Nature’s Fireworks


Fourth of July and I feel all of June has been lost…Much to weather and other conditions in life.  Still, it’s beautiful this morning.  The sky is clear and a rising sun is shining down upon me, warming the back of my neck ever so slightly.

Sigh….My beloved potted flower gardens have taken a beating.  Rain pounded the red bricks of my patio and all on top of it for most of June.  Petals of petunias are wounded.  Leaves have turned yellow and roots have risen to the top of pots.  Variegated ivy trails over sides of primary colored clay.  No longer are plants vibrant and full of life.  Their voices are weak and barely speak.  I’m afraid their days may be numbered.

I don’t ever remember the month of June being so soggy and wet.  Day after day it seemed to rain.  Rivers rose, roads closed, flooding ensued and everyone was forced to stay inside.  Even my favorite forest friends never ventured beneath their canopy of trees.  Normally, June signals celebration.  Summer begins, school ends and voices of children begin to drift through wire screens of open windows.  How my heart aches for sounds of summer solstice!

Thankfully, there is no rain in sight today, not on this holiday.  Families are busy packing picnic baskets with favorite foods.  Coolers are being filled with ice and drinks.  Concerts will be heard in parks tonight while skies explode in sparkling colors all aglow.

As Independence Day is celebrated, I take pause to thank God for all that I have in life.  My treasured flowers may dry out, allowing new ones to sprout.  Or, perhaps beautiful blooms are flourishing elsewhere around me?

The world is full of fireworks if only we open our eyes to see….

Sugar and Salt


Sugar and Salt.  Sweet and Sharp.  Course and White.  Both, shaken from boxes bland that have separate and distinct tastes.  I have no recipe for my tomorrow….When poured within my heart, shall I smile and laugh or cry to wipe tears away?  Both, I’d say…

I knew this day was coming.  Perhaps you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been blogging as much lately?  Well, I have a very good excuse.  You see, I’ve been playing with babies!  My youngest son recently accepted a job promotion, requiring him to relocate to South Carolina.  He’s been away from his family for most of the last few weeks.  It is for the best…. In the end, he will better his own life and that of his entire family.

His father and I are so very proud of him.  Not long ago I wrote of my worries and wishes for him in a post http://wp.me/p41md8-1xR.  Today, his whole world and all that is in it has changed, for the better.  He is a man, a husband and a loving father with three daughters, including infant twins who are now six months old.

I am the one suffering, thinking of what I will miss.  The rosy cheeks with curls on heads.  The giggles of laughter when words are said.  Playing with new toys, feeding carrots and humming lullabies.  Gazing at dreaming mouths.  Look, there’s a sleeping smile once in a while!  What’s that I hear?  Poof…puffs of warm air with each sleeping breath.  And, lashes long gently falling…falling…while cradled in the crook of my arm.

So, “Good-Bye” sweet son of mine.  I shall miss you and your family too.  Those babes will be kissed each and every day, silently from afar.  Congratulations once again.  Take care of yourself and your family too…like I know you will.

And, never forget that we are always close in heart.

 

Baby-Bird-Learning-to-Fly1

Trust


Trust.  It seems inbred in the hearts and minds of little children whenever together with animals.  There is an unspoken bond of trust between them, triggered by instinct.  I take great delight in observing it, finding it nearly palpable.  Love and laughter, sharing, caring and trust.

Back in May of this year, my only grandson celebrated his first birthday during an outdoor party complete with a petting zoo.  His great-grandfather was able to join the celebration, traveling all the way from Arizona to make it extra special.  In an earlier post I wrote of the anticipation of such entitled, “Dads With Little Lambs.”  How lucky we were to have it land on a glorious spring day!  Blue skies matched the color of gemstones while a breeze gently puffed cool air through new born leaves dangling from ancient limbs of oak trees.

