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Archive for the ‘Sayings & Addages’ Category

 

laura-ingalls-wilderpioneer-girlBe Still

They come to me, these simple words, in times of trouble, of worry, or distress. They come, as well, in times of happiness, solitude and joy.  They comfort me; a soft and simple prayer that gives me strength in the darker hours of woe. They settle me. They calm me.

Sometimes, I just say “Still” or “Still my heart Lord“. The words come bidden, and sometimes not. They are often just there, hanging like morning mist upon my thoughts. Always, my heart IS stilled and my hurt, or worry, or anxiety lessens.

Monday afternoon, after running a few errands and starting our evening meal, I set the teakettle on a slow flame, for tea should not be rushed, and I picked up this great “find” my son-in-law Tom gave me. He knows my interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder and, a kindred biblio-spirit, he caught a university book sale that was not to be missed. I snatched a pinwheel cookie, my book and my tea and settled onto a favorite reading spot. img_2267

This mug was a gift from Jennifer and Jason. The flower looks much like my blooming Amaryllis bulbs, brilliant in their papery essence; delicate yet strong. The words, Be Still, sit perfectly inside the rim of the cup and meet my gaze each time I take a sip of something warm and comforting.

This mug is thinner than most mugs. In fact, it feels much like a teacup. It holds the heat in well and it fits my hands just so, letting my fingers wrap around to snuggle the warm, golden liquid.

So it was, on a wintry afternoon, just as dusk was starting to fall, the twinkle of candlelight dancing along with the steam in my cup, that stillness overcame me and that I embraced it, as it brought me back to where I should be.

Still.

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It is currently said that hope goes with youth, and lends to youth its wings of a butterfly; but I fancy that hope is the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth. Youth is pre-emininently the period in which a man can be lyric, fanatical, poetic; but youth is the period in which man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged: God has kept that good wine until now. It is from the backs of the elderly gentlemen that the wings of the butterfly should burst.

Charles Dickens: Last of the Great Men

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DSCN5512What better way to start or end one’s day than with a little dip into the honey pot, especially in September, which is National Honey Month?

During the harvesting season, I seek out vendors at local farmers markets and farm stands for jars of this liquid gold. It is said that consuming local honey has health benefits, especially for those with seasonal allergies. I don’t know how scientifically true this is, but, I do know that I don’t sneeze as much when I’ve had a wee tad of local honey on a regular basis.  I always find honey farmers are eager to talk about their honey and that this year they say their bees are producing more.

My gardening friends and I all agree, we are seeing more bees in our gardens. A good sign that leaves one hopeful, in a very tentative way.

I’m a romantic, at heart, dear reader, but, a realist in mind, and the plight of the bee is precarious. This should be alarming to all of us, for without bees, we no longer have the pollination we need to grow fruits and vegetables. Our food supply is in danger in a very large way.

It is more than honey, and More than Honey is an intriguing, stimulating, frightening film that I would like to encourage you to view. Celestia, my co-chair of our garden club’s conservation and education committee, arranged for our club to have a viewing of More than Honey before a recent club meeting. It is a fascinating documentary of bees; their origin in Europe, colonization in North America, how bees are being genetically modified, the plight of migrant bee farmers (I didn’t know there were migrant bee farmers), and much, much more.

Through modern technology, we enter the beehive and soar with the queen. We cringe as we see, first hand, colony collapse and disease, and ooh as a minuscule camera is attached to a bee that we follow as it seeks a new hive. We watch hand pollination in China and explore the lives of killer bees, which may give us hope rather than something to fear.

Please take a moment to click below to see the trailer for the film. I’m sorry if there is an advertisement. It is the trailer you want to click.  You can, of course, buy it from the website or rent it from sources such as Netflix.

This trailer for the film was on YouTube.

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DSCN4684In the cool, crispness of  our sunny Sunday morning, I wandered out to the deck to check the newly arisen morning glory vines on their way up the path of strings laid out to train them into some sort of vine-like order. Tea cup in hand, I headed down the steps to a seat in the arbor.

An American goldfinch arrived on the rim of the bird bath, his bright yellow and black body alit for a moment, then flitted skittishly away at his awareness of my presence.

The wren, ah, they sang soprano and darted back and forth as wren are wont to do.

A male cardinal sat on a humble branch, in his royal red plumage, giving what sounded like a sermon.

A young buck, his antlers a mere suggestion, played shadow tag among the rays of sunshine in the trees further back.

In my arbor pew, I sipped my tea, steam drifting upward in the cool morning air, while the prairie grasses bowed with the reverence of prayer.

I finished my tea, whispered amen, and arose from my arbor pew. I walked away from this outdoor chapel and into the house, where I got ready for church, another sermon, and other distinctive voices in the choir of life.

It is good for the soul to begin one’s day on a wing and a prayer.

 

 

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With childish, glee, I stopped the car and called Tom. He answered with “the mallards are back”, remembering seeing them earlier in the day and sensing just how long it took me to go down the drive and up the road, where I first saw them.

Actually, they were in the street. The pond, a messy bit of swamp and cattails and grasses, had melted its frozen self upon the road, where the mister and missus were happily courting, oblivious to the me and my auto machine as I braked, grateful that I saw them cavorting about in a fowlish way on the Cutoff.

We missed the Mallard family last year. There simply wasn’t enough water to paddle in. This year; well, this year the snow melt has provided a waterfowl haven. As I slowly drove away, muttering quack, quack, quack, I remembered a little ditty for McDonald’s that aired on television here in the 1980’s. It was a catchy little jingle about Nippersinkers and rain and waddling.

We eventually discovered there really was a Lake Nippersink, just over the Illinois/Wisconsin border. A golf resort/family vacation spot with little cabins, a big lodge for eating, and all manner of activities for young and not-so-young alike. Jennifer took arts and crafts lessons and was in a talent show; something with wishy washy washing machines. Katy, about three at the time, opted to take water aerobics with me. Tom took them canoeing, I went antiquing and we all ate and ate and ate . . .

. . . and we all sang the Nippersink song. Do any of you remember it? Did you ever go to summer camp?

We are Nippersinkers. We’re in luck. If it rains all week, just pretend you’re a duck.  Quack, quack, waddle, waddle!

 

 

 

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There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand different versions.  

La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

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DSCN3259It has been raining here on the Cutoff. Big, noisy storms full of thunderous booms and skies streaked with lightning. Black clouds roiling to the east and sunshine in the west and the rush of rain on the rooftop. Quite a bit of daytime drama.

 

In between cloud bursts, I wandered out to the mailbox, then walked around as I do most days to see what was happening in the back garden, where I found the Japanese anemone peaking through the slats in the lattice. They are such a stark white of blossoms at this time of year. A nice intermission from the storms, reminding me, again, that every cloud has a silver lining.

What’s blooming around your neck of the woods?

 

 

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