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Showing posts from July, 2008

Some Days the Beauty of the World Takes My Breath Away...

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a sunset photo looking south from my backyard


Luke: A Mary Oliver Poem

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I had a dog
who loved flowers.
Briskly she went
through the fields,

yet paused
for the honeysuckle
or the rose,
her dark head

and her wet nose
touching
the face
of every one

with its petals
of silk
with its fragrance
rising

into the air
where the bees,
their bodies
heavy with pollen

hovered -
and easily
she adored
every blossom

not in the serious
careful way
that we choose
this blossom or that blossom

the way we praise or don't praise -
the way we love
or don't love -
but the way

we long to be -
that happy
in the heaven of earth -
that wild, that loving.



poem from "Red Bird" photos from my personal file of my dog and a rose from one of our bushes

Weeding Out Our Spiritual Lives - revised edition

A reflection on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43


When my husband Dan and I bought our first house in 1987, on the NW side of Chicago, we were thrilled to have a place on our lot for a garden. In that small space we cultivated the soil, turning it over with a roto-tiller and mixing in good soil and fertilizer. Next we planted lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, and green peppers. Each year, for the seven years we lived in that house, we planted this garden. And each year we cared for it and harvested a nice little crop. In that garden, because of the way we had prepared the soil and planted the crops, it was easy to recognize what was a vegetable and what was a weed. We sold that house and moved away in 1994 so I could go to seminary.

Over the years of study and working I thought often of that little garden. I thought of the tender care we gave it, of the joy in eating my own homegrown baby bib lettuce, and of the lessons our kids learned from gardening. I thought of the simple job it …

More Monsoon.....

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The storm blowing in from the East






And, then blowing away....

Monsoon Season

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Apparently Arizona has a monsoon season. It rains every day. EVERY day. It becomes cool but HUMID (yuck, give me the dry heat any day)...and it becomes weird...like toxic toads that are bigger than your fist...don't touch 'em or you'll be in pain for many hours....

Anyway, here are some photos of the weather today....

As the monsoon was blowing in over the mountains:






And as the monsoon blew away...




Grand Canyon

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We woke early last Friday. I made us a big family breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes, and coffee. We left shortly after breakfast for a 6 hour drive. Our dogs were in good hands with an in house dog-sitter. (cats too). The "kids" sat in the back seat watching movies on the computer...husband drove....I, well, I tried to stay awake. All was real easy until we got north of Phoenix and then the terrain changed quickly - steep up hill, eh, mountain...and steep curvy declines...and then up again, eventually gaining almost 6000 feet in altitude. In addition to the mountains we went from desert scrub to pine forest. After about 5 hours we entered the painted desert....a beautiful part of the desert just east of the Grand Canyon that is filled with layers of color...

We entered the Grand Canyon from the east, near the Watch Tower.


I was so excited to be here that when we all climbed out of the car to head to the watch tower...I forgot to lock the car...with my daughters purse inside, …