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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Welcome Summer!

Welcome Summer,
You are hot!
Some of us like that a lot,
Some prefer dear Autumn's ways, 
With cooler air and shorter days,
But Summer now that you are here,
You'll go too fast is what I fear,
I love your sunny, longer days,
And in the twilight how fireflies play,
I will enjoy the parts I like,
But Humidity can take a hike!

Here we are at the end of June.  Summer is finally here and we have been having some truly wonderful weather with just the right mix of sun and rain to make flowers bloom and vegetable gardens grow. Oddly enough so far we have not had the usual invasion of spiders so I've been really enjoying spending time out side reading and just contemplating the sky and thinking poetic thoughts about the sunset. I think it's one of the things I like most about summer, the time to simply watch baby birds learning to fly, clouds drift lazily across the sky, and the setting sun coloring the sky with shades of gold and rose and purple. I have yet to see the fireflies, but with the sun setting so late in the evening I'm not outside when they are rising up out of the grass.  In another few weeks, when we get to the middle of July, the sun will set earlier and I will be watching those fireflies and remembering all the nights I spent with my brothers running around the yard catching them and putting them in a mayonnaise jar to watch them crawl around and light up in the dark.  All the games of hide and seek, tag, and Frisbee we played run through my mind when I'm sitting out in the evening, my husband and I sharing our memories from when we each were children.  I remember what was probably one of the last times I played Frisbee was either the summer before, or the one after my senior year of high school before I went to college. We lived across the street from an elementary school which had a huge field in front of it where we used to play.  That summer we took to gathering as many of our friends as wanted to join in, my brothers and I, and play keep away with the Frisbee.  The one game that sticks out most in my mind is commonly referred to as our Frisbee-kill-a-thon, which we played with a glow in the dark disc. I think it may have been boys against girls, but on certain details my memory is fuzzy.  It was dark in that field, and I recall lots of laughter, squeals, falling on top of each other wrestling for the Frisbee and just that feeling you get only on certain occasions when it feels like the whole world is perfect.  We had such fun that hot, sticky, summer night!  I'm not sure if that Frisbee survived, but I think I recall that we all signed it before breaking up the game.  My friends and I sat under the street light across from my house talking, and I seem to remember a cop stopping to ask what we were doing at that hour.  It can't have been any later than 11:00 or so, but in our sleepy little town in the 70's I guess that was late.  Life is much tamer now and I'm lucky if I stay awake past 10:00 at night!  But oh those summer nights of my youth are fun to reminisce about!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Days of Living

We live each day
As it comes
What else can we do?
We make mistakes,
We look around,
Beauty carries us through.

Ummm, a packet of hot cereal does not belong in my teacup!

Weekday mornings are hard! Typically I'm groggy and tired, and my head is filled with thoughts of everything I must do that day. So, is it any wonder that on Wednesday morning, before 6:00 I poured my packet of cream of wheat into my teacup instead of a bowl? As soon as I did it I knew it wasn't right. So I shook my head, called myself a fool, took a picture, (well I had to share this moment of being totally an imperfect human!), then outed the cereal into a bowl and proceeded to pour the boiling water. We all do things like that from time to time. We are all busy with work and life, it's easy to get distracted by our thoughts and end up with things that don't go together in our cups from time to time. 
One of the first Clematis blossoms after a rainy morning.

As I approached my door after work the other day I noticed that the Clematis had bloomed and this flower sat right on top of the deck rail. It looked beautiful with the raindrops still on it and in the dim light of a cloudy, showery day the color seemed vibrant to me. Unexpected sights like this brighten every day. We need to only look around and quiet all the to do lists in our heads. I love those moments of beauty that are sprinkled through the chaos of daily life!
A child's party plate.

We went out to dinner with the church choir and spouses, (I'm the spouse, my husband is the choir member), and the director gave each of us one of these plates. She liked the inspirational message on it, she's the kind of person who does things like that regularly. It was a pleasant evening; a nice break in the busyness of the workweek. 

It is in simply living our lives, laughing at our mistakes, appreciating the beauty around us, and connecting with other people that make our days good.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Look Up

Look up, dear friend, look up,
Consider what you see,
How amazing it is that it exists,
Whether it's jet, or bird, or tree,
Take a breath, a moment,
Forget what else you seek,
For wonder is all around you,
Take it in when all seems bleak,
A split second of contemplation,
Does not mean you're weak.

Take heart, dear friend,
You're stronger than you know,
Hold on to that mindful moment,
As through your days you go.

The view of sky while sitting on the patio looking up through my wisteria.

It seems as though many of my friends are currently going through a time of trouble. Some I know what they are, the death of a loved one, an illness, or a general feeling of unrest, and some ask for prayers for unspecified concerns. Indeed, if you pay attention to current events there are plenty of serious problems to worry everyone. When feeling as if things are bleak I find that if I can just go outside and look up, take a breath and contemplate the sky, I feel a bit restored. There is something about looking up that lifts the spirit and helps light an ember of hope. Like looking at the ocean and feeling awed, contemplating the sky can have the same effect. If that vastness can exist in the same world that we do, and it is filled with life and mysteries we cannot see, then there is hope that we will come out the other side of our difficulties; and when we do, we will be stronger and wiser. I take some comfort in that.