Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

birch musings

The reality of now--the unreality of all the rest.*
Eternity is in the present.
Eternity is in the palm of the hand.*
It is morning, afternoon or evening.
Begin.*
The grip the present has on me.
That is the one thing that has grown most
noticeably in the spiritual life--
nothing much else.*
Every day love corners me somewhere
and surrounds me with peace without
having to look very far or very hard or
do anything special.*

*All from Thomas Merton's A Book of Days.

My spirituality is fed by many diverse traditions and sources. I am a spiritual mutt. No dogma or loyalty or allegiance or conversion experience for me. My spiritual life is rich and inspiring and comforting and challenging and unique. And precious to me.

My dear friend Frances was here for a visit a while back. She was reading Merton and inspired me to explore his 21st century mysticism, and so I am. I add him to my collection of "food for thought", along with all the other world views that expand my understanding of what it means to be human.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could celebrate all the ways we are connected to one another, rather than be fearful of all the ways we are different?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

shed red, pear/apple blush and hollyhock pink








Dearest readers, it was such a treat to hear from so many of you the other day. Truly. Thank you for your comments filled with good cheer. I am blessed by your best wishes.

As you can see, I've finished stitching Miss Maggie and I had fun showing her around our "bit of earth" today, as the sun was shining and the breezes were drying the laundry on the line. (I am wearing jeans, as it is 61 degrees here today. I know. Heavenly). 

The clump of day lilies that Batman transplanted by the shed are very happy, tucked under the overhang, yet watered by the drippings off the metal roof. 

The pear and apple trees are beginning to fruit, and it is their promise that has me hoping for the future...apple sauce, pear tarts, treats from our very own yard. Hollyhocks, the seedlings a gift from our friend Gary, are blooming and the bees are intoxicated with their pollen. The cherry tomatoes are big enough to stake, the lettuce is coming on strong and you can watch the wax beans and sunflowers grow by the minute. The pumpkin plants are blossoming and now I am dreaming of far off pies, infused with cloves and nutmeg and cinnamon.

The Swedes are coming soon, and the house will be filled with the buzz of family, food and love, for just a little bit. But some is so much better than none. 

Sending you best wishes from our little slice of heaven here in central Vermont.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

oh, i do love my blues








This living in limbo is so odd. We had a second phone line strung from a pole across our neighbor's meadow, and our road, and our front yard, into the house where we have carved out a little office space for Batman's newest venture. He is transitioning to working from Vermont some days and Connecticut some days. It is not ideal, but it is part of moving the dream forward. 

Working outside has been tricky this summer...either rain or unbearable heat have hampered any ambition. My hat and trusty bandana have provided some relief, but I've never been a summer girl, and so I long for the autumn. 

Our favorite flag has been waving with hope and determination. It always makes me smile.

The heat wave has broken, thanks to multiple crazy thunderstorms up here on the ridge. One day there was a lot of rattling of things on the kitchen shelves, not to mention hair standing up on the back of my neck. Thank you Mother Nature for reminding me of who is in charge.

Remember the netting frame we made a few years back? Well, the blueberry bushes have outgrown it, so Batman modified it. We used the same idea and some of the original framing, but built it a bit taller. Since it was such a wet summer here for a while, we have a bumper crop of berries. Sometimes I just pick them, rinse them and throw them into muffins, pancakes or yogurt. Today I spread 8 pints on cookie sheets, froze them and them put them in freezer bags labelled "Homestead blueberries, summer 2013". Dang, that was satisfying!

Hope you are finding time to rest and relax. I thought I'd let our dear, sweet Henry have the last word here today. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

coming from the west

what is it about late afternoon sunshine?
is it the slant of light, the angle of illumination, the glow?

i think it reminds me of the intersection of what i had planned for the day and what actually happened. 
a reconciliation of the hopes and the realities.

it creates a pool of right now. 
the present moment.
where there is no judgement.
just breath and breeze and respite.

a gift if i will simply recognize it.

amen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

cello, banjo, guitar and voices...





Lindsey and a posse of her Boston friends were with us this weekend for the Heart of the Islands Bike Tour. After biking 25 miles, they pulled out their musical instruments and we sang before supper. Youth, music, good food, love and hope...the rest of the world was held at bay for an evening.

(Thank you Callin, Emily, Chris, Kristen and Lindsey...you may come back any time you'd like. xo)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

without an agenda

Be fully present.
Feel your heart.
And engage the next moment without an agenda.
-Pema Chodron
I'm reading her book
Living beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.

It's the right book at the right time.
Don't you love it when that happens?