Monday, July 24, 2017

my geese

The little ones are pretty much as big as the parents now.  Their coloring is still a bit fainter, their feathers a bit fluffier. Parents stand protectively on either side of their brood, or between them and any danger. Some days I would see how close I could get to them as they stood on the bit of road that extended into their lake.  Most days they waddled into the water and swam away before I could get anywhere near them.
I've seen large gatherings of geese along the river, raising their families together, braving the walkers and bikers of Meewasin trail together, parents hissing at anyone who gets too close to the goslings.
But this family has been pretty solitary. Just mom and dad and the kids.

This morning, though, it looked like a family gathering at the lake.  I wondered if it was a group passing through, or a first sign of gathering for the fall (kind of like the first yellow leaf to fall from my poplar tree long before anyone should be thinking of summer's end), or a day's outing to a cool lake on the outskirts of the city - kind of a day trip.

As I turned off the main road I saw the limp body of an adult goose lying on the ground by the tall grasses.
I've heard that geese mate for life.
Do they call the family in when there is a tragedy as well?
Do they come to surround the babies and take care of them till things get figured out?
Maybe this morning was just a coincidence.
By the time I left for lunch, all the geese had gone.
Every one.
I sure wonder what happened at the lake this morning.    

Saturday, July 22, 2017

quiet mornings

the sky has wrapped the morning in a cool blanket

dragonboat races have begun in the city
and farmer's markets are organizing their produce on corner lots and river sides

the air is so still this morning
I've picked a bowl of raspberries and sit
down on the deck, hearing the irregular
knocking of a woodpecker close by
eventually he flies over to the newly pruned poplar and methodically makes his way up the trunk, circling and searching for his food
on the ground a flicker pokes around in the grass, and robins are finding worms
chickadees are playing in the trees - birds in a perpetual good mood

I sit still long enough for birds to forget that I am here
a sparrow lands on the railing of the deck and looks at me for a moment before flying away
a crow silently patrols the neighborhood with a straight fly-by
something pulses by ... a breath above my head on its way through the yard
I can't tell if it touched my hair or just disturbed the air around it
adrenalin surges thru me at the sudden brush with sparrow's flight

apples gradually bending branches toward the ground
honeysuckle berries turning red and orange
daylilies standing at attention, an army of orange against the fence
morning glory canopy thickening and lengthening

and a second fly-by just above my head.
maybe it's a thing they like to do - skim just above something on their flight path
I just had to sit still long enough
on a morning wrapped in fog

God, you reveal yourself to us in so many subversive and unassuming ways... Unclog our ears to hear you, and show us how to get rid of the clutter of our lives so that we make room for you... (from Common Prayers for this day)

Friday, June 16, 2017

silver mound



speaks a language children hear
whispers a silver hello 
little fingers drawn to weave 
through the velvety dome  

Friday, May 26, 2017

restless wind


a restless wind bothers the wind chime

blows the remaining blossoms off the apple tree
begins to throw poplar dandruff around the neighborhood



dandelions insist on poking bright yellow heads up in so many corners of the yard
 in crevices where nothing should be able to find space to root



one astilbe thrives and prepares to throw it's flower toward the sky

another astilbe emerges slowly ... to live or not to live, that is the question ...






and in the front, the dwarf apricot iris from my neighbor laughs out loud
I almost missed it





bleeding heart strings of pink and white

ready for little fingers to pick and pull them apart or give them away




it is the season for daily walk abouts








Tuesday, May 2, 2017

flicker

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

songlines

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

blankets

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?
WHAT IS THAT?

singing
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