Sounds like winter might be blowing in here today in Ames, Iowa. We’re scheduled for some flurries at least. So far there has been nary a snowflake in our little city. I had to go to Hobby Lobby yesterday, just to get a whiff of holiday spirit, even though I didn’t wind up buying anything. It’s hard to think about the Christmas holidays without some snow blowing around!
That said, I am also kind of bracing myself for the prospect of the winter doldrums. It’s looking pretty gray out there today, so I thought I’d just give us a little shot of blue and green. It’s good to remember that spring WILL come, trees will be leafy again, they just need a rest. Our lives are like that sometimes too. We go through cycles of productivity, followed by cycles of what feels like nothingness, but like plants, there is still something going on underground. Our “winters” can also break bad habits, like a hard freeze can kill off damaging bugs. Cold shoulders and rough winds can also remind us of our need for the warm Sun in our lives. So here is to blue skies and greenness, on the other side of a good winter!
It’s the end of the gardening season. “Or is it?” she thought to herself. As she took thoughtful steps through the dried weeds and uneven clumps of earth, memories floated back to her mind. Late March…. spading the sweet smelling dirt to expose it to the sun’s warmth, later in April…. lost in reverie down on her knees, setting small hopeful plants into their loamy, wormy new home, June….simply sitting among the growing tomatoes gazing up at the sky and acrobatic dragonflies, July….. faithfully carrying pails of water to thirsty beans and cosmos, then August…. the harvest, baskets of pickling cucumbers, sprigs of intoxicating basil and rosemary, the taste of the sun in homemade pasta sauce, and now…. bouquets of the last sweet zinnias on the dining room table, gardening season lives on, in lovely memories of the mind.
Have I mentioned that I am really out of practice having company? I used to have 10-12 people for dinner without a blink of an eye. Anyway, I am trying to get back in practice and had these friends for Sunday dinner a while back. Check out the big little guy on my lap! I think he’s kind cute! 😉
Sometimes people ask what we DO at our religious convention. Most would know now that I am not a part of an organizational religion, no committees, no headquarters, no board meetings, no budgets, no collections, no group missions. All our effort goes into trying to know and love our God. So at convention, the workers talk about that and we listen, we visit, most people have a little job that contributes to our communal meals or sleeping arrangements for the four days we are together. And we try to let God help us understand the road we’ve been on and help us get prepared in our hearts for the road ahead. I would never have imagined living alone in Iowa, but here I am, and the road here was a little rocky, but not more than I could handle. Where tomorrow’s road will lead, I don’t know, but I trust that God is planning my way.
it was perfect. ” What do we do at convention?” you might ask. Well, we listen….and listen….and we’re together. And we feebly try to express our thankfulness. Not much, you might think, no activities, no business meetings, no tours….but we love it, because it’s what we believe heaven will be like. And if we love heavenly things now, maybe we’ll find ourselves there someday.
It’s just natural to focus on the front, you know….that part you can see in the mirror. I remember someone at convention speaking once about front yards and back yards. Everyone keeps the front yard looking well kept….but you really find out what a person is like when you look in the back yard..or something like that! I was impressed with the back sides of downtown Ames a while ago. The backs of these stores do face a municipal parking lot, but still, I thought the backs of the stores showed a nice sense of community aesthetic and responsibility.
So….Colorado….it’s……well…..quite different from Iowa, for sure. It’s dry, it’s rocky, the soil seems thin and feeble and in many places, the altitude is high and the air is thin. So why are the flower gardens more beautiful in Colorado than they are in the well watered mid-West? I don’t know the biological or social science answer to this question, but the mystery got me to thinking. Can there be too much of a good thing? With ample water and high humidity, I know that plants can quickly succumb to disease. What’s good for the plant is also good for the bug or fungus. But in the dry, thin air of the West, perhaps roses struggle….and they win, because less can be more in many cases. Less stuff, less junk, less clutter….just life and light equals amazing beauty.