Pushed and Pelted

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For two days, wind and rain storms have noisily centered my attention;  they pummel, push and pelt to remind me I am not in control and never have been.
When I look out the window at tall trees bowing and proud blossoms breaking to the ground, I too am bent and broken.
If there was a time to kneel down, this is it.

The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
~Robert Frost “Lodged”

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I yearn for flowers that bend with the wind and rain.
~Tso Ssu

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The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.
~Joan Didion

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The heavy rain beat down the tender branches of vine and jessamine,
and trampled on them in its fury;
and when the lightning gleamed,
it showed the tearful leaves shivering and cowering together at the window,
and tapping at it urgently,
as if beseeching to be sheltered from the dismal night.
~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit

wwurain3No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Shimmering Bliss

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I became aware of the world’s tenderness,
the profound beneficence of all that surrounded me,
the blissful bond between me and all of creation,
and I realized that the joy I sought …
breathed around me everywhere…
in the metallic yet tender drone of the wind,
in the autumn clouds bloated with rain.

I realized that the world does not represent a struggle at all…
a predaceous sequence of chance events,
but shimmering bliss,
beneficent trepidation,
a gift bestowed on us and unappreciated.

~Vladimir Nabokov from his story “Beneficence”

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A Floral Orchestra

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What a pity flowers can utter no sound! —A singing rose, a whispering violet, a murmuring honeysuckle… on, what a rare and exquisite miracle would these be!
~Henry Ward Beecher

(Nate’s photos were taken at Kinchaku-da Gardens and Shinjuku Gyoen in Japan)

photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson

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photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson

Send Rain

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See, banks and brakes
Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build — but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.

Mine, O thou Lord of life, send my roots rain
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “Thou art indeed just, Lord”

As I look out through a tear-streaked window at the beginning of this dark day,
I fear I’m inadequate to the task before me.
Parched and struggling patients line my schedule;
they are anxious and already weary and barren, seeking something, anything
to ease their distress in a hostile world,
preferably an easy pill to swallow.
Nothing that hurts going down.

While others are thriving around them, they wilt and wither, wishing to die.

Lord of Life, equip me to find the words to say that might help.
May it be about more than genetics, neurotransmitters and physiology.

In this dry season for young lives, send your penetrating rain.
Reach down and shake our roots
fiercely
and slake our thirst.

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Every Cubic Inch of Space

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Why, who makes much of miracles?
As to me, I know nothing else but miracles…
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me [all] is a continual miracle…
~Walt Whitman

When I go to our 100+ year old hay barn to fetch a couple of bales for the horses, I stop to marvel at the continual miracle of this barn.  It is breaking down along its roof crest, yes.  It is sorely in need of another coat of paint, yes.  It has leaks where the winter winds have blown shingles off so the rain and snow come straight indoors, yes.

Yet these old growth beams and rafters, recycled from a nearby dismantled saw mill over a century ago, continue to do their job of holding up the world encased within.  This home of pigeons, swallows, bats, barn owls, mice, rats, raccoons, skunks and possum remains a steadfast sanctuary for the harvest of our hill.  For decades it has remained steep and silent, serene and solace-filled.

Every cubic inch, the streams of light and the shadowy dark, inside and out, is wonder-full, even when it is empty in the late spring and especially when packed to the rafters, as it is now, with this summer’s hay crop.  The miraculous is grown, cut, dried, raked, baled, hauled, stacked and piece by piece, stem by stem, as it sustains living creatures through three seasons of the year.

I have the privilege of entering here every day and witnessing the miracle year after year.
I know nothing else but miracles, despite my own sagging, my weakening foundation and some *occasional* inopportune leaking of my own.

I know where and to whom I belong.

There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Jesus, sovereign over all,  does not cry “Mine!”
~Abraham Kuyper

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Sublime Beauty

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It is looking at things for a long time that ripens and gives you a deeper understanding… Everything that is really good and beautiful, of inward moral, spiritual and sublime beauty, in human beings and in their works, comes from God.
~Vincent Van Gogh

Enclosed field with rising sun --Van Gogh
Enclosed field with rising sun –Van Gogh

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