Between Midnight and Dawn: A Child of Peace



 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1: 9-11


O Holy Father,
I will be a child of peace and purity
For well I know
Thy Hand will bless
the seeker after righteousness
~Shaker Hymn


We live in an imperfect world, with imperfect characters to match. Our imperfections should not keep us from dreaming of better things, or even from trying, within our limits, to be better stewards of the soil, and more ardent strivers after beauty and a responsible serenity.
~Jane Kenyon from “In the Garden of My Dreams”


The beauty of peace and purity is right outside my back door, whether it is in a misty dawn moment of drizzle-sprinkled flowers.  They heal me after an imperfect yesterday and an imperfect night’s sleep.

Today I will strive to be a steward for a garden of righteousness and serenity, aiding their growth and helping them flourish.

I can never do it perfectly but am not giving up, as His hand will bless my seeking and my efforts.





So Gruntled



I was introduced to the word gruntled  a few years ago and instantly knew what it was meant to describe– that unsurpassed feeling of contentment.


the rumbling vibration of a cat’s purr,
flannel sheets warmed when wind and snow blur,

a filling meal of fresh home grown food
a cow chewing cud, eyes closed in serene mood,

the slow wakening after a full night’s sleep,
a pig’s wallow in cool mud so deep,

the low-throated nicker of a mare to her foal,
a tub of warm water when muscles exert a toll,

the sucking hungry baby in rocking chair bliss,
a cuddle in jammies before bed with a book not to miss.
~Emily Gibson


And so every day, I seek the momentary and fleeting bliss of gruntlement.  So simple, so honest, so true, so gruntled.





Those Who Water Flowers


Thank God that there are solid folk
Who water flowers and roll the lawn,
And sit and sew and talk and smoke,
And snore all through the summer dawn.
Who pass untroubled nights and days
Full-fed and sleepily content,
Rejoicing in each other’s praise,
Respectable and innocent.
Who feel the things that all men feel,
And think in well-worn grooves of thought,
Whose honest spirits never reel
Before man’s mystery, overwrought.
~C. S. Lewis from “In Praise of Solid People”

The Hues of Evening

Like hues and harmonies of evening,
                Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
                Like memory of music fled,
                Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
The day becomes more solemn and serene
         When noon is past; there is a harmony
         In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Noon has passed here;
our spring long spent
and now we come upon
a time of subtle beauty,
of hue and harmony,
a solemn serenity
no longer overwhelmed
by the clamor of summer.
The evening of autumn thus descends,
its luster becomes
a curtain of grace
cloaking and comforting,
readying us for winter.

Always Summer

pinkroseThe serene philosophy of the pink rose is steadying.  It fragrant, delicate petals open fully and are ready to fall, without regret or disillusion, after only a day in the sun.  It is so every summer.  One can almost hear their pink, fragrant murmur as they settle down upon the grass: “Summer, summer, it will always be summer.”
~ Rachel Peden

And so it always will be summer when one lets go in the midst of brightness when all is glorious.  No cold winds, no unending days of rain, no mildew, no iced walkways, no 18 hours of night every day, no turning brown with rot.

Serene and steadying — with so much brevity.

Let me be strong and serene through all seasons rather than letting go at the height of delicate beauty.  Let me thrive steady through the hard times rather than withering at my peak.  Let me age, let me turn gray, let me wrinkle.

It may always be summer — someday — but not yet.  Not here. Not now.



Lenten Grace — Serene Forgetting

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.
~Sara Teasdale

May we sit in silence,
content to know
the heavenly realms
circle slowly above us,
continuous and consistent,
in reign of rest fulfilled
in His serene forgetting our sins
and forgiving our flaws.
We hear Him now,
still and low,
saying our name,
inviting us to rest
with Him and
in Him

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten