Where Chives Grow

it was supposed to rain today,

there are clouds and gray

but no rain.

the sun visits occasionally like

one who cannot make her decision.

i feel her pain.

at odds, at loose ends,

the calendar says spring

yet my doldrums remain.

Violets are blooming in the yard, and the cheerful blooms reminded me that it’s the season for morels. Country wisdom says morel mushrooms grow under old apple trees where violets grow. They like damp places when the soil warms up in the spring after a rain.

Don’t listen to me, because I’ve found exactly five morels in my life. And when I sliced one of those five, there was a worm living inside one of its many ridges. That dampened my enthusiasm somewhat.

But that was a long time ago, and there are lots of old apple trees in the woods nearby. Surely even a few morels would perk up a spring supper. So I gathered scissors, a knife, a paper bag, and I went spring walking.

I didn’t see any morels, but I did see a brown thrasher making a racket in the old berry canes.

I didn’t spot any morels, but I did spot a small native bee gathering pollen from a dandelion.

I didn’t find any morels, but I did find an acre of chives — thick, green, and onion-y.

I looked for morels and found none. Instead I found wild cherry blossoms, an ephemeral little stream bubbling yesterday’s rain water down the hill, the sweet song of spring sparrows, and a field of chives, ripe for the taking.

Isn’t that the way of it? If we keep our eyes wide open, we find that the unexpected gift is better than what we were seeking.

I came home with, not morels, but a fistful of chives and a peaceful soul.

 

 

18 for ’18

This is my 6th annual New Year’s post with additions for 2018.  I wasn’t going to do this again; six years seemed like plenty. Then I read through it and thought that this year needs a peace, love, and can’t-we-all-just-get-along? post more than any other year I’ve lived through. Except maybe 1968… (eh, was that really fifty years ago?)

So I wish you all peace, love, and a year of forgiving and forgetting.  Happy 2018 everyone — and thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing my little place in cyberspace.

There are two kinds of people in the world:

1. those who would go to Times Square for New Year’s Eve, and those who couldn’t be paid enough to go…

Sunrise from our bedroom windows

Sunrise from our bedroom windows

2. those who go out for New Year’s Eve, and those who stay home…

steak, burgundy mushrooms, asparagus

3. those who would rehab an old vacant house, and those who would look for a new one instead…

boards

4. Cat-lovers and Dog-lovers…

Cat in the Christmas tree

5. Savers and Pitchers…
pitchers

6. Dreamers and Doers…

7. those who believe and those who scoff…

Micah 6:*

8. those who stay, and those who go…

9. those who love snow, and those who don’t…

10. those who take naps, and those who feel superior to those who take naps…

Cat nap

11. those who love city streets, and those who love country roads…

12. those who look up and those who look down…

13. those who eat their fruits and vegetables, and those who eat their meat’n potatoes…

green tomato salsa

14. those whose glass is half-empty and those whose glass is half-full…

Stag's Leap winery

15. those who work for pay and those who work for love; and those who are blessed to do both at the same time…

Mr. H.C's truck

Mr. H.C’s truck

16. those who believe santa is a democrat, those who believe santa is a  republican, and those who believe santa should just start a third party for the rest of us — the Dempublicans? The Republicrats? (Surely he would get more than just my vote…)

17. Those who love to go shopping and those who would rather eat worms than go to a Walmart.

18. Flitterers and Plodders…

At different times in our lives, we can be any of these. (Well, probably not too many of us would admit to being that turtle…)
Me? I have been all these — a city lover, a country girl; a scoffer, a believer; an optimist, a pessimist; a cat-lover, a dog-lover; a dreamer, a doer; a shopper and a worm-eater…(Though I would have to be paid a lot of cash to go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.)
Can we remember this?
Can we remember that our differences make this beautiful world what it is?
Can we let go of our prejudices, our prides, our preconceptions, our (fill in the blank here)… and just love each other?

May grace, peace, and joy be yours in abundance in 2018.

Christmas angel

56. the random Messy Beauty of everyday life

I bought a new photo app for my phone the other day for 99 cents. While playing around with Nofinder (just pushing buttons, in other words) this photo was the fourth one I took.
Random messy beauty

I was shocked. It was really just a shot from the back deck here at Apple Hill. None of the others looked like this at all, and I have no idea what I did or how it came out like this. It is totally random, and I’ll probably never be able to recreate the effect, but I love it! It’s messy; it’s beautiful; and it reminds me of a favorite quote from Madeleine L’Engle:

Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

  • That is, don’t wait — just plunge right in;
  • that is, keep working — it will come;
  • that is, while you’re working — don’t forget to say thank you to the Creator who created you to create.

I’ve been thinking about beauty lately because the photos on my recent blog posts have not been beautiful. Yet there is a beauty in messes that only the person close to it, the creator, can see. We know what the mess is going to turn into… Ever made a cake? Flour, eggshells, sugar spilled all over the counter, dirty cups and measuring spoons all over? Yet the end result is a delicious dessert.

20130316-213854.jpgWe’re moving everything out of the kitchen to get ready to lay the floor. I don’t even see this mess because I know it’s just a temporary inconvenience; but if anyone came to visit, they might think we’re applying to be on “Hoarders.” And, really, the entire cottage looks like this right now. There are no “Beautiful Photos” because there just aren’t any. And yet…

IMG_1500
This coil of wire is probably not beautiful to you. But I look at that gorgeous roll of BX cable, and I see new wiring in a wonderfully rehabilitated, once dilapidated, old cottage. I see the cost of  it, the hands that labored over it, and what it is replacing — old jumbled up, mouse-chewed, taped-together wires. Now see again with new eyes — Isn’t that a fantastic coil of shiny cable? And just look at this new installation…


What a metaphor for everyday life, for God. Our creator knows and loves us regardless of the mess we are now, because he knows what we will be later: a perfectly created work of art; a delicious dessert; a beautiful house, perfectly wired.

I hope that thought gives you the hope that it gives me…