There was no ‘white picket fence’ surrounding baby animals that day.  Instead, children were allowed to chase chickens freely.  Chubby fingers touched new textures, repeating names of four-legged friends they had only met before in picture books or pieced together in chunky puzzle boards of primary colors.   Each child took turns petting spotted calves groaning, “M.O.O.” before skinny legs dressed in ruffles or blue jeans swung over saddles to take their very first pony rides.

Afterwards, the guest of honor was stripped naked, except for a diaper that seemed to match his new friend of black and white spots.  My grandson soon sat grinning on a huge sheet of plastic red.  It rippled and crinkled whenever he moved.  He loved the feel of it, I could tell!  Within seconds, a farm decorated Smash Cake , complete with miniature bright red barn appeared before his two enormous blue-watered eyes.  Murmurs traveled among those who sat on benches of wood behind picnic tables of green.  What would the birthday boy do?  Stick his finger to taste a treat of brown bunny frosting?  Or snatch and seize the biggest field of golden-colored corn he’d ever seen?

In the end, the big-little guy couldn’t contain himself.  He dove right in.  Head-first!  Exactly what his new animal friends had whispered silently to him minutes before.  “Go for it,” they had said, as only animal friends can do.   And so he did.

Trust….

The Hourglass of Time


With Father’s Day around the corner, my mind can’t help but wander to the days of little boy ways when I chased toddlers wearing diapers while ‘puppy dog tails’ followed close behind us.  Oh, please turn back the clock for me!  I would give anything in life to have a single grain of sand stuck in that hourglass of time.  To cuddle my babies once again upon my lap, kiss their sweet-scented heads, soak folds of skin in a bubbled tub or hum sweet lullabies to velvet cheeks soft against my own.

As life went on my toddlers grew to teens, morphed into men, married and became fathers in their own right.  What a privilege to peek into early windows of their Daddy Hood.

Today, my two sons have become the very best fathers I could have ever dreamed possible!  They love their little ones…love them!  With five between the two of them, their hands are more than full, yet I’ve never heard a single complaint.  They take joy in kissing chubby fists, mixing bottles of formula, pushing strollers beneath shaded trees and tickling bare bellies into giggles.  Often, I see Daddy Reading a Book or Daddy on the Floor to Play!

The hourglass of time typically exists only in our minds.  Yet, already grains of sand are slipping away….one by one.  Falling s.l.o.w.l.y. from top to bottom.  Seconds turn into minutes of lifetimes.  In the blink of an eye, years go by.  Babies crawl upon floors before toddlers learn to walk.   Pre-school begins one day while college ends the next.  Suddenly swaddled babes are old enough to say, “I Do.”  Crowded nests of chicks are bare, hushed silent with shells of emptiness.

So, here’s to my boys on this coming Father’s Day!  For my youngest, it is his very first ever!  Enjoy every second each son of mine.  Kiss your babies from head to toe.  Hold them close to your heart forever and tomorrow.  Breathe them in to memorize their scent. Don’t ever let it go.  And, never take a single grain of sand for granted.

Happy Father’s Day.

HourglassofTime

Timeless Bonds


When I was a lass of long blonde braids, I remember being very ill.  Not sick enough to be hospitalized, but hurting enough to have lasting memories linger within the ‘child’ of me.

Bedridden in the dark of a lavender room, I cried out in pain from a double bed shared with little sisters of two. All of my body hurt, including bones and single strands of hair.

Through fitful sleep, unseen fingers changed damp cloths from warm to cool above my brow. Soft kisses fluttered against burning cheeks. Fresh cotton sheets fluffed like clouds before falling across pale bare legs while a portable fan suddenly swung back and forth to whisper relief.

Upon awakening, noises were heard from the floor below.  Pots and pans banged against a porcelain double sink.  Shrill cries of an infant drifted upward together with my mother’s soothing voice.  I remember wanting her to be with me.  In my youth I didn’t realize that she was and forever would be.

It had been my mother’s hands who changed the cloth atop my forehead….her loving arms who cooled my frame with fresh cotton fabric and the strings of her heart that plugged the old fan into the wall, bringing much needed rest to my blazing body.

