Thursday, September 30, 2010

this is a picture of a 60-year-old, slightly dowdy-looking woman standing in the future doorway of the only new home she will ever have, presently being constructed.

yes, me.

my first new home.

i also climbed up a rickety 1x6 ladder to the second story, where i took this picture of the first and only rooftop garden i shall ever own, too.

i am anticipating, it would seem.

most people have done with all of this in their 30's, 40's...some young couples build new homes before they're even married.

seems kind of wasted, to me.

youth is wasted on the young.

when i think of all the places i've lived. some nice, some not so nice. i've made homes- homey little homes- out of basement suites, tiny condos, ugly barnlike structures...and the nicer ones- i've attempted to create my own little version of better homes and gardens.

but this time.

i really hope to create.

a home. a garden. a paradise.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

my littlest brother's birthday today. where are you, dear? will i ever see you again?

what happened to your life?

you had it all...

lost it all...

i pray for you today, as i do every year on this day,

and remember the beautiful child you were.

always loved, never forgotten.

there will always be a light in the window.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Your mother is always with you.
She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street,
she’s the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks,
she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not well.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.
She’s the place you came from, your first home;
She’s your first love and your first heartbreak,
and nothing on earth can separate you…
Not time, not space…
not even death!

Friday, September 24, 2010

my great great grandparents.

salt of the earth.

no nonsense types.

hard lives, immigrants from the old country (british isles)


dignified and puritan

what on earth happened to me?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bird on the bare branch,
Flinging your frail song
on the bleak air,
tenuous and brave –
like love in a bleak world,
and, like love,
with everlastingness.

O praise
that we too
may be struck through with light,
may shatter the barren cold
with pure melody
and sing
for Thy sake
till the hills are lit with love
and the deserts come to bloom.

Jane Tyson clement

Saturday, September 18, 2010

almost narnia...

today, something awakened in me that has been dormant and stifled for many years.

i have always loved nature, and growing things. my house used to always be full of plants and flowers. since living in the tropics, i have not had opportunity to garden at all...either too busy or living in highrise apartments where it was difficult to grow anything.

since we moved this week to "the province" (countryside), i've been reveling in the green.

such a lovely and inviting and alive...i had forgotten what it feels like to be surrounded by a living, vibrant cloak of trees and vines and fields.

i took the kids over to the park across the street- not a city park, but a country park, neatly landscaped to be sure but uncluttered and bright and spacious. i sat on a white bench watching the children ride bikes and shout and run through the grass and laugh and dance and sing and chase the dogs- oh, the dogs are so happy- and suddenly i was weeping.

weeping for the sheer joy of the wind, the sky, the flowers, the happy children, the happy dogs. weeping because i've spent so many years missing it. not grieving, because i was where God wanted me to be, but just so unbelievably delighted to have tiny yellow flowers at my feet and a wide joyful glorious space for the kids to run and play.

and as i sat there with tears in my eyes, i noticed the final touch of grace: lamp posts. i walked the children around to touch the lamp posts, we whispered solemnly about Aslan the great King of Narnia, and how this was a sort of Narnia for us...a magical place where wonderful things could happen and the world could be almost how it should be.

for a few moments, i was almost there- that place we long for and can never really get to- the call of the Lord High King echoing within our hearts that there is more, that He has created all of this for us, and He will come back some day to change everything back to how it should be.

Almost Narnia. Almost home.

Friday, September 17, 2010

God Forgive Me When I Whine

Today upon a bus I saw a little girl with golden hair;
I envied her, she seemed so gay, I wished I were so fair;
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle,
She had one foot, she wore a crutch, but as she passed - a smile!
Oh God! forgive me when I whine; I have two feet the world is mine!

As I passed to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm;
He seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner kind and warm;
I said, "It's nice to deal with you, such courtesy to find".
He turned and said, "O thank you sir." '
Twas then I found that he was blind.
God forgive me when I whine; I have two eyes - the world is mine!

Then walking down the street I saw a boy with eyes of blue;
He stood and watched the others play, he knew not what to do;
I turned and then I said to him, "Why don't you join the others here?"
He looked ahead without a word, then I knew he couldn't hear.
God forgive me when I whine. I have two ears the world is mine!
- unknown

Thursday, September 16, 2010

borrowed from a fellow blogger- i think it's beautiful...

"God in the Spaces

God who sees all spaces,
you see the space between
what we need and what we get,
the space between the hunger
and the nourishment provided,
the space between our hopes
and what actually happens.
You see the cracks in our life
out of which tears flow.
Help us live through these spaces
with courage in the face of emptiness,
laying our hearts open to your mercy.
God of space and God of glory,
on your people pour your power!
Crown our story with your love,
giving your holy presence in wide spaces
that we do not seek,
that we cannot avoid."

-by Carol Penner

Monday, September 13, 2010

birthday flowers...these gerbera daisies are some of my very favorite flowers. cheerful, bright, long-lasting...perhaps they remind me of me!

thanks, Daddy & Emma, for my birthday flowers. happy birthday to me, and thank you, little yellow flowers, for bringing joy to my heart.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Far out at sea, at close of day,
A lonely albatross flew by.
We watched him as he soared away-
A speck against the glowing sky!
Thought I: This lordly feathered one
Is trusting in the faithfulness
Of wind and tide, of star and sun;
And shall I trust the Maker less?

