Friday, September 30, 2016

Hope Abounds












Juxtaposed against the backdrop of a beautiful northwest Texas ranch, my son and I attended Hope Gala this year.  Once again, to raise money and "hope for a (cancer) cure".

We had a good time. There was a silent auction, bone-in ribeye steak dinner, live auction and some good ol' Texas dance music.

The volunteers and donors who put the gala together did a great job!

Going through all of the wonderful photos 
from the dinner and dance last week 
got me to thinking about hope in other areas of life.

Without the encouragement of hope, life would be bleak.

The book of Job says that there is security and rest in hope.

The Psalms tell us the Lord delights in us when we put
our hope in His unfailing Love.

Proverbs speak of hope deferred making the heart sick.

Romans says that our character produces hope.

Powerful thing - HOPE.


I find hope every day, whether in a beautiful sunset - 


Colors across vast landscapes - 
The shot above was taken while traveling down a New Mexico highway.
The colors are breath taking!



Works of art, natural and manmade - 



Changing seasons - 


Planting fall bulbs - 


Placing a new bird feeder - 

I find hope in these every day, simple things.

Hope and Trust in what is Unseen, too.

I've personally found that being thankful, through times
when things are running amok, is
the only road back to peace.

It seems irrational to be grateful when times are difficult.
But listen...
even just a few complaints can set one on a downward spiral into 
depression and darkness.

###########################

Tonight will be dark as it is the night of the black moon.
Watching the moon, marking the seasons, studying nature - 
autumn brings such enjoyable weather.

Being a skywatcher, I will be outside this evening to observe the darkness of the
new moon and the evening.

I hope you have a peaceful (and hopeful!)
weekend.

: ) 


Friday, September 23, 2016

Ordinary Things in September

The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.

Thomas Moore


I've been soaking in these September days, both
outside in our overgrown yard and inside,
slowly beginning the fall/winter process of 
"clean, paint, refloor" a room.

This year it is our front living area receiving the face lift.


This simple life
we've carved out for ourselves
makes me gloriously happy and content.


The tall grasses that grow in the pasture 
across the road are turning bronze and golden.


I am slowly getting the fall plants set into their patch of ground, 
covering them with
a winter blanket of mulch.

It is always with hope and a prayer that each plant is wished well 
in 
surviving our harsh winters.


Seems every encounter with the artistry in the natural world is
filled with something new, a small miracle to observe
around every corner.


It struck me that the new shawl I am crocheting glows with
September colors.



There were a few times this month that seemed insurmountable.
Dreading and waiting for a call from the doctor about a biopsy result is always
difficult.

Coming face to face with one's mortality is a timely reminder to
greet each day with thankgiving and joy.

Getting a clean bill of health for another 6 months makes a
soul breath deep once again!

Challenges bring back a healthy sense of vulnerability.
Difficulties are inevitable.





Baby girl Nikita is thriving.

She makes my husband and I laugh every single day with her antics.


Can you see who is hiding in the tomato plant above?


Some mornings, during my first walk outside,
I am welcomed with webs in the face and
spiders scurrying to hide and rebuild.

When I don't see Mister or Missus spider hurrying away,
I get the creepy crawlies and shed my jacket  at an impressive
speed to shake off - doing the "spidey in hidey" dance through
the yard.



We dried some Hatch pepper seeds and threw them into a patch of dirt 
last spring.
We never really expected them to grow.

As you can see, grow they have and the peppers are almost ready to pick!


I pulled the chiminea out of the corner of the porch,
collected some dry sticks and twigs and
built a cheery good fire on the night
of the full harvest moon.


It rose orange and gorgeous.









I embrace these autumn days and nights!


Life is a metamorphic process,
and learning to feel grateful for good AND difficult times is something
 I am still practicing and learning.

I have discovered I truly love my life and
my favorite place to be is my own yard,
whether soaking in some sunshine or
watching the light change as the seasons progress.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Fall Retrospective


Past autumns going back about 3 years - 
What memories!


Drives through national forests -
Carson, Santa Fe


Changing colors in the Sangre de Cristo mountains - 




Oktoberfests in Red River, New Mexico


Here at home - 
garden peppers and garden spiders 



Grasses going to seed beautifully -
and the birds sensing change,
leaving for the coming winter to tropical, sunny places


Winter birds preparing - 






Hikes through the forest - 
small discoveries along the way - 
alpine lichen, spunky chipmunks,
hulls, husks, pods, seeds


Oh, and our girl Sandy!






My gardens, prairie landscapes, Zen places, art spaces...

And tonight, once again, the full Harvest Moon.

This weekend we will remember sweet times gone by,
plan for the future,
Savor our moments -

I want to soak in the fall sunshine,
listen to the wildlife around us,
look up to the sky in prayer and with thanksgiving
for these days,
this time.