Visited a part of Kansas City, Missouri the other day…hadn’t been to this area for quite some time. The above home is Tiffany Castle, built in 1909, from native limestone. This structure is young compared to a plethora of the world’s architectural treasures, but it is still impressive. Worth the visit to view it and adjacent houses of like materials.
What comes to mind when you recognize the word STONES ?
Brief History: Two stone tablets; Five smooth stones; Millstone; Cornerstone; Capstone.
Quips: Hard as a rock; Dumber than a rock; Heart of stone; Rock solid; Stone cold.
People & Things: Rolling Stones; The Rock (actor); Stony River; Fortress; Cairns; Grand Canyon; Victoria Falls; Petra; Parthenon; Stone Hedge; Pyramids.
Thought: When the heart is like stony ground, no seeds of hope are allowed to sprout. Only when the hardened crust is broken loose can a sprig shoot forth, penetrating what was once thought impossible. Hence, the reason farmers use plows to breakup the fallow earth. It is a process I have learned from, and much to my chagrin, continue to repeat. There is hope.
Much can be said about the beauty of our feathered friends. The variety of shapes and sizes. The tail feathers. The varied beaks. Wing spans. The chirps and the songs. Their flight patterns and eating habits. Nest building and mating. Food choices.
The more colorful, the more timid (at least in our neighborhood). Cardinals are one such bird. They are a delight to witness when they choose to appear. Cardinals always seem to be in pairs. As in many of natures species, the male is the brighter of the two, but certainly no more important.
It is unusual to find a Cardinal perched on a feeder. They normally forage on the ground or in trees and shrubs. For this male, the temptation must have been too great to be relegated to bottom feeding. As for the female, she chose to dine with company !
Photograph disclaimer: These two were shot through a glass door and with zero-time to prepare which translates to not-so-vivid images. We enjoyed them anyway. Always a blessing to see God’s handiwork in action.
If the sun refuse to shine I would still be loving you When mountains crumble to the sea There will still be you and me
Kind woman, I give you my heart Kind woman, nothing more
Little drops of rain whisper of the pain Tears of loves lost in the days gone by My love is strong, with you there is no wrong Together we shall go until we die My, my, my inspiration is what you are to me Inspiration look, see
And so today, my world it smiles Your hand in mine, we walk the miles Thanks to you it will be done For you to me are the only one Happiness, no more to be sad Happiness, I am glad
If the sun refuse to shine I would still be loving you
The Procol Harum song from 1967 is full of skillful instrumentation and some mystical lyrics. It is an iconic song as far as rock ‘n roll is concerned and many people know it well. I thought of this song as I searched for this photograph of Carson, our Westie, which I took in the summer of 2018. Carson was indeed white when clean, but took on various shades of pale, especially after digging in dirt which was almost a daily ritual for him !
The song’s meaning is full of conjecture and possibly some unpleasantness. My intent is only to focus on the title which fits the image I chose. Our world is full of questions and much conjecture due to the pandemic. We read and hear daily of one-sentence snippets of hope and encouragement for which I question their benefit. On the flip side are the purveyors of doom-and-gloom forecasts. I doubt these are helpful to anyone.
So, we exist in a time where there seems to be a lot of pale and very little white which I equate with truth and purity (not about skin color). This much I feel is certain…our world will not be the same once we are rid of this virus and its devastating effects. My purpose is to look at the positives that will come (and are currently taking place) out of this uncertain experience. Hope is an essential ingredient, as is a real dose of unbiased reality. Remain vigilant in staying engaged and find an anchor to hold onto to. Mine is Jesus. I hope you stay secure. Carson was.
Something about Spring awakens the deep senses within us. Beauty sprouts from a long Winter’s rest and the soul becomes renewed.
I think of Charles Dickens 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, and recall his famous opening paragraph wherein he states, ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…”.
It seems to me that we are living in a somewhat similar time as Dickens’ described London and Paris during the French Revolution. Rather than referring to cities and war, I suggest this pandemic has changed people everywhere. From immense generosity and sacrifice to political pandering and greed, all is exposed.
My hope is that we may see more generosity, sacrifice and kindness each and every day, and become such people ourselves.
Does it seem ironic that much of the world is experiencing this viral pandemic during the Spring season? At the very least most people can step outdoors and inhale fresh air, take a walk and enjoy the beauty of God’s colorful creation. Contemplate the advent of this virus in December and carried on through the winter months. I submit to all that that scenario would create much greater stress than the present. Don’t misunderstand, I do not minimize the current situation, but it could be worsened by the season.
Nature hasn’t seemed to be affected by COVID-19; grass grows, flowers sprout, squirrels play, birds build nests and lay eggs. In more remote areas, lions still roar, monkeys swing in trees, whales traverse the ocean depths and reptiles catch their prey. This lone morning dove has chosen to do what comes natural every year…lay eggs and hatch them. Social distancing is a natural thing for much of the Animal Kingdom.
To be totally honest, I am a bit tired of all the overused buzz words we hear a multitude of times each week. Words and phrases like: new normal; N95 masks; six foot rule; zoom meetings; essential services; sanitize; hoarding; scamming; isolating; etc. All apply, but to what degree? Job loss is real. Businesses will fail, millions will be unemployed in the future, just as they are now. Yet, I see so many folks treat this pandemic like a holiday. I work in an essential service industry and DIY projects are the “thing” right now, but this will pass as the virus continues to reek havoc in our world. People will really suffer if this pandemic continues for many more months.
On a more positive note, I am encouraged by the sense of unity, cooperation, sacrifice, ingenuity, beauty and positive social change which is taking shape around the world. We truly have become a global community. Wouldn’t that be grand if this dynamic continued after this germ is eradicated? Until then, look to nature for inspiration. My dove has distanced herself far enough to be kept from harm, but close enough to be seen and heard. May we learn from her.
“Extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.” (adjective)
These clouds represent the definition rather well. Have you ever experienced this dynamic essence? Sometimes ethereal is an object (such as these clouds) an animal or even people; sometimes it is a situation; and sometimes it is an indescribable experience.
However one encounters the ethereal the moment is difficult to forget.
Recently, I was awakened at 2:30 am by the sound of a screeching child wailing outside of my house. I sprang out of bed to see what was occurring, and to intervene if necessary. My heart pounded as I awakened to the reality of someone being harmed. Once I neared the front door I cracked open the window blind to see what sounded to be very near. Much to my surprise, I witnessed an adult red fox standing ten feet from my door, facing toward the house and screeching without abate. Bizarre.
I was not aware that foxes screeched. I knew they “barked”, but was not familiar with this sound. It was an ethereal moment, and one I won’t forget. I looked up a definition of the sounds a red fox makes and this is what I discovered…” The cries of the red fox can sound surprisingly similar to a human in distress. Males give a short scream in aggression, and females shriek as a mating call.” National Geographic
Facing the door and shrieking leads me to believe this fox was a male. Why he targeted my house is a mystery, but it may have to do with the fact that I once had a dog and this animal sensed him. I so wanted to snap a photo of the beautiful creature, but he ran off just as I raised my cell phone. The picture is indelibly printed in my mind.