The Small and Wondrous Rewards

Red Flowers at the Woods' Edge

At the edge of the woods, the joy flowers bloom.  Keep walking.

At the far edge of night, the light dawns.  Hold on to your hope.

You never what waits around the bend.  Expect miracles, expect solutions.  Go, as a friend of mine says, for the tiny, magnificent triumphs that come when you keep on keeping on.

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The Arrival of the Summer Queen

Monarch Butterfly on Globe Thistle

Finally, the long-awaited Summer Queen appears, mounting the blue globe thistle as if she were ruler of the world.  Her stained-glass wings are as fragile as flame, as bold as our prayers for her forgiveness and well-being.

Look, oh glorious queen!  We have gathered your favorite flowers and built you a garden while singing songs of love.  Come and drink your fill.  Write our address in the hearts of your children, for we have written your beauty in ours.

And as long as there are summers, may you return.  And may we unfailingly welcome you with our love, and our flowers, and our joy.

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A Yes of Silence

Yellow Flowers after Rain

Green mists and a milky sky covered the day.  Birdsong slid to earth on slivers of rain.  You wanted to be a small winged one that could hover beneath clover leaves, beneath the petals of flowers.

You wanted to whisper your thoughts, if you dared to think them at all.  It seemed too soft a day to do anything bolder.  Breathing was enough, and watching the water pearls glide down the needles of the pine.

Even when the rain stopped and the sky opened to high silver clouds and the mists became a shimmering veil, a yes of silence seemed the only worthy thanks.

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Made for Play

Dog Playing in Ocean Waves

Wild things and children know the truth that life is made for play.

Everything else exists to clear play’s way, to open time for it, to do away with all that prevents it or buries it in disguise.

We play our parts.  We play to be free of care.  We play to explore and to revel in the sheer wonderment of the now of it all, in the rising of the sun, and the rolling of the sea, in the beating of hearts and the oceanic feelings hearts contain.

The purpose of life, the wise ones say, is the celebration of it.   Play well.  Play with all your might.  Play until your laughter fills the skies.

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Days of Ease

Rolling Wooded Hills

These are the days of ease, when the air is warm and offers a hospitable breeze, when the light comes early in the day and lingers long.

Now is the time for strolling over the hills in contemplation, if only in your mind, for tallying the abundance your life holds, for opening yourself to possibilities.

Here, in summer’s fullness, nothing bars your imagination from soaring or your heart from singing its true song.

Take off your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet.  It is summer, and this is holy ground.

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Only Summer

Queen Anne's Lace

Some things only summer can do: The fresh blossoming of Queen Anne’s Lace, grasses gone to seed, certain clovers.   The banks of the ponds are lush with living artistry.   Tables overflow with the garden’s gems.

Let your eyes gather in the colors.  Inhale the scents.  Feel the moisture of the air on warmed skin.

Only once in a year do these miracles appear, and never more fully than today.  Take them in.  Tuck them into your memory.  Write them on your heart.  Breathe thanks.

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A Web of Love

Butterflies on Bee Balm

The garden’s whole purpose, she told me, was to nurture the butterflies.  So many were losing their food supplies and dying out.  So here was bee balm, Echinacea, milk weed and other butterfly delights, just to let them know that they mattered, they some of us cared.

No matter what the problem, someone, somewhere, cares and lifts a hand, plants a seed, takes a step, calls for help, looks for a solution.

Nothing is ever lost.  No one is ever forsaken.  Beyond appearances a web of love supports us all.

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Butterflies

Butterfly on Echinacea

I read once that in the Greek language, the word for butterfly is also the word for soul.

I don’t know whether that’s true, but the parallels are clear, the winged one emerging from the worm’s crypt and all.

So the Yes winks in butterflies, is that it?  No wonder they make us smile.

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Watercolor

Green Creek

The sun, of course, couldn’t stay away.  It is July after all.  Still, not wanting to disturb the creek’s peace, it slid through the branches that overhung it with care.

It eased its light beneath the calm waters in small, filtered patches.  For the rest, it was content to ride the green of the trees, gliding as a reflection on the water’s glassy surface.

The creek, welcoming the warmth, sighed with pleasure and rolled gently on.

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Rainy Days

Daylily in Rain

“I like rainy days the best,” the old artist told me. “That’s when the colors shine true.”

I understood what he meant.  The same holds true for people as well.   When the clouds are the thickest and it seems like the stream of troubles will never end, you find out who’s got enough perspective to smile, to reach out with a helping hand, to speak a sincere and encouraging word.

Circumstances are just that, you know – good or bad only because we label them so. To the lily, hours of endless rain are no reason not to dance.

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