Friday, July 26, 2013

Beauty in this world is just a glimpse...

 Beauty and nature inspire me in such a special way. It’s hard to explain why. Why does it seem to inspire so many of us? Perhaps C. S. Lewis was right. It is a glimpse into what, will be, one day. I'll let him speak for himself....

~ “We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it..... That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into human face; but it won’t. Or not yet.
For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” ~ C. S. Lewis
I have written about how C. S. Lewis felt about beauty before and thought I should write it here. Beauty and nature affect me in such a wonderful way and I know I am not alone. 
It is the beauty, that draws me back to places like this time and time again. What am I seeking? A glimpse into what will someday be? I think so. I also find myself refreshed, with the clutter and stress of daily living fading into the background.
Tim and I sat on the sandy beach above and watched the river in front of us flow by one day. It was shady and quiet. We hardly said a word. We just let the beauty of it all speak words of silence. 
I guess some would call this, a place of retreat. A place where their hearts can be still and just listen. We all need those moments. Jesus too, went to a quiet places to pray. 

Not everyone can get away to a place like this at any given time. Sometimes, we have to bring the beauty to where we are. We can, with the use of a birdfeeder bring beauty to just outside our window. Bird beauty is two fold, the sight, as well as, the sounds of nature, come to within the reach of just about anyone who would want to give it a try.

We can also bring a bit of nature into our homes with the use of flowering plants or useful medicinal and culinary herbs.  They will freshen the air and add some greenery to the picture.  I have seen beautiful urban rooftop gardens that could have the same affect as this place had for us. Fountains trickle, lush green leaves and bright flowers make it a place of retreat for those who choose to seek it.
I am really lacking in bird photographs, I find birds harder to capture than the butterflies. I can quietly, slowly, creep up close, without disturbing the 'flutterbys'. - if I'm careful-
 With birds, a good 'zoom-in' lens is really needed.  -I don't have that type of camera, right now.-  I do want to try more, with what I have though. I'd love to be able to capture their beauty on film.  But really, the butterflies are also a piece of nature that can be brought close to home. With the right flowers they also can be lured in close to watch and enjoy their graceful elegance. 
Painted Lady butterfly on Purple Coneflower

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Change can be beautiful

Such amazing creatures. I am in awe of them. So fragile, graceful and beautiful. Their lifespan is very short, a year at the most, depending on the species and some live only two days. And yet, the Monarch travels 3,000 miles during it's migration to Central America.  Children's butterfly site.

In the process of metamorphosis, while they are in the cocoon, they turn from a Caterpillar to an indistinguishable mass of "goo" and somehow, out of that, this gorgeous creature emerges. One butterfly expert feels this is "rightly regarded as a miracle". I would agree.

This one really enjoyed my Oregano blooms and kept returning time and time again.

I wondered what I could learn from them. I think that God's Creatures often teach us something. He told us to observe them and take lessons.
I think, for me, the butterfly represents change and complete renewal. Becoming something new and leaving the past behind.
I believe I'm in that process, at this juncture in my life. The problem is, right now, I'm just a lot of "goo" and not sure how it all can fit together. I feel the cocoon around me, smothering me, knowing change has to happen. Yet, I'm not quite ready to break free, strengthen my wings and fly. It all takes time, I guess.

Really, I'm not trying to over dramatize my situation, I just have no idea where it all will lead. I feel the change, I  know it's coming, I know it needs to. I just don't want to make the wrong choices and the choices to be made seem so important. They involve the future of some of those I hold closest to me. I feel completely torn and a lot like that "goo" trapped inside it's walls. Not sure how, this could ever turn out to be for the benefit of all. And, that is what I'm looking for, something that changes us and makes us all the butterfly. So, I'll wait and keep looking up. I'll keep asking for Guidance. I'd be lost without it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


This last year has been, one of the most......well... I guess, I honestly lack one single word to describe it. It's been good and bad. Busy and loud, with a few stolen moments of quiet here and there. Laughter and tears have been a major part of it. I won't write out the details but, it has been one of the best and yet, one of the hardest and most frustrating years of my life. I now have gray hairs, where there were none, less than a year ago.

