This Morning…

IMG_0399dear familiar line and color

velvet spread of leaf

magenta and vermilion petal

held in the sweet curve

of glazed garden pot

one brief glimpse

telling me

this is home

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”

~ C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

As If


“I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you ~would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in the beauty which the world in all the facets of pleasure reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides.”   .~ Helen Keller

The commonly believed myth regarding the loss of hearing or sight is false.  People who are blind or visually impaired are not endowed with a sharper sense of touch, hearing, taste, or smell. To compensate for their loss of vision, many learn to listen more carefully, or remember without taking notes, or increase directional acumen to compensate for their  lack of functional vision. In other words, they pay more attention, using their senses in a more mindful way.  They make choices.

If I am never silent, if I surround myself with the noise of machines and electronic entertainment constantly, I will most likely never hear birdsong or water trickling over rocks. I have the choice to “unplug,”  go outside for even a brief walk in the garden and make the most of my senses, to “relish”, as Helen Keller phrases.

What are some of the ways you practice this?




Garden Lesson






vine tendrils curl
clasping, climbing,
swelling pea pods full of green promise

I seem to never be able to plant sugar snap peas early enough to allow a hearty harvest. Here on the South Texas Gulf coast, it is probably over ambitious to try, particularly with our rare late freezes this year. By the time the vines were barely flourishing, Spring had jump-started Summer so they stopped blooming and started to wilt.

Still, the few sweet pea pods we collected were used to grace salads.  Some of them never made it to the kitchen since my granddaughters like to pop them into their mouths straight from the vine.  As is often the case, less can be more.  Because there were not many, we noticed and celebrated the few!  I am praying to remember this lesson: Pay attention to what I  have rather than mourning what I don’t..