Everyday Wonder

on flowers and fearlessness …

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved flowers best just before their petals fall … 

  
It’s as if, in the final days of their existence, they decide — at last — to open fearlessly wide, in the most elegant disarray. 

They hide nothing. Hold nothing back …

And then they’re gone.

Today, I’m contemplating the bouquet of white tulips that a dear friend gave me, since they seem to be doing just that:

  
Ah, Lord… Teach me to be that open, always. ❤

Standard
Everyday Wonder

The Star … & the Stardust on the Sidewalk

This is how it happens:  we drive up Mill Mountain, the Xterra snaking a black ribbon of road through the green.  

At top, there’s the Star.

We have two special friends from DC with us, visiting for the weekend, and we know that no trip to our little city is complete without at least ten minutes on the Star Overlook, leaning on the rails, taking in the view and snapping photographs. 

So that’s what we do.

We stand there gaping at the view:  range after range of blue hills disappearing into the distance, smudged and softened into cloud.

We gape at the Roanoke Star, too:  that big neon contraption that glows white in the night, seen for miles and miles.

After we’re done happily gaping, I take all the usual photos that one takes at the Star.  Like this:  

 

And this:  

 

And then we head back down the trail to where our cars our parked.

But just before we get there, I stop right in the middle of the sidewalk.  My eye is caught by a single clean circle grooved in the pavement — inexplicably round as a dinner plate, perfect and precise.  The light catches in the grass nearby, and I think:  this.

My husband makes a joke about the way I’m dawdling behind, taking photos of leaves on the sidewalk.  And I’m okay with that — being the girl who lags behind, finding beauty in damp asphalt, dry leaves and bits of green.

Because as much as I love my little city and its great-big beautiful star (and I do) … I love this shot the most:        

circleabstract

Happy seeing, friends.  Hope your eyes are open to all sorts of ordinary wonder today. ❤

Standard
Everyday Wonder

The beginning of something good …

I don’t know about you, but summer brings me to life: the honey-colored light and the slow silken heat. The sight of children let loose for the holidays, running barefoot in fresh-cut grass.

On the greenest of summer’s days, I feel like running barefoot, too.  

I’ve spent the past several days celebrating the beginning of all that. There were twelve of us bedded down in a giant cabin in the Smokies, laughing and screeching, reveling in the heat and the mountain air and the goodness of human company. And it seems like the right time to simply drop in here and say: I’m grateful.

The first day back from such a beautiful holiday is always hard, but I thought I’d begin with a simple snapshot I caught from the car window on the road home:

  
As we re-enter our ordinary lives today, let’s not forget to find the magic there, too. 

It’s summer.

The world is alive and shimmering with warmth. 

The winter is a distant memory. 

And the future is full of possibility…

Hope you’re celebrating, too. ❤

Standard
Everyday Wonder

in the land of the living …

You might not know this about me, but I’ve got a lot of old scriptures rattling around in my head.

I was raised in a world where –for better or worse — the Bible was Law.  At the conservative private school I attended as a girl, I copied out long passages of scripture from memory, my girlish hand careful to pin down the exact placement of each comma and semicolon.  

Go on:  picture me now, a wide-eyed girl in a knee-length skirt and high-collared blouse, reciting whole chapters in front of the class.  Hear the lyrical lilt of the Psalms wearing rhythmic grooves into my psyche, the way the breakers wear grooves on the shore.

Decades have passed since then, and still — the Good Book is so deeply etched into the folds of my brain that its words often sound like my own thoughts.  

I couldn’t get rid of them now if I wanted to.

*

I don’t know why, but lately I keep circling back to a little snatch of words I’d all but forgotten:  I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

The words are King David’s, but they might as well be mine.  

And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

In a different season, I might have seen that goodness as prosperity… Goals met. Accolades won. Or perhaps even some deep place of spiritual enlightenment

But now, I’m wondering if seeing the goodness of the Lord isn’t just a matter of noticing the dew on the clover:

  

The shadows playing on the sidewalk:

  

A sunset, washing gentle and gold over our Roanoke sky:

  

Maybe seeing the goodness of the Lord is a matter of faith: the simple, outrageous belief the smallest works of the Creator might be, in their way, holy… 

And I’ll tell you: this life is brief, but for now I’m here, and I believe that all this beauty is mine to see. 

And to share.

Here’s wishing you the same. ❤

 

Standard
Everyday Wonder

gratitude…

  
Tonight.

It’s late. The rain falls on the house for hours without stopping — a slow, steady rain. The kind that brings the world to life.

Meanwhile I’m here inside, listening to the drumming on the roof. 

The dinner guests have gone. 

The dishes have been cleaned, the wine glasses placed back on the shelf, upside down, glinting in the yellow light.

After all the laughter, it’s quiet, and suddenly I have space to draw a breath and take it in.

And I realize: it’s enough. 

The echoes of conversation and laughter.  The fading image of myself with my head on a friend’s shoulder.  My husband, now asleep in the next room, his breath easy and slow. 

The summer, so wet and green and full. 

And oh, God, there is so much more I want to build and be and do. But if this is all I ever have time for — well, then…

It’s enough. ❤

Standard