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Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

Evanescent… what a great word!

I had to look it up to be sure I understood its full meaning:

“After you lose a loved one, often you’re gripped with a fear of evanescence, or the rapid fading from sight or memory of that person. Evanescence comes from the Latin evanescere meaning “disappear, vanish…” The evanescence of a shooting star makes it hard to catch — it’s there one moment and gone the next. Evanescence is a word typically used to describe an event that fades from sight or memory, or sometimes the fleeting quality of worldly success.” – from vocabulary.com


Here, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, intoxicated with the illusion of worldly success, is duped by his own overexuberance, naive trust and foolishly, unrealistically high expectations of self and others.

He believes that he has half a chance at snagging half a Ritz cracker (not just any cracker!) out of a hand of a handsome man held steadily, extended for a long enough time to establish Hope and Faith.

The Golden Ritz prize, studded with diamond salt – Diamond Tears – was earnestly offered…but wasn’t really his to be offered in the first place.

Cruel fate!

So you can see how his wings dramatically arched at the last minute to brake (a poetic flash of a few seconds, as if an ethereal few days) realizing all too late that he was going too fast and would have to forfeit his Ritz dream…

…to allow the bird behind him, the bird who knew all along how to take it slow and steady, drama-free, and keep her focus on the prize. Her wings were never quite so flexible – in fact, she looked rather plain and like any bird – “soap and water,” an observer once said of her image.

Let fools go rushing in! You play with fire, you get burned.

But the plain and ordinary bird who was there all along in the wings (no pun intended) and stuck it through without wavering, would get the Ritz. Those attracted to and distracted by the dramatic, beautiful seagull who once wondered aloud of the ordinary bird, “Who would want her?” would be the same ones lining up behind her in the end.

As usual, Jonathan Livingston Seagull would be relinquished to peck at the fallen crumbs under the balcony…the poetic, creative and physically agile wings were of little practical use in the long run. They looked alluring for a flash, but all shooting stars must dissipate or crash.

Why are some birds destined to play their cards right and win the Ritz, and others are destined to constantly scrape and struggle and get only glimpses of Promised Lands? A hard road for both…

The vocabulary.com entry was only the second thing that popped up. Oh-so-fittingly, the very first thing Uncle Google suggested for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge word…a band with the same name and message:

But even the diamond salt in bitter tears fades….thank You, God, for glimpses of hope, for tastes of buttery, lucious Ritz crackers to savor, if only for a few crumbs!

Thank You for letting us peek over the hill and into the Promised Land, and thank You for those blessed enough to get there and partake in this lifetime, and for those blessed to imagine and for those blessed to dream.

For assuring us that You don’t lie, You deliver in the end and that even if we miss the Ritz in this flight, how much more savory it will be in the next flight. Alleluia, alleluia!

The ending of Jonathan Livingston Seagull:

“To begin with ” he said heavily, “you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”

No limits, Jonathan? he thought. Well, then, the time’s not distant when I’m going to appear out of thin air on your beach, and show you a thing or two about flying!”

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Swarming starlings like to congregate just inland from my beach, frequenting the harvested cotton and peanut fields. They are easily spooked by passing cars and en mass, rise like a black curtain – a Hitchcock-like shadow of birds:

The birds darken our skies every November. But today, happy spring shadows bring blossoms of new life and colorful promise, yielding fresh hope and energy!


Thank You, dear God, for bright, new life springing from darkness …for the hope You provide that carries us out of the shadows of loneliness and near-death, and rocketing us forth into a fresh cycle of light, connection, hope and renewal. 

Thank You for being on each and every walk with me – and for my bloggy buddies, too – through every season, storm, shadow and silver lining. 

God, You rock!!

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Happy New Year to my friends and fellow bloggers…

Please join me in welcoming 2017 with some resilient sea-horsey sentiments, inspired by my new bloggy friend plainmama (yes, paint AND prose are just a couple of her many talents).

Consider the seahorse (species pictured are native to our Gulf coast) as we face the new year – may we be that creature which uses motion to stay the course, in which flexibly goes with the flow of the ocean’s current…confidently stretching ourselves to greater possibilities while instinctively coiling interdependently for anchoring:


Tranquil amid perpetual motion,

Simplicity dominates life;

Beauty and harmony in its movement,

The husband is the wife.

(Interesting side notes: The Latin genus hippocampus (hippos=horse, campus=sea monster) – the hippocampus is the deepest part of our brain governing memory, the part that looks like a seahorse deep within and is the first to go in dementia…and also flatlines when adrenaline rushes during a perceived threat, trauma or hardship. The sea horse does not stay with the same mate for life (fluidity!) and the female dumps thousands of eggs on the male at once because less than 1% survive…which is why I did this photo shoot since it is so, so difficult to keep seahorses in captivity (and octopi, a future blog topic) – carpe diem, baby!

Hey, God, thank You for another year of buoyancy amid the current and for keeping us in motion that we don’t get stuck, trapped or drowned – that You keep us moving amid the current of the universe without fail.

Fluent, fluid and flexible! Yes, God, please stretch uS to the ceiling of our potential while taking great comfort in the sanctity of each other….grounded and heaven-bound, all at once!

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The path to Christmas at our house seemed a lot like the one for which the day itself celebrates.

This year has been a long, hard journey…only to get to the end to find no room at the inn, in many ways.

