Evening Falls

 

Dogwood 2

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul……..Thomas Merton

I am trying to learn this: When words are few, there is a reason and a purpose for it. At least that’s what I am telling myself. There was a time not so long ago that my words poured out almost effortlessly. Not anymore. I know it’s a season I am going through and I don’t know if it will last for another month or a year or even more. I am resting in His timing, trying not to force words that aren’t there.

This evening I told myself I would come out here and write whatever came, whatever sounds I heard. Just now, the sun is slipping away to another part of the world giving way to a cool evening and a colder night. I am drinking Tazo Zen tea, the kind I used to drink on my work afternoons with a drop of honey and milk. I thought that might spark something creative.

The Mockingbird has stopped singing and now I hear the drowsy growl of a small plane overhead. That makes me think of fishing when I was a kid, and BBQ potato chips and a rocking boat and water lapping against the side. I didn’t really fish I just went along. I remember the sky being so very blue.

It’s beautiful here now, like living inside a Haiku poem. California in Spring, especially in the foothills is very close to Tolkien’s Hobbiton. On our drive there the other day it wouldn’t have surprised me to see Bilbo and Gandalf on a stroll or sitting on the side of a hill blowing smoke rings as they puffed their pipe-weed.

Green hills

And the other day I found a perfect nest. I was walking up from the river and I saw a big dark object laying at the foot of the trees. I looked all over and didn’t see any baby birds or eggs, thankfully. I carried it like a trophy, it was such a marvel I didn’t know what to do with it. I wanted to preserve the miracle, for that’s what it was (is) to me. How a bird could design something so incredible and engineer something from nothing is beyond me. It’s just God, that’s all.

Nest

So, my friends if you are still reading, “Good on ya!” I am thankful for anyone and everyone who has been keeping up with me on this blog. It’s a Grace journey we are all on. Along with Thomas Merton, I believe that everything we go through here serves some kind of purpose.

My tea has gone cold in the mug and the mosquito’s are out. I wish the bats would come and eat them all. It’s about time for them to come out. The birds have gone quiet now, all tucked away on their secure boughs. Time to go for now.

Evening falls once again…….It is well with my soul even when words don’t come.

Day is done…….

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It’s growing late….earlier I watched stars shyly make their sequined appearance one by one in the cobalt sky. Humans and animals alike have settled into deep breathing for the rhythm of the night has caught us all. The house creaks, and the events of the day flutter, collect, and float down and gather at my feet coming to greet me again here in my quiet chair. I smile, for it was a good day. Soon all the lights will go out for me and I will say a prayer and talk to God unless I fall asleep first. Later, in the deep dark when it’s morning but not quite morning, worry will come to find me. But I am ready for it. I have the 23rd Psalm.

Times like these I reach for Merton’s hours. So now I look for Monday and it’s here:

Let us live in this love and this happiness, you and I and all of us, in the love of Christ and in contemplation, for this is where we find ourselves and one another as we truly are. It is only in this love that we at last become real. For it is here that we most truly share the life of One God in three Persons.

Thomas Merton, A Book of Hours.

Usually, you just don’t need that many words……..I am finding that out. The more I write, the more I realize that to be a good writer, you need to be an even better editor.

God in the Silence

 
 
 
 
Sometimes everything quiets down and we step out into the freshly laundered world, gingerly so as not to break the silence because we know it’s sacred……
 
Sometimes, we get the grace to see everything as new as when it was first created.
And in that sacred silence that is part of the eternal, we feel the pulse of life.
 
He gives us the same wonder He feels.
 
Heaven and earth meet, and it is peace.
 
God lifts the veil.
 
 
The woods are lovely, dark and deep and I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep……Robert Frost
 
Photos by Carolyn Fulton
 

When in doubt, wait on the Lord

I had a whole post done when I realized I had no idea what I was trying to say….It seemed to be going in two different directions and I couldn’t make up my mind which path to go down…kind of like one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost……So in lieu of my own words, here are some of his.
I am waiting on the Lord today, and waiting can be just the right thing sometimes…..