How strong the bond between mother and child.  It knows no bounds and has no limits.

Not even time…

 

 

A Knowledge Exchange


Originally posted on Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger:

You’ll never see me frown
never hold my head down
know the sun will shine again 
so my head is in the clouds
I’m gonna keep puttin it down. 
–  Lil Ken, Monroe Louisiana



will flux white quote

Did you know that the Aloe Vera plant contains various compounds that reduce inflammation, swelling, redness, pain and itching. And that the dandelion  is a nutritious healing herb that stimulates the flow of bile and enhances the body’s ability to eliminate toxins. And that the beautiful smell of the lavender plant is used as a sedative and stress reliever, to restore calm and relieve tension? Did you know the Emperor Penguin of Antarctica, will fast for over 3 months, and brave the longest, coldest, darkest winter on planet earth to assure the survival of their species?  Did you know there is more than a 30 year gap between the longest and shortest life expectancy rates among nations?

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Where Do Babies Come From?


kcg1974:

Poetry with lines too lovely not to Reblog.

Originally posted on poetreecreations.org:

where_do_babies_come_from_by_hotamr-d4m0a0y

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into hooks and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as…

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The Wonder of Gardens


It was a Thursday like today.  A few weeks ago, I think.  Sunny with a bit of a chill in the air.  I was working in my office that afternoon when my husband came home from being on the road all week.  Popping his head between French doors of white he peeked in to say, “It’s a beautiful day!  Let’s get away!”

Hopping into our car, we headed north on highway 44 towards downtown St. Louis.  Soon a bright green exit sign led us toward the St. Louis Botanical Gardens where something new will always surprise you with beauty and wonder.  Nature never ceases to amaze me there.  Life is always springing forth no matter the season with new blooms in colors never seen before.

Truth be told the gardens are filled with history dating back to 1859 when Henry Shaw moved his residence, Tower Grove House http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/gardens-conservatories/victorian-district-tower-grove-house/tower-grove-house.aspx  to his gifted acres that are now the Botanical Gardens.  He was a botanist, a man of science, a visionary with a pure love for all given to us by God and the world above.  He studied plants and their surroundings, loving them more than life itself.  Before he passed away, he commissioned his mausoleum to be built on the grounds amid his beloved trees and vines of ever-changing flowers.  Even in death, he never wanted to leave his cherished gardens.  Anyone making a trip to St. Louis, owes themselves a visit to this most enchanting world.

Surprisingly, the day that we drove into the parking lot workers of all sorts were setting up for an annual Chinese Festival that runs all summer long.  It is a beautiful exhibit, helping pay homage to China and the magnificent Chinese gardens within the Botanical Gardens.  Huge, bright and colorful displays were being set up, all lit from within, welcoming us as we walked inside.  Greeting us at the entrance depicted two, giant elephants rising up on their back hooves.  Most people don’t realize this magnificent presentation is made entirely of individual porcelain plates, painstakingly laid one by one in perfect position.  One mistake and the entire display falls to pieces….

Anticipation prickled my arms.  I couldn’t wait to walk among the beautiful flowers or delight at the bright Chinese splendors of 2015.  Once out in the open air, my eyes darted this way and that.  So much to look at.  Blooms in all colors of the rainbow and others that I’d never imagined.  Fields of Irises with bees buzzing and bushes of peonies drooping with huge powder puffs of color nearly dusting the ground.

Besides the precious gifts of nature, by far I was mesmerized by man’s creation of art.  The fabulous Chinese presentations!  They were bright, ornamental, colorful and fun! Children and adults alike giggled at airy animals playing in the grass or gazed at beautiful displays while wondering what secrets tall gentlemen whispered through the cool breeze of willow trees?

So, if you get a chance please visit the St. Louis Botanical Gardens this summer.  In the light of day your eyes will gaze upon nature never dreamed of before.  And, when dusk begins to settle upon China, lanterns will light, soaring your senses to heights of magical travel.   Wishes of wonder will float through airy trees, whispered by little ones holding your hand.

“More……more!”