O soul of mine, spread wide thy wings;
Mount up; push out with courage strong!
And- like a bird which, soaring, sings-
Let heaven vibrate with thy song!
For God will ever faithful be;
His love shall guide thee; winds divine
Shall waft thee o'er this troubled sea.

Though dangers threaten in the night,
Though tides of death below thee roll,
Though storms attend thy homeward flight,
Though shadows veil the verdant shore,
And distant seems the hallowed dawn,
Spread wide thy pinions-evermore
Spread wide thy pinions, and press on!

-Robert Crumly

Friday, September 10, 2010

i imagine it was a golden september day, the day before i was born, with the harvest sun just starting to slant to the south as autumn overtook the western prairies.

perhaps the blue sky of daytime had a hint of frost in it- because in manitoba it frosts early- but i was born in the dark hours after midnight, when the distant rolling of prairie thunder and the brilliant streaks of summer lightning lit up the thunderheads that towered majestically in the heavens. for that is a manitoba late summer night.

perhaps my mother walked around the house that afternoon, feeling the stirring pangs of her swollen belly, my first eager yearnings triggering the lovely cascade of events that bring forth every child...

probably she said nothing to anyone, until she knew- she knew- "bob, we need to go to the hospital" she whispered, and he calmly, deliberately, brought the car around to the front door and helped her in, whistling in his distracted way but all the while a glow beginning in his heart- "my child is coming! my child is coming!"

my mother had "twilight sleep"- a new post-war birth concept, where the laboring mother was given ether to dull the pain of the birth and remember nothing afterwards. it was thought to be such a medical advance, the forgetting and the not remembering the birth process.

neither, apparently, do the babies of twilight sleep remember- (although they have a disturbing tendency towards drug use- hence the 60's. but let's not go there right now.)

the night i was born, i imagine my Father, and my father, smiled.

His message to me was: "laugh- for in laughter you echo my heart of joy."

i have laughed- i have danced- i have lived for 60 years since that lightning-streaked september night.

and each day has been filled with laughter, even when tears fall. joy comes in the morning- every single time.

it was a dark and stormy night. but it was a good night.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

internet was down for a couple of days. sigh. what did we ever do for entertainment before there was the world wide web????

tomorrow is my 60th birthday. ten years ago, a dear friend wrote this poem for me: it's still true today.

…you are indeed a work of the greatest artist…of the Maker…

in every line is etched God's work at perfection…
of you becoming all that He wanted you to be…

every gray hair stands for wisdom God has given you as He poured out His vision, His will in your life…

in every added "pad" is God's provision of good health, food,
and many blessings are promised…

in every backache, headache, wristache, is seen your obedience
to do what He wanted you to do
and go where He wanted you to go all these years…

every "tear line" marks the hours of prayer, of intercession, of groaning,
of seeking God with all your heart, with all your soul and being…

Yes, God can be seen in your life…and yet there's still more, He still has more…

God is by far not done with you yet…and as you look forward to another 50 years,
I pray that you'd continue to be willing to give your all, and receive all that God has for you as well…

I pray too that in God's faithfulness, goodness, love and grace,
He will continually bless you,
break you,
refresh you,
grip you,
equip you more and more and more …

-written by cathee pullis for her "ate dini" september 2000

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

bless all young mothers
at end of day.
kneeling wearily with each
small one
to hear them pray.
too tired to rise when done…
and yet they do;
longing just to sleep
one whole night through.
too tired to sleep…
too tired to pray…
bless all young mothers
at close of day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

one of my very favorite poems in the whole world. =D but i have no plans of joining the red hat society just yet.

by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
we must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Baby’s Prayer

Dear Lord, I am so little, still,
I’m not sure why I’m here.
I know I am a child of yours;
That much is all that’s clear.

I do not have the words, as yet,
To tell these ones nearby
That I’m homesick
for Your presence, Lord,
And so, sometimes, I cry

For I’m so lately come from You
To tarry here awhile
That heaven’s light
still clings around
The corners of my smile.

Give them eyes to see it, Lord;
Bless them as they do
And help them raise me knowing
I’m a precious trust from You.
-Judith Dekker

Thursday, September 2, 2010

With apologies to robert frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
(i like walking side by side with someone else.)
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
( DO they get there???)
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
(hey, neighbour, there's gaps in our fences...)
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
(walls do wear on you...roughly)
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? (why indeed) Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
(yes. Who am i walling in? Who am i walling out?)
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." (me) I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. (not likely) I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
(the darkness of ignorance and isolation perhaps)
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
(so he learned it! He learned about walls and fences...)
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."
(do they?)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the joy of making a home...

The Blue Bowl

All day I did the little things,
The little things that do not show;
I brought the kindling for the fire
I set the candles in a row,
I filled a bowl with marigolds,
The shallow bowl you love the best-
And made the house a pleasant place
Where weariness might take its rest.

The hours sped on, my eager feet
Could not keep pace with my desire.
So much to do, so little time!
I could not let my body tire,
Yet, when the coming of the night
Blotted the garden from my sight,
And on the narrow, graveled walks
Between the guarding flower stalks
I heard your step, I was not through
With services I meant for you.

You came into the quiet room
That glowed enchanted with the bloom
Of yellow flame. I saw your face,
Illumined by the firelit space,
Slowly grow still and comforted-
“It’s good to be at home,” you said.

-Blance Bane Kuder