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Holding onto the good

Joy and Peace in Believing by William Cowper
Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing on His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.
In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation,
And find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
E’en let the unknown to-morrow
Bring with it what it may!

It can bring with it nothing,
But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,
Will clothe His people too;Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens
Will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit shall bear,
Though all the field should wither,
Nor flocks nor herds be there:Yet God the same abiding,His praise shall tune my voice;
For, while in Him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.

I was looking for a poem about peace…….you see, today we are packing up and driving 12 hours to see family in California. Home…….

We have no idea how it will go. Elaine desperately needs a break from her Mom but that was not possible so she is going with us.

We are going in the Motor home and she has a tendency to get carsick.

She refused to go the other day and then decided she would.

Packed and unpacked 5 times.

We have Dramamine and patches. There are no illusions here. It will not be a true vacation, but sometimes you have to “get outta dodge” anyway.

I am praying for peace for all involved, and for a caretaker who is dangerously close to being at her limit. Actually I think she passed that by awhile back.

I will be in touch. Have laptop and camera, will travel.

We continue with Paul admonition to “cling to what is good.”

Waking up in the Desert

“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18,19

The rest of the world is tucking in……preparing for the winter,

enjoying things like crisp mornings and the smell of woodsmoke.
And hot cider.
The bloom of color on tips of leaves,
and the anticipation watching them twirl down…….
orange frost crunch underfoot, and
Pumpkins peek out from green patch along the country road to town.
In the desert we are just waking up again.
The barbeques come back out.
We scalp summer lawn down to bare dirt.
and Home Depot sells manure by the ton
as our desert turns golf green.
But……as I hang my fall foliage indoors,
Set ceramic pumpkins here and there….
Hang my wreath of Autumn on the door
and get out the harvest flag.
The joy of fall wiggles glad in my heart.
I remember it.
Flannel shirts…..
cracking walnuts with my Mom in the garage
I cracked and we both sorted.
I remember……cool mornings
bright maple leaves against brilliant sky.
Wind that bites.
And wood piled in the driveway.
As I plant my perennials out front in the warm sun
Fall is alive in my heart.
and for some reason I can’t stop singing.
Today I celebrate desert fall
Because God called it all good……
and it is.
Very good.
photos from google images

Soul Rest

Somewhere there is a quiet place to dream
To be still, and let the world drop away
You know that place
You could paint it on a canvas
it’s different for everybody, this place.
It’s like a familiar friend and you
always know it when you’ve found it.
It is the moment your soul has found rest,
safely landed….
when all the conditions are right and
you feel like everything in
the universe is working with you 
right then.
Every now and again it happens
in this life, and when it does
it is something like
a little miracle.
It’s not so much a structure
or building…..
You could find it on a street corner
far from home….
It’s that place you discover when you are
all by yourself
maybe rounding a hill
or walking through a clearing
or seeing a light shining through
a little alley way
No matter where it is,
you turn as if to say…..look! 
You want to share it
with someone close.
And then again you almost don’t. 

You want it

to be just yours……
and God’s.
I think this place is something we all
have in common, for is there anyone who
does not dream of such a place?
When you see it, something
in you wants to claim
it as your own
It feels like home
You breathe a little prayer of thanks,
because you just know that God
has dropped it out of the sky
just for you!
I found this little building behind the cabin next door that we rented earlier this month. I immediately claimed it as my own and dubbed it My Writer’s Shack. It intrigued me, stuck back there in the woods. One night I actually thought I saw a light on in the little window, but maybe I just wanted to. I had fun painting a little scene for myself there. I saw myself sitting behind that window, kerosene lamp lit in a comfy chair watching big flakes of snow coming down…books and journal at hand. I have no idea if that cabin was a rental or not. It could be that they used the little building as storage, but I had fun imagining what it could be.  
Be at rest sometime this weekend, and be blessed!