Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Monday, August 25, 2014

Aletha, the Cherry Tomato


By Debora Rorvig

In June I bought a tomato plant to sit out on my patio

for fifteen-dollars and ninety-five.

A tall sturdy sort with a fine thick stock and twelve little green tomatoes

dangling from her branches.

The clerk said “she’s a corker!”

As it turns out, my plus-size girl

doesn’t like my patio.

She screams for water twice-a-day;

 pouts if she doesn’t get it.

Why she’s even threaten hari-kari more than once!

And still, just twelve little tomatoes cling to her leafy frame…

no more.

I think she’s into family-planning

or something of the sort.

In late July an unexpected visitor popped into my herb garden for a cup of chamomile tea with mint

and some spicy conversation with the chives,

Petite little thing she was; really just a sprout.

Mother used to call her kind ‘volunteers’;

a name I’m not so fond of

as though tomato plants and stalks of corn would step forward and sign

their names on the dotted line to join

some well-ordered regiment of vegetables…

Well maybe a cornstalk would do that; what with their love for standing straight

in even rows…but not this little tomato plant.

(Albeit when I think of it,

perhaps all vegetables should unite and fight

just to save their skins

from monsters like Monsanto;

who…well I’ll save this subject for

another soapbox and time.)

So I called her Aletha instead.

Aletha was a preemie…as tomato plants go;

but I gave her bit of mulch and tended her with the same love

(I’m lying now…MORE love than my pouty patio-girl!)

Well it turns out Aletha comes

from a long line of hardy cherry-tomato forbearers

who thrive in poor soil and given the chance

will shoot up toward the sun.

Now when she and I stand back- to –back

 to see who’s grown the tallest,

Aletha wins hands down--

 even if I stand on tippy-toes in my plastic garden clogs.

She towers over me and patio-girl

and boasts of lots of baby cherry-tomatoes

(I think she’s Catholic, or maybe Mormon;

Whatever…her family size suits me just fine.

Who am I to judge a tomato by her religion,

or lack thereof?

And so the lessons here, I think

are many.

I’ll spare you all my platitudes.

But suffice to say;

you can just never tell

about tomatoes…


And that goes for people too!




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Buckets of Sand

Last week was my 40th class reunion. I've never gone to a class reunion before for a few choice reasons.

A. I quit school in eleventh grade, got pregnant and married, then went and got my GED. Maybe not the most well-planned scheme I ever hatched; but in the end it worked out. I had a beautiful son and later, two more children and went on to college later in life.

B. I transferred to a new school in seventh grade where I didn't know anyone. I was shy and nerdy so it was hard to make friends. There were some 'popular' girls who made my life hell for a year. By high school I had my own circle of friends but I still hated those girls for the humiliation they put me through. And though I had a handful of friends, I really didn't know most of my graduating class.

So when hubby pointed out to me that this was the big '40' and urged me to go...I was pretty ambivalent about it all. (He, on the other hand, was one year behind me in high school and was friends with EVERYBODY...so he was looking forward to it.)

Finally, I decided to go. I've been taking some personal risks these days; working to get out of my comfort zone; so this event would push my boundaries. Boy, would it ever! Would they even let me in, having left in my junior year? Would those mean girls be there...and would they be mean women now? What if absolutely nobody knew me?

So we went. They did let me in. A few people knew me. Everybody knew hubby. The mean girls didn't come. (A few days earlier I googled them and read--with some unrighteous satisfaction--that one of them has been bankrupt, lost everything and convicted of shoplifting twice just this year. Don't feel too sorry for her. She was shoplifting all through high school; along with her siblings AND parents!) Anyway, it went fine. Everybody was all grown up now; turning grey and bald and flabby...and nice!

But all this ugly emotional 'stuff' surfaced as I went through this process. I thought I'd forgiven all of my enemies and even myself for the dumb things I did back then...but oh my, what angst I was feeling about it all.

So this morning I sat down with my Bible and purposed to do some serious forgiving. The mean girls...myself...my parents for making me move to a new school when it was so hard...just everybody; you know?

