The sunset is enough. The sunset is always enough.
But this evening, accompanying this beautiful and peaceful scene is the distinct and wonderful aroma of freshly cut hay. It is a windows open, glass in hand, front row seat to the tree frog and crickets symphony, kind of evening.
Memorial Day Weekend is underway. It’s a time for reflection. There is no shortage of ceremonies and activities to honor the fallen men and women who entered into every military branch knowing they may not make it home alive. There’s no shortage of families forever changed by those sacrifices made.
My plans are pretty simple this weekend. I plan to help other drivers and motorists by staying off the roads as much as possible. Perhaps I’ll spend a few long moments watching the new bee that showed up in the wildflowers this morning, we’ll see.
One certainty is waiting on the rain with some coffee in the backyard swing, and being eternally grateful for this life and those who have lost theirs while serving to build and protect our society and nation.
Whatever your plans include this weekend, I wish you all good health, peace, and safety. Make sure you take a few minutes in prayer or reflection, to just breathe, appreciate the day, and make sure those you love know you love them.
Hello Saturday. It’s good to be here.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13
‘Tis a lovely day here in this little corner of North Carolina. If today was a color, it would be green!
Temperatures crossed into the 90 degrees Fahrenheit realm this afternoon, so mowing the yard went quickly and early this morning. Most of the day has been reserved for sipping iced drinks in the swing watching oak trees wave their branches in the gentle, but welcomed breezes. This weekend is graduation weekend for some amazing young people I have the privilege of knowing. I wish them all the best in their next chapters in life, and pray for their health, safety, joy and wisdom often, but especially on days as lovely as today. While I’m thinking about it, let me just add one more wish: may we all, including these new graduates, always find time for beautiful moments under the shade of an old tree.
I spent a good part of the day snapping photos of the hot afternoon scenes. Green is everywhere here, but it is a color willing to share the stage. In fact, it’s sometimes even more gorgeous supporting the pops of pink, purple, yellow, pink and white that grab onto it in the forms of blooming flowers and vines.
Some days I don’t drive this part of this old road, but seeing glimpses like this makes me remember what a beautiful place this is. You can’t see the creek in this picture, but it is there, meandering through the landscape from pasture to pasture and field to field.
There are higher hills a few hours to the west, and larger bodies of water nearby as well. The colors change with the rhythms of the season, but for me these hills are timeless, always just beyond the tree-line from my back porch. Quiet, almost hidden, these Cane Creek Mountains are the very picture of perfect spring green on this April afternoon.
Sometimes, the birds in this back yard play peek-a-boo. Singing and chirping their greetings from the deep cover of the bushes, or just out of sight behind the branches of the trees. The resident cardinals are especially good at keeping hidden, despite their briliant red feathers.
This week, however, they seem happy and content to be seen, and I absolutely love seeing them.
My grandmother, Ava, was the one who began and encouraged my fascination with cardinals. She was a wise woman. If I can only remember half of the things she told me or I overheard her say during the short years I knew her, I should be fine.
A quick glimpse of a cardinal has always been special for me, but an afternoon of these beauties allowing me a few pictures is enough to make me smile for a long time. All but one of these pictures was taken through the screen as I tried to not disturb the birds too much. So (giggle) these are literal “Screen Shots” .
Birds aren’t known for staying still long, of course, and these are no different. Eventually they left to survey other areas. Perhaps looking for nesting sights, perhaps looking for food, perhaps just enjoying the afternoon sunshine, perhaps all of that and more.
So, having whispered my timeless wish upon first sight, and spending time enjoying their lovely company I settled back onto the porch with my afternoon coffee, and made myself a note to more often remember to focus on the beauty and peace in these little everyday moments.
This evening I was on the back porch, aka my favorite room in the house, reviewing the events of the weekend with the amazing young people with whom I have the privilege of working over the weekend, and checking the calendar when I realized it is the last Monday of summer. Autumn is scheduled to arrive Friday! A couple of things happened nearly simultaneously: a sweet text from an old friend to schedule coffee & catch up time, and a strong sunbeam streaming through the leaves.
Both drew me away from my “business” immediately. Gears were switched, focus was redirected I stepped out into the summer air and turned my face towards the glorious sun rays.
Some sunsets paint the sky in vibrant colors. But sometimes…..sometimes the sun slips below the canopy and directs the late day rays through and onto the leaves. Today was one of those days.
If you missed it, perhaps you can enjoy these few photos, these evening views through some of my favorite trees.
I love it when sunlight breaks through these old trees. It’s as if the rays carry whispers from God saying “I see you, now look towards me”. And so, I will.