The year has been a story of disabilities, disasters and way too many losses….but also one of perseverance, sharpening and victories, often disguised as hardships. I am highly confident that 2017 will be a year of rebuilding and grace.

So, there weren’t as many gifts under the tree this year, and many of them would have blended in with the latest Fruit of the Loom commercial….which may sound bleak for American children in this day and age – at least at first glance.

But in our culture of entitlement, I think it was just what the children needed to learn some valuable character lessons. 

Less yields more appreciation and a deeper sense of valuing “Stuff.” Less is just what was needed to drive home some salient points we parents otherwise try to teach our children with varying degrees of success. 

I can safely say it is much harder to teach some of these lessons unless a child experiences the sting of disappointment, of going without. A little humility yields great things!

There were lessons this morning in climbing out of a pit, of garnering one’s creativity and ingenuity to generate solutions to get where you want to be, to realizing your dreams. To being the one to make your own dreams come true instead of relying upon others and the world to make it happen FOR you. 

Actually, kind of like the very premises our country was founded upon!

Instead of a spirit of downtrodden weakness, a prevailing spirit of hope, faith and love.

And it didn’t come in the form of an expensive gift, it was not proud, it did not boast. There were no clanging cymbals.

My friends, God was right when He said the greatest of these is LOVE. This gift sat in at the back of the tree in a little silver, unmarked box, having gone mostly unnoticed until this morning.

The very youngest child patiently waited until all the gifts had been opened and he quietly padded over to his mother, the one in the room whose name was not on any of the gifts (because it’s all about the kids, right?) and he handed her the plain  tin box and eagerly waited for her to open it. 

His light blue eyes danced with anticipation as she carefully opened it and joyously received the greatest gift of all:


And Merry Christmas with love to you all! 

May God bless you richly with His love…but don’t look for it at the 5 star resort in the top-floor suite. It can be found in a quiet valley of solitude, where things are simple and lowly, sweet and holy.

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This tiny fellow stared me down a few moments ago. I was finishing mopping the floors and had the kitchen door open to welcome the warm afternoon breeze to help dry the floors. He just hovered and dared me to linger long enough to snap this shot:

img_8091

He was kind of big as bees come, yet still so tiny compared to me and my kitchen door.

So why did my heart race when he menacingly remained hovering at eye level to me, unlike most bees? And why did I jump when he lunged toward my camera?

How great a physical and psychological response some of the tiniest of things create! What power we give to tiny things!

What kinds of tiny things do you make mountains from and allow to control you?

And are there other tiny things we ignore which really require greater attention?

Hey God, thank You for the tiny things that get our attention…please help us to discern if these things are meant to take up a tiny part of our energy – like what table linens and crystal to choose for the Thanksgiving dinner table…

…Or if it’s one of those tiny things that we tend to dismiss that actually deserves greater attention – like not realizing that the neighbor or friend who appears to have it all together, may not have the resources this year to even buy a turkey for their family.

Let us, when we feel tiny, stare down the mountains in our path and know that we can move them if we try.

Let us, when we encounter the seemingly tiniest of things, take a moment to consider how great they are in their own right.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the persecuted, the peacemakers! Bless the tiny things, Lord…

*****

Buzzy buzzy, honey bee
Buzzing, staring, right at me

Why’d you pick my kitchen door
To visit me once I’d cleaned my floor?

Tiny, small, you do appear
Yet large must be your bee career

If I could only follow you,
I’d see much greater credit due

For though I’m bigger than a bee,
Your job is bigger than I see

My big fat problems can’t compare
To those in need with nought to spare

So help me, God, to clearly see
The greatness in this tiny bee.

 

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There has been a bit of Transmogrification going on in my town as Halloween approaches…

Our neighbor and his dogs were mysteriously transmogrified overnight:


Then our town was transmogrified into a witch’s coven and they jammed the streets on a bike ride, brooms on board:

Courtesy al.com

Witch-Madonna!


 

Not to be left out, our beloved town’s waterfront fountain transmogrified from crimson to sapphire, almost overnight:


On my morning walk today, I found a fruit-bearing sago palm was transmogrified into a banana spider’s lair:

Lastly, a tiny seed, over the summer, transmogrified into a beautiful, soft blossom of cotton, across the road from our house:


Abracadabra! 

Hocus pocus, you’re a bat!!


Thank You, God, for transformations. We are the clay, You are the Potter. Thank You for metamorphosis and for all things changed and different. Change is challenging, but it beats stagnation any day. Please give us grace and wisdom in the face of change.

God, please help us to be aware of when it’s time to change, give us the courage to go forth and to endure the process…knowing that we will be blessed, one way or another, by the transformation. 

And, if I may be so petty, please grant our Cubs a miracle.

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…for Godot, comes to mind, the play by Beckett.

So Vladimir and Estragon wait and ponder life and that for which they wait…not unlike us.

An entire play based on the journey instead of the end-result…how pertinent!

It encompasses everything from philosophy to the practical, to what to do when things change in the face of growing old together when you wait…and wait…and still never find that holy grail of realization.

Can you grow old with another without finding the satisfaction of the goals you seek? Can you stick with it without squirming too much, without bailing, roaming or wandering off when nature calls, like in the play?

Few of us can…

…but all of us can hope and dream ~ as well we should.

For Waiting is what it’s all about.

Because once you arrive, it’s time to get out of the pool.

And that’s no fun!

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