Sunday, March 31, 2013

triple joy

Joy! Joy! Joy to the heart, all in this good day's dawning! 
- from Joy to the Heart, a hymn by K. Lee Scott 
(image: the Children's flower cross at Christ Episcopal Church, Easter morning)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

hello yello

Yellow is for lemon bars and taxicabs. For irises and forsythia blossoms and the daffodils handpainted on Laurie's wedding invitations. It's the color of caution, but also of creativity and cheer. It's an egg, sunny-side-up, and a pat of butter on a piece of golden toast. Yellow stands for warmth, sunshine, spring, summer. And smiles.
(image)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

pure and simple

There were no splendid flower bouquets, just simple green palms for waving. No chariot a-blazing, only the steady clip clop of a humble donkey. And the street was paved not in gold, but strewn with the coats of exhilarated onlookers. The details of Palm Sunday are magnificent in their simplicity. I can imagine the animal's coarse hair and tender brown eyes, sharp fronds snapping, the jumbled textile path. Somehow the tiniest details are seared into our consciousness when life is turned upside down and inside out with joy and hope. It's how we keep the miracle alive.
(image)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

he's the one

What can an aging silverback gorilla teach us about life? Well, everything if he's The One and Only Ivan, star attraction at a seedy strip mall zoo. Ivan knows how to survive physically, which he does when he is cruelly wrenched from his home and family in childhood. He learns how to survive emotionally, too, figuring out how to keep on going in spite of a broken heart. He learns to create joy amid bleakness and discovers the power of art to transcend the most distressing circumstances. Ivan is a dear, devoted friend. And he is not afraid to face the saddest things of all if that's what it takes to save someone. What a gorilla. What an amazing story by Katherine Applegate, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal. The One and Only Ivan is truly one-of-a-kind.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

hi honey

Here's a wonderful prayer for the first day of spring. It's from this morning's Episcopal church Lenten meditation:
Let us bud forth. Let us spread out our branches bright and graceful. Let us be honey for each other. Let who we are and what we learn and what we become serve each other. Amen. 
(image)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

work in progress

My work is loving the world.  Here, the sunflowers, there the hummingbird - equal seekers of sweetness. - Mary Oliver
What if, come to find out, our sole (soul?) vocation all along is just to love this world? The helianthus and the hummingbird, the hellebore and hollyhock. The sunrise and the night stars and all the people, too. Extending, even, to every twist and turn on the path and the passage of sweet time. It doesn't get any simpler than just loving all of it. The good news is that this is a calling with infinite openings. And we can begin today.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

breath of fresh air

For the perfect weekend, mix equal parts sunshine and spring-like weather with fresh air and birdsong. Add unscheduled time and a pinch of serendipity. Enjoy.  
(image)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

story time

Raise your hand if you love a read aloud (both of mine are flailing in the air like a one-person wave at a sporting event). To this day, I'm a sucker for an author sharing a novel excerpt on NPR or when Mike reads a paragraph to me from a Wall Street Journal article. I still love to listen in on children's story time at the library and can attest to the splendiferousness of losing yourself in an audiobook. LitWorld is a non-profit literary organization "fostering resilience, hope, and joy through the power of story." March 6 is a day they've designated to celebrate life's simple pleasure of reading aloud. I'm all in.

Friday, March 1, 2013

fresh start

March was actually the first month on the ancient Roman calendar because it ushered in the Mediterranean spring. As it does in our corner of the world, too. So a Happy New Year of sorts to you on this first day of March. Only three weeks of winter remain, with all kinds of miracles going on beneath the muddy ground. Nothing happens and nothing happens and then everything happens, Fay Weldon wrote. Sounds just like March. And spring.
(Two white butterflies by Vincent van Gogh, 1889)