New day, Old books & Strong coffee

New day, Old books & Strong coffee

These past few weeks have been filled with changes, growth, and adventure for our family and many of our friends.   Graduations, birthdays and other anniversaries all fell in May.  Goal trips off the bucket lists have carried over into the first part of June, and suddenly I find myself on my front steps realizing we’re basically halfway through 2017!   Wow!    That was fast!

So, on this mid year morning, this new day, I found myself thinking on what may lie ahead, and even though I know tomorrow is never promised here on Earth, I have challenges and fears to conquer.  I have hopes and dreams that need some acknowledgement and attention if they ever stand a chance of coming to fruition.

It’s day one.   I have strong coffee, morning light, and old words.  Today’s reminder from my grandfather’s book of ancient prayers, very much paraphrased:  “Lord, I stand before you calling for grace and mercy, refresh my spirit and kindle my coldness with the fire of your love, enlighten my blindness with the brightness of your presence”. (Thomas A Kempis)

One of the things I love about that old book is how the prayers and reflections seem to speak to whatever’s happening for me.  I don’t think I could have found a better guide for beginning this new day and these new chapters.

Peace to you all!  Stay safe out there everyone!

 

Kel.

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The Monday Moon

The Monday Moon

The moon won’t be full for a couple of days yet, but looking up earlier tonight I couldn’t help but smile.  So, I put my coffee down long enough to pick up my camera and take a stroll outside.

It really is beautiful, and it’s lighting up the entire landscape like it doesn’t even care that it isn’t full yet.

Perhaps there’s a lesson for me from this not quite full moon.  Perhaps the subtle changes, along the way to any given goal, are moments to be observed and illuminated. Perhaps it’s a reminder to be bright at any stage of the journey.  Perhaps, too, it’s a wonderful reminder on this Monday night to keep looking up.

Peace to you all.

 

Hawks, Honey Bees, and Pear Blossoms in February.

Hawks, Honey Bees, and Pear Blossoms in February.

The area hawks were especially chatty today.  If  hawks don’t want you to hear them, you’ll never hear them.  But today they wanted to be heard and were calling loudly for quite a while.  I finally grabbed my camera and ventured out to see if I could spot them.  Some days they play hide and seek, chattering from well within the trees so as to not be seen.  Today, however, they seemed quite social, playing on the unseasonably warm breeze most of the day, soaring high above the tallest branches and conversing amongst themselves in the most joyful manners.  They’re such powerful birds.  I absolutely love seeing hawks play in the wind.

I followed the hawks as best I could for a while listening to their chatter and trying to snap pictures in between sips of coffee.  The hawks weren’t the only creatures out making noise this beautiful day, though.  As I walked I was greeted by another sound,  the very distinctive, unmistakable buzz of bees.   Now, I’m not afraid of bees, and I’m not allergic to bees, but to hear what sounds like a swarm as bees work over a tree is quite impressive….. in a “maybe I shouldn’t get too close” kind of way.

I believe there is beauty and peace within every day.  Some days it’s hard to find, but some days….. Some days we get a personal invitation to glimpse some of the most amazingly beautiful yet absolutely ordinary moments anyone could hope to witness.

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Hawk flying through the February sky.

 

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New blossoms alongside the old bark and moss

 

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Honey Bees have found the pear blossoms
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I love watching hawks play on the wind.

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According to the calendar, there are still a few weeks left before spring.  I think, perhaps, the birds and bees disagree, at least in this little corner of the world.    Enjoy your week out there, and if you get a chance remember to look up.

“I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” Psalm 50:11

 

 

January Moon

January Moon

Look up.   It is in the darkness of night that the moon and stars become brilliant.  The soft blues and stunning oranges and reds of sunrise and sunsets often make us stop in our tracks, take slower breaths, and marvel at the glory and beauty above us.   But what about the darkness?  Ah ~ that beautiful darkness far away from streetlights and cities where the moon beams bathe the earth in the softest glow.

