The Fringey Edge

aprilmaple3

aprileveninglight

Here is the fringey edge where elements meet and realms mingle, where time and eternity spatter each other with foam.
~Annie Dillard from Holy the Firm

aprilmaple2

aprileveningbarn

aprileveningclouds5

Heaven and earth are only three feet apart,
but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.
A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted
and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.
~Celtic saying

aprilpoplarevening3

aprileveningclouds2

An April evening of swirling drama in the sunset clouds~
just enough illumination
to witness the fringe of heaven just beyond.

aprileveningnorth

aprilmaplepoplar

aprileveningnorth5

aprileveningclouds

Fog Fleece

fogdrops5

foggydrops9

The sun-dipped isle was suddenly a sheep
Lost and stupid, a dense wet tremulous fleece.
~George Mackay Brown “Fog” from The Weather Bestiary

flock

coastalsheep

fog101939

When I was young, fog felt oppressive,
as mournful as the fog horns sounding continually in the nearby bay.
Now in late middle age,
I appreciate fog for slowing me down
when life compels me to rush too fast.
When forced to take time,
I begin to notice what I missed before:
clouds descend to hug and kiss the ground
to bejewel everything they touch.
The dead and dying
become glorious in subtle beauty,
the farm all gossamer garland and transparent pearls…

fog10197

fog122814

foggydrops12

Suddenly a Wall Becomes a Gate

sunrise916165

sunset430161

What seemed to be the end proved to be the beginning…
Suddenly a wall becomes a gate.
~Henri Nouwen from Gracias! A Letter of Consolation

sunrise916164

sunrise916167

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
~T.S. Eliot from “Little Gidding” The Four Quartets

sunrise916168

Every once in awhile we are blessed with a few minutes of a rare sunrise where a wall of clouds opens up to become a gateway to heaven.  Darkness becomes pricked full of holes and incredible light leaks out. It can only happen when the clouds become canvas backdrop on which the color is able to be painted– sometimes these clouds create havoc, floods, winds, power outages.

Then this.

Startling, wondrous magnificence beyond imagination. Grace that brings us to our knees, especially when we are mired in our gray troubled ordinariness and plainness.

Drink deeply of this. Hold it, savor it and know that to walk through the gate of any sunrise is to witness the face of God.

sunrise916169

sunrise916161

Puddle-wonderful

squashblossompuddle

mud36141

The world is mud-lucious and puddle-wonderful.
~e.e. cummings

rainstorm

…he sought the privacy of rain,
the one time no one was likely to be
out and he was left to the intimacy
of drops touching every leaf and tree in
the woods and the easy muttering of
drip and runoff…
~Robert Morgan from “Working in the Rain”

rainykale2

rainyelderberry

There is plenty of muttering, both private and public, since the rain started yesterday.  And not all of it is from dripping and runoff into puddles.  Anytime a holiday weekend is predicted to be rained out, plenty of people mutter too.

I’m celebrating as it has been weeks — no, months — since we have had a decent rain and everything, including me, has been far too tinder-dry.

Rain is what makes this part of the world special, but like Camelot,  most would prefer it never fall till after sundown.   To them we live not in a more congenial spot — than Camelot.

I may be an oddity, though somewhat typical of northwest-born natives.  I celebrate rain whenever it comes, whether before sundown or after sunrise, as I grew up working outside in the intimacy of a drenching shower.  Yet rain, this falling weather, gives me an excuse to stay indoors to putter around instead of mutter.

He could not resist the long
ritual, the companionship and freedom
of falling weather, or even the cold
drenching, the heavy soak and chill of clothes
and sobbing of fingers and sacrifice
of shoes that earned a baking by the fire
and washed fatigue after the wandering
and loneliness in the country of rain.
~Robert Morgan, conclusion of “Working in the Rain”

rainygold

fogdrops2

 

God’s Cloud Temple

clouddrama61016

sunset6616

We must go up into the chase in the evenings,
and pray there with nothing but God’s cloud temple between us and His heaven!
And His choir of small birds and night crickets and booming beetles,
and all happy things who praise Him all night long!
And in the still summer noon, too,
with the lazy-paced clouds above,
and the distant sheep-bell,
and the bee humming in the beds of thyme,
and one bird making the hollies ring a moment,
and then all still – hushed – awe-bound,
as the great thunderclouds slide up from the far south!
Then, there to praise God!

~Charles Kingsley

coastalsheep

beeweed

Heaven and earth are only three feet apart,
but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.
A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted
and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.
~Celtic saying

sunsetkids

Oh, the floating clouds and the thoughts of a wanderer!
Oh, the sunset and the longing of an old friend!
We ride away from each other, waving our hands,
While our horses neigh softly, softly . . . .
~Li Po from “Taking Leave of a Friend”

clouds101143

sunset611161

An evening of subtle softness in the sunset clouds~
just enough illumination to imagine
heaven must be just beyond.

aprileveningnorth

sunset69161

Whispering Rain

suspended

rainclouds2

All day I have been closed up
inside rooms, speaking of trivial
matters. Now at last I have come out
into the night, myself a center

of darkness.
Beneath the clouds the low sky glows
with scattered lights. I can hardly think
this is happening. Here in this bright absence

of day, I feel myself opening out
with contentment.
All around me the soft rain is whispering
of thousands of feet of air

invisible above us.
~Wayne Dodd “Of Rain and Air”

storm518162

thistledowndrizzle

…he sought the privacy of rain,
the one time no one was likely to be
out and he was left to the intimacy
of drops touching every leaf and tree in
the woods and the easy muttering of
drip and runoff…

He could not resist the long
ritual, the companionship and freedom
of falling weather, or even the cold
drenching, the heavy soak and chill of clothes
and sobbing of fingers and sacrifice
of shoes that earned a baking by the fire
and washed fatigue after the wandering
and loneliness in the country of rain.
~Robert Morgan from “Working in the Rain”

There will be plenty of whispering and muttering this coming holiday weekend if the weather prediction holds out to be accurate for three days of rain.

Rain is what makes this part of the world special, but like Camelot, most people would prefer it would never fall till after sundown.  It is not a more congenial spot than Camelot.

I may be an oddity, somewhat typical of northwest-born natives.  I celebrate rain whenever it comes, whether downpour or whispering drizzle, before sundown or after sunrise. I grew up working outside in the intimacy of a drenching shower, yet am always happy to have an excuse to stay indoors to be putterer more than mutterer.

rainbow92015

 

Never Full Enough

sunset251116

God empties himself
into the earth like a cloud.
God takes the substance, contours
of a man, and keeps them,
dying, rising, walking,
and still walking
wherever there is motion.
~Annie Dillard from “Feast Days”

marshmallows51116

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
      Not shaking the grass
~Ezra Pound

cottonwood1

What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.
~Haruki Murakami from Norwegian Wood

irisrain513158

I yearn
to be filled,
thirsting and hungry
day and night;
all that satisfies
is within reach,
offered up
by an emptying God
if only I open up,
no longer content
being hollow.
~EPG

dandy430163

scattered

irisinnard

rainbow51116