trek towards home to start my day, renewed & refreshed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


My earliest years are filled with awe & wonder from my grandmothers' adventures to other lands. It fascinated me that one could step off of a plane & be in another culture...another world. As far back as I can remember I dreamed of living in England. To a little girl, that's where all the castles & princes & knights on white steeds are.The yearning intensified in my teens as I read & reread the works of Tolkien. My parents sent me to spend more than a semester in a little village outside of Oxford. The months before I left were a jumble of emotion. I would be thousands of miles from all that I knew. On the eve of my departure I was nearly bursting with excitement & terrified, too. I found my beloved kitty curled up in my suitcase & I clung to all that I held dear....It was a life-changing adventure! My life in England was all that I expected & so much more! I felt like I was finally "home".
Some years ago, I spent 2 long, weeks awaiting a diagnosis which would have given me but months to live. Reality hit me full force & to this day, my initial reaction still shocks me. "I get to go home?!?!!It's really over?! I get to meet my Lord !!!?!" I could almost see the gemstone rainbows, the emerald sea, the Light & the Love from my Heavenly Father...Excitement & anticipation overwhelmed me. Once again, I would journey alone to a home far away. At the same time, I was filled with a deep sadness for my husband, young son, family & friends...& for people I would never be able to reach out to...Was I ready for this? Had I done all that I could? How would I stand before my God & King?
In recent months, I have found myself continually drained of energy. I have written about my struggles with sleep disorders. It turns out that my heart is just too full. My pressure is up & my system is wearing down. In time, all of this will be controlled with doctor's care, but I am reminded of glimmer of Light that awaits me when my work is finished.

Friday, September 4, 2009


My home is up the hill, behind the trees on the far side of this road.This is the duck pond where I watch the sun rise, & which feeds our waterfall. As soon as my baby knew how to throw, we walked this road to the pond every day for him to throw stones. Years later, as my preschooler & I went to feed the ducks, a man & his young daughter were out fishing near the swing. “Why don’t you get some rods & fish with us”... & so a friendship was born. In recent months, I have written about friendships & the difficulties I have had letting people in...but his family, especially his wife, breached the wall. Our families gathered together for campfires & Bible studies. We wrestled with "righteous anger" together in God’s Word. We gardened together, shared coffee & goodies on the bench, swam, picked blackberries, entertained bored, neighborhood children, chased ducks in the paddleboat... & we became friends.
It seems as though their house has been for sale for years. The signs had become but lawn ornaments to me, though I rarely noticed them anymore. Driving passed a couple of weeks ago I thought, "I should just take them down myself..." & I knew then, as though it had been uttered, I knew...The phone call came but hours later. The house had sold, they would be out in 2 weeks. We will love the new people. She even said, they “couldn’t have hand-picked better people. They mirror us in so many ways...”

The house is all but empty now. The swing is still & all is strangely quiet. The boat has been dry-docked, upside down, as my world seems to be. The patio that once held a wicker world of comfort, is but a concrete pad. The bench where we of whispered & laughed together is now bare of the potted dogwoods. The concrete pelican guarding over the lake awaits a third family. The fallen wisteria arbor on the island will have to be righted by it's new owners. I adjusted the camera exposure in these shots to represent my melancholy...I sit perched, awaiting a new chapter in my life....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Amber Day

I arose just past 4 a.m. & before I even made it to the sliding glass doors, I was stopped in my tracks by what was before me. The moon was nearly full & sat atop the blackened forest silhouette. Over-sized from the atmosphere, it shone a deep amber. I stood still, as though I would waken a sleeping child. It rapidly descended through the trees and then into darkness. With the moon passed, the stars began to reappear & my eyes found a late meteor darting across the sky overhead!!!...& I so often hear, “Why do you get up so early?! What on earth do you do?”...I just have to grin. What a glorious way to start the day!!
I returned home to spy a splash of yellow, set against the forest, just outside my kitchen window. It was the first yellow hibiscus of the season & was nearly the size of my head. (I bring mine in & they bloom off & on throughout the winter. That throws off their schedule).To its' left, the roses are in full face level, they are a huge cluster to fall into as a pillow of petals. My day certainly had it’s ups & downs…but my attentiveness to God's creations, made it glorious !!!
I struggle with images of flowers such as these & lilies with their long pistils & stamens. On super macro, at times even on macro, it is hard to get things into focus & maintain the balance of the composition. Tonight was truly a God-moment! I rushed out as the "long-light" of the late afternoon, highlighted it's texture. (I will show some of those images another time). God gave me a cue: I could capture the beauty of the center shape & limit my focal concerns by shooting it's silhouette!!!
The yellow blossom will be gone tomorrow...but I anxiously await the opening of 2 double, red ones !!! He is so faithful & good!!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Tint of Green

Arriving home tonight, I found that Tom had cooked an awesome meal of pancakes & "Sunday Eggs". I watched as my dear friends finish the last stages of house clearing. On the way home, I heard a wind-like rustle in the vines next to me & stopped to watch "Pat" the groundhog, making her way over the hills of vines. She knows me well enough to take her time. Her actions were so unlike what I would have expected & she was so really was quite a moment!
I found that I needed some solitude. I set out a lounge chair at the forest's edge & set about watering. That is my real therapy. There is an amazing connection in being the rain that brings life. I sat out well passed dark, watching the nearly full moon rise through the forest as the night grew quiet. The trees began to murmur in a gentle breeze as the cacophony of insect life began their night song. The temperature started dropping & the sky began to fill with clouds. I watched as the moon wove it's way in & out of the shaded cottony down.
This green beauty is the image on my desktop. It isn't the best of the bunch, but it's the one I like. The actual leaf is only about an inch across...a beautiful remnant of one of the earliest to bloom in my spring gardens: a blue columbine. It is an imperfect image. Only one, extremely off-center droplet is in focus & the leaf has many flaws. I like it...a lot. When all was quiet inside, I found myself lost in the soft focus of this columbine leaf. I love the odd focal point & the other worlds held within the droplets. I am mesmerized by the soft-focus juxtaposed with the filigree veins. I feel movement in the conjoined drops set above a diamond about to fall. The way God splashed His warm glow across it bestows a certain holiness to the image & I feel enveloped in His love & care. Lost in this over-sized scene, I am renewed.

...Before We Ask

This will give you an idea of my quirky little part of the world. Atop the cliff, there are a couple of more rises &, perched at the top, you see my home. Clearly, there are perils to raising a boy here.

There are also blessings! When I say, "We look over a lake", I mean that literally. We live between a "pond" & a dammed river/lake. From our deck, I can watch the sun & moon set over the larger lake. When the leaves are down, I simply walk to the other end of my deck to watch the sun rise over the pond. This is an old image & the water level was low due to drought.
To the right of this scene is a waterfall. After heavy rains, we open the sliding doors & can hear the music of the falls, throughout our home. We can also hear the rush of the dam, particularly after it has rained in the mountains to our north. Years ago, my husband & I pined to escape from the hectic life-style of city sprawl. We decided to make this our home as it would be "a great place to grow up." As we sit in our home & listen to the falls, accompanied by the giggles of little boys exploring...we are constantly reminded of how richly blessed we are. God thought of all kinds of details we would never have thought to ask...nor dared to. He knows our needs before we ask. The treasures surrounding our home call to mind God's message to us: "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for a future & a hope" (Jer. 29:11)