Tuesday, May 2, 2017


a flicker drums on my neighbor's tin chimney
in the early morning fog
waking them if they are still asleep
annoying them if they are awake

I remember that sound of a jackhammer in my house
while my baby boy lay sleeping
walking through the house and into the basement
wondering where the sound was coming from
what was breaking

realizing days later when I saw him drumming on my neighbor's roof

not a jackhammer in the basement
not something gone very wrong with the heating

a flicker on the rooftop

Friday, April 28, 2017


Elena Isabella

we hold her close
and find familiar features

pursed mouth
arms up with fists clenched beside
her face as she sleeps
long toes
sudden startles

we soothe her when she cries
listen to sweet whimpers and squeaks and sighs
watch expressions flash across her face

so tiny
to carry our hopes and dreams
into new mornings

rock her in the sunshine
dance with her to the sound of Grandpa's violin
drifting down the stairway
spilling over the balcony

Thursday, February 23, 2017


By the time I left, the truck had pulled into the parking lot, ready to be loaded.

I had arrived in time to witness the send off.  
They spread out through the warehouse, laying hands on each pallet of supplies as they prayed. 
There were prayers of gratitude for those who have created 
   and gathered the supplies and blankets, 
prayers for safe delivery of supplies, 
prayers for those who will receive these tangible gifts 
   that they would know they are not forgotten, 
   that they would learn to know a God of love.

 1810 blankets
336 relief kits
480 infant care kits
2544 school kits
100 sewing kits

So many kits and blankets and the numbers mean so much or nothing at all. 
But I see our little Elena Isabella, wrapped securely in her mama's arms and kept warm by the blankets sent by friends and family, and know that my Lord sees each child, sees each mother shivering, each family struggling, 

and I am grateful to the faithful people of MCC Saskatchewan for the many ways that they serve. 

Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ.

Directing material resources ... thanks Jerry!

Friday, February 3, 2017

circling back - evelyn renee

I've been reading a couple of books exploring the effects of geography on politics and
effects of networking on time ... oh so intriguing ... but when confronted by the pages of a third "mind-expanding large-issues-tamed-into-a-thesis" book, my heart recoiled.  And so I put it down.

Returned to the pages of Kathleen Norris's "Cloister Walk" and Eugene Peterson's "Long Obedience in the Same Direction" ... both of which, strangely enough, anchor themselves in the prayers of the psalms.  This is good.  Like my new progressive lenses they require me to pay attention to small movements and immediate steps.

and. once again I am grounded by the joy and beauty of a one year old whose musical language without many words communicates worlds
take off your jacket so I know you are staying, mama
can I have one of the cookies that I know you keep in that container on that counter?
i'm just so tired
can we look at this together?

scrambling up onto the couch
   to sit with her brother who
      oh-so-gently or not-so-gently
                     lifts her up beside him
hands clasped together, eyes wide open as we pray before supper

she sees and comments on everything.
attends to the periphery
new bits of color
murals on the ceiling
things just out of reach

and loves pouring
pouring water from one pail into another pail
   filling up and spilling over
   pouring and missing
     water running over and all around
pouring water or sand or bits of building blocks

what are you learning in the pouring
the emptying and filling and running over
again and again and again

evelyn renee

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Found it!

  They swam up behind me while I was watching the lodge, and from the corner of my eye I thought they were ... beavers! ;)   

Friday, November 4, 2016

more beavered stumps

I don't know why these beavered stumps intrigue me so.

My friend informed me of the beavers' activity in the riverbanks close to our house ... close enough for an adventure with grandchildren.  So on Wednesday, off we went to find the place where the beavers were working.  And find it, we did.  Newly chewed wood shining white in the browning November.  My old stroller however, was not built for steep beaver trails and after following Logan up one such trail, Evelyn set up a lively and convincing protest.  So home we went.

Thursday morning I set out again, and found more and different stumps ... and after only a few pictures, the battery on Randy's camera died. So I walked and wandered and poked around a bit more before heading home for the other parts of my day.  Figured out how to change and charge batteries.

Thursday evening, I headed out for the third time.  The sun was already going down by the time I headed for the river.  I decided I'd go to the same spot on the river and walk the same circuit. See what had changed.  It would be fun to catch them in the act.  The white spikes stood out in the darkening evening, but I eventually ran out of light.  Those were some of the pictures I posted this morning.

I went out again today.  One long branch that yesterday had been abandoned in the middle of the trail was gone. I found a grove closer to the river that almost looked like a logging camp.  Wood chips everywhere, grass trampled down as the logs had been taken to the river bank and pushed over the edge.   Many sizes and shapes and colors of stumps and chips. There were trees that were hung up and abandoned in the underbrush.  There were trees that were only partially gnawed off.

Only after seeing the new trees down did I really see the trees that someone had carefully wrapped with chicken wire.  Effective for many of the trees.  But there were some old stumps where the beavers had pushed the chicken wire out of the way... or bitten through? and taken them down anyway.  Some trees had a sturdy chain link fence wrapped around them.

Further down the path were wide trunks that just kept trying to grow a tree, despite the many spears that had been gnawed off over the years.  And the forest of poplar saplings that are mown down by a beaver's schedule almost as regular as the grass in Meewasin, only with longer gaps in between.  The saplings keep springing up and the beavers keep building warm lodges for the winter.

Today's walk showed me the colors and textures left
when the summer green and fall gold have fallen away.
Bones of redemption hidden beneath the canopy of beauty.

Yesterday I was just struck by the silent white spears.

trying to find words for prayers

for the pain that we carry
for the hope that we see

I'll walk beside this river, and spend a lifetime learning how to pray