When rainfall dampens the brown, crusted, outstretched arms of these ancient oaks, a reenactment of  beauty begins. Delicate green fronds curl around the branches. The verdant festoon is  called “resurrection fern” because, in dry weather, the fern’s fronds curl up, turn brown, and seem to be dead—that is, until the next rain, when they turn green and spring back to life.

Resurrection fern is the common name of an epiphytic plant that in our part of the country grows most often on the massive limbs of live oaks..

I never tire of seeing this happen. As I write today, I feel as if it has begun to rain for me. My long absence from this blog as well as the two others I regularly write posts for has been a dry time for me, and I have missed both the writing and the exchange with readers.

During the past year, my husband, Joe, has lost most of his vision due to retinal bleeding and glaucoma. There have been multiple medical appointments, injections, and laser surgeries for him. Loss of vision is never easy. He has met challenge after challenge with courage but also great sadness.

In mid April, I fell, resulting in a compression fracture of a lumbar vertebra with subsequent surgical injections, hospitalization, some unwelcome complications, and an addition to my summer wardrobe: a molded brace. Uncomfortable? Pain? Yes. Restrictions, certainly. But also so much support and help from our family and friends. Since we live with our youngest son, Ben, his wife Kristen and their children, they added helping us with all we needed to their already busy schedules. Right now, Ben is making pot roast for our dinner while 2 preschoolers “help”, Kristen is working in the yard, and they will do our laundry tomorrow!  Our oldest son and his wife, Sean and Teion, have helped so much  in numerous ways, including hours in the ER with me.  Our son in Nevada, Jeremy, calls and texts almost every day. Always attentive, our family has made sure we are cared for.

I had to hand over my calendar to others for all of Joe’s appointments as well as mine. Close friends from our church brought meals and coordinated driving in the early weeks, stayed with me during surgery, prayed for us, and along with our sons, daughters, and grandchildren have given help and poured encouragement over us. I cannot say Thank You enough. To all of them. To God, who blessed us with these dear ones in our lives to love us and care for us.

There is a great deal of healing and work yet to come. But there is also hope and always, God’s presence.  Today I feel the rain begin.




IMG_1704It is Good Friday.  I go into our garden, remembering another garden that became a place of prayer, entreaty, yearning, betrayal, and choosing a path that cost life to give life.  A rosemary bush at the end of our stone wall has wintered, died back, and now demonstrates life beginning again. .Both  the garden I  am remembering and the garden where I walk are places of revelation.

a garden is a place of revelation

seeds that survive to grow

are containers that must open and change,

releasing all that they are

in order to become what they can be.


a garden is a place of repair

a wildflower stubbornly pushes through

a crack in the wall, filling that broken place

with green growing hope


a garden is a place pointing to resurrection

though whipped by winds and dried from drought,

shattered stalks lift up and flower

beginning again


a garden is a place of revelation

but not a place I can stay.

I cross its threshold

and remember.





MaddieTeaParty 077

Receive each day as 
a resurrection from death, 
as a new enjoyment of life.
[William Law]

I do not skip down a Lenten path singing

my steps are slow, measured


a labyrinth path reminding

each day

take one step, then another

on toward center

and Song

Light Comes


Advent: season of waiting, expecting, preparing. One morning recently, I walked toward my front door and stopped, stilled with the beauty of light and shadow which shimmered in early morning sun streaming through our leaded glass door. As I received these images with my camera, I considered how much our Advent and Christmas pondering is like this – the shining of Light into our lament and darkness, beyond our closed doors, past our barriers of grief or bewilderment, settling into the curve of yearning in our hearts to create that  which can strike us still with its mystery.

“The light would never be so acceptable, were it not for that usual intercourse of darkness. . .God will have them that shall walk in light to feel now and then what it is to sit in the shadow of death. A grieved spirit therefore is no argument of a faithless mind.    ~Richard Hooker

” I’ve remembered this truth again and again as my ups decline into downs, my highs into lows. This reminder only confirms what I know but still need to learn. Light comes not in spite of the darkness, but to balance and penetrate it.”  ~Luci Shaw


Advent Lament

Bobby Gross, in his book Living the Christian Year, speaks of giving ourselves permission for both song and groan during Advent. The waiting, the yearning, longing element present in this time were in my thoughts here.

Advent Lament

We wait without words
Behind windows covered with curtains of darkness
With shoulders too weary to shrug.
Wearing shawls of worry.

Behind windows covered with curtains of darkness
Worried, wandering, worn.
With shoulders too weary to shrug.
Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Miserere Nobis.

Worried, wandering, worn,
Wearing shawls of worry.
Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Miserere Nobis.
We wait without words.