As I began praying and naming the offenders and forgiving them...in my mind's eye I could see myself on a wet sandy beach with several buckets hooked over my arm. They were full of heavy, wet, mucky sand. I could barely walk they were so heavy. So I decided to dump one of them out onto the beach. The waves came and whisked the pile of sand away. My walk became a little easier. So I dumped another. And another. By now I'm sure you've guessed that the buckets of sand were offenses that I've been packing around.

You know, there are so many imperfect people walking around on this planet (me included) that offenses and hurts are going to be as numerous as the grains of sand by the ocean. But if we insist on lugging those buckets-full of  hurts all our life; our walk on the beach, which could be wonderful and peaceful and serene and lovely; well, it'll just be drudgery.

Better to walk without heavy buckets of sludge. Put your toes in the surf. Maybe skip over the waves. Fly a kite and look at the sky.

So for now I've abandoned my buckets and am walking free. Knowing myself as I do, I know I'll be tempted to get out my shovel and dig up some emotional sand before this journey is over. But even if I do; I hope I remember this lesson I learned today. Life's just too short and the walk too lovely to be weighed down like that.

Will I go to my 50th reunion? Not likely. But not because I'm scared of mean girls. I just have other beaches to explore.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking back: a peek into my journal 7/25/05

An excerpt from my journal dated July 25, 2005. I've come a long way in my journey; having resolved most of this 'stuff'. But it's good now and then to look down from the mountain at some of the terrain you've covered. Maybe this will speak to other women facing the same thoughts...

"I've been contemplating the verse that says 'let your light so shine among men...'. The passages starts by saying that YOU are the light of the world. Then it counsels us not to hide our light. And I realize that I have been hiding my light. Because it's different. How do I hide it? Under social norms, false humility, and compromise.

So I'm trying to dig my light out of the closet, dust it off, plug it in, and see what we have.

Here, I think, are some facets of my light...

  • Sensitivity to Spirit
  • Intelligence
  • Reflection
  • Appreciation for aesthetics
  • A soft heart for children
  • Feminine strength
  • Resolve and resourcefulness

Some of these things I've hidden so well that I don't fully understand them. I've tried so hard to fit the norm of "Christian" femininity that I have lost my sense of true femininity. (Not to mention trying to fit commercial standards.) What I mean is that I've been taught to think that a woman should be sweet and small (both externally and in my heart), unassuming, pretty, sexually attractive and yet not overt.

 But what does this have to do with ME? Could I not be kind--but not sweet? Large of heart, mind, and body? Dramatic--not pretty? Aware of my own sexual needs and desires rather than focusing on how to be attractive to another? Truly smart--not just a know-it-all?

Perhaps this is part of MY light. Not selfish or self-serving; but self-possessed and aware. Maybe it's time to stop apologizing for being too smart, too sensitive, too sensual, too ME...and begin to explore what this all means... "



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer's Elegy by Howard Nemerov

Hello friends.  Lately I've been noticing that leaves are getting crisper, the blackberries vines are heavy with fruit and the landscape is beginning to change. It's been unusually hot here in my little corner of the Pacific Northwest. I think we may have an early autumn.  Though I enjoy the summer, I must admit, these little signs of fall stir my senses. Ahhh, the glory of harvest moons, warm days and cool nights, pumpkins lying in the garden, homemade applesauce with cinnamon!Watching nature spin everything into gold is brings me such pleasure every year.

I saw this poem on the Writers Almanac on Facebook.I had not previously read anything by Howard Nemerov. His work is just beautiful...enjoy!

Summer's Elegy

Day after day, day after still day,
The summer has begun to pass away.
Starlings at twilight fly clustered and call,
And branches bend, and leaves begin to fall.
The meadow and the orchard grass are mown,
And the meadowlark's house is cut down.

The little lantern bugs have doused their fires,
The swallows sit in rows along the wires.
Berry and grape appear among the flowers
Tangled against the wall in secret bowers,
And cricket now begins to hum the hours
Remaining to the passion's slow procession
Down from the high place and the golden session
Wherein the sun was sacrificed for us.
A failing light, no longer numinous,
Now frames the long and solemn afternoons
Where butterflies regret their closed cocoons.
We reach the place unripe, and made to know
As with a sudden knowledge that we go
Away forever, all hope of return
Cut off, hearing the crackle of the burn-
ing blade behind us, and the terminal sound
Of apples dropping on the dry ground


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...