Tuesday, October 14, 2014

moving glitches

Just a note:  the blue "join this site" button at the new address is [temporarily, I hope] out of order.

Fortunately, there is a way around that - click on the tiny red boxes to the right of the blue button, and a window will pop up displaying followers.  At the top right of that window is a "follow" button.  Click that and you'll be able to go through the usual process to receive new posts.

Thank you!




Monday, October 13, 2014

moving time

Hi there!

Guess what?  I finally lit on the right name for this blog, and to celebrate its fit-ness, I not only renamed, but re-designed my life: in short.

Hop over to the new site with me?  All the content from my life: in short will be there, and I hope you'll join me for the move.  I am so grateful for all of you who - by reading what I wrote, by commenting, by coming up to me in church to tell me that you liked a post - have walked with me through the past few years.

The new name is based on that time when someone very kind told me that my writing "makes the ordinary holy."  Suddenly a long-forgotten piece of a poem sprang from the depths of my memory, perfectly encapsulating what I want to do with my writing:  point you to the fire of God in the everyday.

I read to know I'm not alone.  I write in hopes of showing others - you, sometimes? - that they're not alone, either.

If you've enjoyed following my life: in short, you can join the new site to continue receiving content.

See you over there!

[update on the blue "join this site" button at the new address, which is temporarily out of order - if you click the tiny red boxes to the right of the blue button, a window will pop up.  Click the "follow" button to the top right of that window and you'll be able to sign up!  Thanks!!]

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

passing through shadow

The moon was still nearly full when I pulled myself from bed at the usual too-early time.  I'd almost forgotten about the eclipse - and how quickly it would go - and by the time my shower had woken me up, the earth's shadow had eroded the moon to a slim, shining sliver.




I rushed through coffee prep, grabbed my inadequate camera and binoculars, turned on the porch light, and stumbled over fallen walnuts out to the middle of the backyard, where no branches would obscure my view.




The porchlight started flashing.  I turned, saw my Farmer silhouetted in the doorway, and waved.  When he didn't come out, I went up to investigate.  Turns out he'd seen the glow from my camera's display, and thought there were bioluminescent mushrooms growing on the stump I was using as my tripod.

Meanwhile, the moon had turned reddish, passing through the penumbra of the earth's shadow, reflecting "all the sunrises and sunsets in the world, all at once."




The girls traipsed out in their pajamas, barefoot in the cool dew.  Taking turns with the binoculars, we watched as the moon sank in the sky, grew dimmer and dimmer.



We never did see the "turquoise band" resulting from reflected ozone.  Photos online were much more spectacular than the ones I took, than even the reality that we saw, despite a forecast-defying unclouded sky.

So a shadow passed over the moon, temporarily obscuring its brilliance and shading it rusty-red.  Cars hurried to work just yards to our left, buggies, pickups with ladders and tools on their way to build things, fix things.  No one slowed to watch the spectacle.  Perhaps no one noticed there was one.

I wouldn't have missed it, though.

When we could barely distinguish the morning-faded moon from the morning itself, we headed back inside - me to cook the eggs, them to read abed, and dress.

Quietly, masked by daylight, the moon emerged from shadow and once again - to the other side of the world - reflected sunlight fully.







Friday, October 03, 2014

what I saw, when I looked ...


Some days look bleak. . . .


. . . until I slow down,
lean in,
peer closer,
and 
really
look.


The more closely I look, the more beauty I see.


God lavishly "wastes" his creative design 
on weeds,
inside trees,
even in the midst
of decay.

All over the ordinary,
he hides
beauty.

All it takes to see it
is 
a seeker.


Come,
have a look!


(I started inside the house)

Sugar's eye.
Is there anything like the human eye to stir wonder?!
The colors it can see...
The emotions it can communicate...



The zipper!!  The colors!! 
(No, God didn't make it, but he tucked it away in a thrift store for me to find,
knowing that its bright design and pockets galore would delight me.)



Glass.  Water.  Mums.



Glossy kernels of Indian corn & popcorn.
Think of the explosion of popcorn!
The transformation of Indian corn into meal, and again into bread.
Edible art.


(I headed outside)

 Raspberries!  Giant ones, too, glowing in the sun.
He could have made us to live on mere grass, you know.
Berries are pure gift.

And speaking of grass - have you ever seen anything
so ALIVE
as the green, green grass of summer?
Emeralds don't even come close.



This purple-mauve gem of a weed is called Pennsylvania smartweed.
Like the indiscriminate rain,
flowers spring from the earth for the just and the unjust alike,
free for the looking.



Humble tansy, holding its world of yellow blossoms,
and the humble ant in his gleaming everyday suit.



The sepals on this flamboyant pokeweed!
Almost plastic perfection.
Did you ever see such fuchsia?!



 Who would ever suspect this powdery unassuming plant of a powerful fragrance
used to calm everything from digestion to anxiety?



Asiatic dayflower.
Just a delicate, frilly little weed.



Even in fall - season of death and decay - beauty is tucked away . . .

 Dogwood fruits amongst dying leaves, beside next year's blossoms-to-be.



Fallen leaf, caught in the sunlit angles of decaying poplar wood.



Lil' Spice's loud cries brought me running, sure he was hurt.
He held out his best, favorite leaf:
"It broke!!"



Between two sheets of wax paper,
we mended it.



Translucent fish scales, like delicate miniature seashells!
(Even fish scales are touched with beauty!)


Every seed pod, unique to its species.
Does He never run out of ideas?!
To tuck hard, dry, withered little kernels of life
inside fibrously whiskered cavities 

where just weeks ago
tissue-thin petals of palest pink had been?




Intricate network of veins on a poplar leaf - a study in fractal art.



Crabapple among clover.



 Leaf lace



Dried echinacea "pincushion"



 Star Magnolia flowerbuds
forming spring's lavish creamy blossoms
undercover
like a caterpillar in chrysallis
unfolding into
butterfly.



Chrysanthemum bud, blushing into blooms
to brighten autumn.


And God's greatest handiwork of all
is us,
of course.

No flower
or common creature
could have a sense of humor
like 
a boy!







May God bless you
with opened eyes
to see
what He lays

expectantly

before you!












Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quiet Time

If you are observant, you will have noticed that, e. e. cummings*-style, I neglect to capitalize the titles of my blog posts.  This is to remind myself of how little importance my opinions are.  ([grin] - I'm not sure how effective that is, but it's an attempt, anyway).

Perhaps you have noticed that the title of this post is capitalized.

That is because of its great importance.  I always write about Quiet Time in capital letters.  I even try to speak about it in capital letters, although that is, admittedly, more difficult.

Since time immemorial we have observed Quiet Time in our family.  Originally we called it naptime (I didn't always think to capitalize it then), but as the nappers grew fewer in number - and greater in age - naptime became a misnomer and we transitioned to Quiet Time.

This is what Quiet Time is (for our family):



1)  Everyone is in a separate room (if possible).

2)  No one talks.

3)  Mommy (that's me) gets to read, or nap, or have a snack,
or talk on the phone to a friend without interruptions.
Sometimes, all of the above.



Since it started out as naptime, it was easy at first.  Of course it was quiet; they were asleep!  

But then they stopped needing sleep.  Then it got hard (for a time).  I put on calming music and gave them books to look at and told them no talking.  Someone-who-shall-remain-nameless required quite a bit of training in this.  I had to give up, for a time, my own nap/snack/phone conversation in order to sit in her room with her, at the ready should any corrections be needed (and they usually were). 

Eventually, though, everyone got the hang of it and it stopped being hard and instead became a Thing of Exquisite Beauty, well worth the initial effort required.



In our house now, every day at one o'clock, the children all gather in the livingroom (or the playroom, if Lego projects are in progress) and sit more or less quietly while I read aloud to them from a book.  This is a cozy time and the prime seats are considered to be on either side of Mommy, snuggled up against one shoulder or the other, following along in the book du jour.

By one-thirty, we're usually "right at a good place!" but my throat is parched and after all, it is time to begin Quiet Time, so we put the book away till tomorrow.  If it's a weekday, Sugar, Spice, and Nice gather their schoolbooks and whatever "fun" book they're in the middle of, and Lil' Snip puts a few toys and books into his basket, and up the steps they all go.



* * * sigh * * *



And for the next hour and a half, the house is quiet (except for Lil' Snip's signature request for a bum-wipe:  "I did a poooooo!").

And Mommy gets to read her book, or take a nap, or talk to a friend on the phone without any interruptions.

And when three o'clock arrives, restored by solitude, we are happy to see each other again.



And that, my gentle reader, is Quiet Time.






* [I feel it only honest to add that I know nothing of the poet e. e. cummings other than his uncapitalized name, and what wikipedia just told me.]



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