I've learned a few things. I've grown in ways I couldn't have without all those 'details' being played out. I have some beautiful scenes to tuck in my memory banks and replay when I need to smile. I have a few I'd rather delete. I've gotten good at that over the years. Some things are better forgotten and left in the past. And so, I will.

In so many ways this last year has been a Gift. A Gift to help me grow and discover a few changes that need to be made. Change, comes hard sometimes. Seeing the need for it, comes harder. Living it out, can be a very slow and uphill process. Yet, so rewarding when the path of change is led by Him. And so, we follow.

Me, with my three favorite munchkins.- I now have four grandbabies!! Not sure I can fit them all anymore.- These kids are the joy of my life, they make me laugh when nothing else can. They fill up my heart.

Our son graduated with a degree in political sciences this spring. Really good day!

My grandson and I at the wedding of a beautiful young couple.
 Weddings make me cry. Always at the point when the father of the bride gives her away. It's just a beautiful moment.

I could add so many more highlights of this last year but, I'm a bit of an introvert and this is all I feel free to share. In fact, I've done quite a bit to insure my privacy lately. I love to write and the use of my blog and the pictures I love to take, really inspire me and give me an outlet. But, I don't want just anyone being able to see the glimpses of my life. So I did some things....I changed the URL address of my blog so it can no longer be found where it used to be. Yes, that means I've lost all my followers. That was intentional.  I re-set the privacy setting to prevent search engines and it is not posted on Blogger even. I no longer list my last name. Mostly, from now on, I'll be online with a pen name. I know this still doesn't insure complete privacy but, in these days our privacy seems to be a bit hard to achieve. -You might be surprised what pops up when you google your name.....yeah, it was an eye opener. I had no idea.-

 We could unplug completely....However, I wonder what purpose that would serve, except for maybe, isolation. I have too many friends and family that I love and enjoy online, to do that. Even though communication and technology have increased, at what seems a ridiculous rate, in the last few decades, people seem more centered upon self (read full text here) and isolated from true friendship, than ever. I decided to make some changes and choices about whom I am friends with. Isn't that the way it should be?   social can be used for such wrong purposes, and yet, some really good ones too.  And so, I stay around.

~Did I mention we have a new grand daughter??! A tiny, sweet smelling, soft and lovable firecracker. Born on the Fourth of July. -We've always been a rather patriotic family.- ~

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My lovely Sage

I love herb gardening. Although I don't have nearly all the herbs I'd like, I have gotten a good start. I enjoy taking pictures of them at various stages. This was last winter. Sage is a hardy perennial, as you can see freezing temperatures and snow hardly change it's appearance. Although, it's flavor is not as strong as when it's growing heartily in the summer.  -It even flowers. Did you know that? I didn't. Not until I grew it for myself.-

Sage is medicinal as well as culinary. A common cupboard spice, yet it also serves well in Herbal medicine. It is associated with longevity and memory. It can also be used as a hair rinse and it is reputed to restore graying hair to it's natural color. Not as a dye per se, it simply restores it to it's original shade.

I'm not an Herbalist, so I won't try to list all of it's constituents, characters and actions. There are many wonderful blogs and books out there doing a great job of that. I am just a lover of the Gift of Herbs - Service to mankind-  given by a Loving Creator.

I love taking pictures of them, growing them, talking about them and using them in any way I can. I cook with them,  make medicine, tea, and some, I just love the aroma of. I study  and read all I can find.  -so many herb books, so little time-  I am always on the look out when I'm out in the woods. Looking for that wild herb to identify and get to know more about but, most of all I wish I knew more....

I guess, this might be why I love this part of the Country so much...the plants! Arthur Stupka, the first naturalist to the Smokey Mountains, once said, "Plants, flowers, and trees are to the Smokies what the grand granite domes are to Yosemite and ancient geysers are to Yellowstone."

Herbs, wildflowers, trees or just plants in general, bring me joy and peace. Not sure why, I suppose it is my passion and what we love tends to do that for us. But, somehow I think its more. I think knowing the God of the Universe created them, with their use in mind for us and this, shows His great compassion toward our frailties. When ever I use herbs, for their flavor, medicinal use or simple glorious beauty....I try to remember to thank Him.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead~