Poetry should…should strike the reader
as a wording of his own highest thoughts,
and appear almost a remembrance.
Some of you know that I was an educator for 31 years. What you don’t know is that in the 8th grade I declared to family and friends that I would never become a teacher, especially an English teacher. But as it turned out I did become one and though it was not my first or second chosen teaching field, I ended up teaching English for half of my career. And like all else whatever we spend time doing has a profound influence on our lives. I’ve always had a great respect for literature and writers and storytellers. One of them. as I mentioned in a recent post, is Mary Oliver. When I read her poetry it’s as if she has been writing what dwells within my heart and soul. They are so accurate and she does it in a way that had I her ability I would have written them myself. But ya know, we don’t all have to be gifted to tell tales of our lives which might be what someone else needs or longs to hear. And I believe I can say with certitude that there’s not a single one of you who are reading this who were not profoundly impacted by at least one teacher in your life. Secondly, my guess is that their influence had little to do with academic subject matter. I expect it was stories they told or wove to reach you and teach you that made all the difference in your life. So never be afraid to share you grief and joys, triumphs and sorrows, whatever it is you hold dear or keep close for you never know when or where a listening ear will find remembrance and/or life-sustaining importance in them. ‘Tis even more important that you do so if the tale(s) tell of God’s grace, mercy, faithfulness, and abiding love for His children!
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. ~Acts 20:24 ✝
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean– the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Photo of grasshopper on rose taken in her yard by Natalie
How can I stand on the ground
every day and not feel its power?
How can I live my life stepping on
this stuff and not wonder at it?
~William Bryant Logan
The many gardens of the world,
of literature and poetry,
of painting and music,
of religion and architecture,
all make the point as clear as possible:
The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.
A garden is like the self.
It has so many layers
and winding paths,
real or imagined, that it
can never be known, completely,
even by the most intimate of friends.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8 ✝
Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable,
butterflies lead to the sunny side of life.
And everyone deserves a little sunshine.
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies again,
And though we wish it could have stayed…
We feel lucky to have seen it at all.
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ~Hans Christian Anderson
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. ~1 Chronicles 16:29 ✝
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!
Though you lose all hope,
there is still hope,
and it loves to surprise.
Goodbye January and hello February! Whew, January is a long month, isn’t it?! So much so that it makes my hope very hungry indeed. Dada, dada da da da! I said hello, February…well hello February…It’s so nice you’ve finally come around again. You’re lookin’ swell, February…And time will tell February…That spring’s a comin’ February… Okay, to appreciate my attempt here at “cleverosity” with the previous lines, you have to try to remember a song from a musical by the same name called HELLO DOLLY. Okay, so maybe it was a lame attempt, but today is just that kind of day, one that puts a song in my heart. Why? Why you ask? Well…
About the time the barrenness of winter starts putting asunder all hope of anything different, February saves the day by bringing forth visible signs of the new spring. And so it did this year on its very first day. After I’d watered and waited and watched the bulbs I’d started weeks ago in the greenhouse, I was rewarded today with several emerging buds. The result: squeals of joy peeled forth inside its walls along with hallelujahs and praise for such glorious surprises amid winter’s gloomy, brown and beige drabness. But they’re just flowers some might say, but pshaw! They are pieces in the puzzle of Creation itself, blessed and holy and full of purpose. They’ve been touched by the very hand of God and then ordained as part of the faithful and reoccurring provision not only for man’s needs but for his pleasure as well. And if flowers are inconsequential why are so many poems and pieces of literature devoted to them, and why are they considered by many as desirable gifts, and why are their scents revered for use in perfumes, and why have they been worth at times more than gold?
“Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth. Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass us by. Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither…” ~Wisdom 2:6-8 ✝