Tonight a few wispy clouds lingered close to the rising moon, a brief embrace of sorts  before floating away on the breeze.  Westward, stars are more visible – even Mars and Neptune are keeping watch over all that moves tonight – but my focus remains in the eastern sky as the moon slowly makes it’s way higher.

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First Full Moon of 2017

Perhaps in summer there would be owls chatting or whippoorwills calling through trees, but on this night the winds carry a chorus of yips and high barks from coyotes in the surrounding woods.  Somehow that seems appropriate as we welcome once again this “Wolf Moon” of January.            ~ Peace ~

“And at the eventide, again may we give thanks unto Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord”   (Gelasian Sacramentary A.D. 494)

 

~ Snow Day ~

~ Snow Day ~

It is a beautiful scene here as the snowflakes falling from the deep gray sky dance along the freezing winds, floating and spinning through winter branches before landing softly on an already blanketed landscape.  If winter prayers could be drawn or photographed, I believe they would be images of days like today.

 

Perhaps where you live snow is a usual winter occurrence, but that is not the case here.  Here snow is rare and celebrated.  We stop.  We advise people to stay home while secretly we want to go out and see the white-draped sites around the county.  We go out to play, hike, take pictures and comment on the freezing winds before retreating to the warmth of hot chocolate, coffee, and popcorn inside.  And if we get enough snow….there will be that wonderful creation Snow Cream!

It’s truly lovely, it will stay so for a couple of days as the temperatures remain below freezing.   And I will spend as much time as possible being grateful for the glimpses of quiet stillness and peace ~that different kind of silent beauty that comes only in the winter.

~ I wish you all peace and the perfect snow day  ~

~Monday’s prayer, and the November Supermoon~

~Monday’s prayer, and the November Supermoon~

‘Tis a lovely evening following a dreary day here in this corner of the globe.  The moon, this super moon as it’s called,  has risen.   Clouds have dispersed and the unmistakable scent of a wood fire is drifting on the cold November night breeze.   Coyotes are calling from the woods to the north, joining the frogs and crickets in the music of the night, perhaps competing with the area doggies to see who can bark or yip or howl the longest.

It is not a still night, it is not a silent night,

but it is a beautiful night.

Monday is softly slipping away, but before it passes completely, I pick up my grandfather’s old prayer book and read for tonight:

 “….Grant that in us, short-lived, vexed with cares, hungry, thirsty, dying, the Spirit of God may so come and so dwell, that the beauty of the Lord may be upon us…..”

And looking up ~ I do believe it is.

Goodnight, Sleep Well & Sweet Dreams.

~Peace~

(Prayer Information:  Tileston, Mary Wilder. Prayers Ancient and Modern. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1928)

Could stained glass be this beautiful

Could stained glass be this beautiful

My camera and I went out for a walk this evening.  It’s the last day of October, 2016, unseasonably warm with a light breeze, and the trees here still have most of their multi-colored leaves.   I’ve often thought autumn leaves must have been the original inspiration for the creation of stained glass windows.   The darkness of the silhouetted trees, outstretched limbs and  branches providing influence for the iron or lead frames. Brilliance in countless hues and variations must have been the motivation that called and challenged artists longing to capture and recreate a small part of the seasonal splendor.

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Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that leaves alone are the inspiration for stained glass.  I know many stained glass windows are historical treasures; keeping record of some of the most important moments in our human history.  But I do think the way the light shines through autumn leaves must have played some role in the concept of stained glass.   And as I contemplated that very thought, the sun slipped a little lower in the west, shined through the canopy, and the air itself seems to change colors.  Copper, red, green and gold cover the landscape at the end of this day.

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I love stained glass.  Windows, sun catchers, ornaments, you name it.  But truly ~ I love finding and seeing things that could have inspired stained glass even more.

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Today in the midst of obligations, responsibilities and other distractions, make some time to gaze upon and appreciate something beautiful……like stained glass….or something that could have inspired it.

Welcome to November everyone, peace be with you all.