Our Lady of Windflowers

A dear friend of mine, who travels a great deal, happened upon a print of a  painting by Margaret Tarrant. She lived in England  and was a talented artist and illustrator,  never married and was a devoted Christian.  Margaret loved animals and nature as well as Christian themes and also fairies. The framed print I received had the word Windflowers on the very bottom of the picture. Whimsical and lovely in many ways, the painting of the Madonna and child had an air of freedom about it and touched my heart. The following poem is my second attempt to convey the image and meaning of the work of art.  The subject of this poem may be easily found on the internet.

 

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OUR LADY OF WINDFLOWERS

There on the lap of Mary sits the One who holds our every hope
He looks upon creation at wonders great and small
The Babe with bluebird lightly held, wings spread as if to fly

He the Son of heaven sees each tiny flower growing in the meadow
And she adores her own dear Child from her seat upon a rock
Her mantle sheer and flowing blowing in the breeze

They look upon the windflowers and it seems a sadness looms
For as they bloom awhile and wither so shall we
Yet they recede and bloom again as we shall live anew
Just like tiny windflowers scattered on the earth

He bends to watch each blossom as He does for you and me
Then tilts His head toward the Lady dressed in blue
Who guides us as a Mother and loves us as her own
And holds us close to Jesus as we were meant to be.

 

 

 

 

Contemplating the Sunrise

No matter what problems may have happened the previous day or if my night was filled with frustrating dreams and wakefulness, though unrested, the light of daybreak brings hope. When the skies are clear, I become like a child and feel the wonder of the rising sun and on rainy days though unseen, the world is lit as well. Although all seems still, our earth is revolving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour  completing its orbit in one year while spinning at approximate 1000 miles per hour at the equator (slightly less as you move north or south) completing its rotation in 24 hours and also tilting on its axis. Even more amazing, the earth and our solar system move around the center of our galaxy at 490,000 miles per hour. Yet we have the impression that we are stationary. How amazing!

This brings to mind a verse in 1 Corinthians 2:9  Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and have not entered the heart of man that God has prepared for those who love Him. Wonders of eternity.

Contemplating the Sunrise

My fascination with the sunrise began some years ago when for some reason I began waking up at five or six am before the rising of the sun. Sitting on the small deck facing east with coffee and rye toast, I noticed the beginning of light appearing, the sound of a fountain in the garden below and then songs by unseen birds, treetops slowly lit with tiny drops of dew or rain drops glistening  like diamonds. Even before the blazing orb became visible light fell randomly on grasses and plants. Sometimes the sky turned red  pink and lavender. I remember a prayer card we received from our parish years ago beginning with The favors of the Lord are renewed each morning so great is His Faithfulness.

More on the sunrise to follow: enjoy this beautiful day…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem for Jerry

You are missed, little brother:   The phone calls at suppertime, the hope  you spoke of with each new treatment,  stories of good nurses and doctors who cared, the tips and gifts you gave to those who poked and prodded, and talked with you during hour after hour of IV drip, the gratitude you shared with me in land line conversations, those years of chemo therapy to treat the BIG C.

I miss your smile and laugh when you told a funny story. About working with the Pasternak’s, and the one about that poor fellow who barked like a dog and actually did. uncontrollably; not laughing at them but with them. The way you rubbed the hump on Mom’s back and told her she needed to have it removed, every time you saw her. The trip from Florida you and your wife made up north to visit all of us, when I thought you had to eat bland food and then you brought (and ate) kielbasa to your dietitian sister.

That was just one year ago.  All those miles, stops in Virginia, here in NJ and in Pennsylvania. On the way back south in Gettysburg (where you had kielbasa). No trace of self pity, always on the move. You were just the same. You never changed from that dark eyed, slight and agile child of nine or ten to the suffering sixty some. You brought sunshine, hugs and kisses. As the cancer grew and spread, so did your heart.

Now as I smile through tears, I miss you…

 

Excerpt from Daybreak: Pentecost

The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the spirit. John3:8

Although the sky was completely clear, a strong wind came from nowhere. The sound of it hurt our ears. We stood still, not able to speak, as did the whole body of people. The sound of rushing air drew others from the surrounding streets like flies drawn to honey, enlarging the assembly of pilgrims in even greater numbers. Soon thousands gathered filling the adjoining streets. This wind was more than a storm brewing. I looked up at the sky. It had turned a deep blue with some shades of indigo. I had never seen anything comparable.

A ripple of voices went through the crowd. The words were indiscernible, but I was sure they reflected the awe I was experiencing. What came next caused us to duck. A number of flames passed above our heads and entered the house straight through the roof. They were shaped like tongues composed of fire. We felt the heat left behind. None of us spoke, and an intense alertness made everything brighter. The dwelling shook for some minutes as this took place. Then all went silent for a time.

We heard movement in the room, and saw the Apostles and Mary coming through the door onto the spacious balcony. Peter stood in the middle with Yeshua’s Mother behind his left shoulder. We recognized the disciples we had met in Bethany on the way from the Ascension of the Messiah. Nathanael was among them to the far right of Peter.

Their faces glowed like those who had stood before a fire. Peter raised his arms to the heavens and began to speak. His voice rose in volume loud enough that the three of us at the periphery of the multitude could hear each word distinctly.

Joy and Peace: Phil. 4:4-9

Sometimes in listening to the world news and hearing of the trials of those nearby as well, we tend to focus on what seems incomprehensible, ugly, and hopeless. I think that’s why my favorite time is early morning when all is usually quiet as it is today. The birds are singing, a cool spring breeze blowing. Life is as it was made to be. I have a daily devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young that I read each morning and also often pray my daily Rosary on the side deck. Everyone has problems including me and they can overwhelm us. The way to hover above all the worldly thoughts is answered in these few versus written over two thousand years ago.

9) “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,, if their is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…”

And then go out and fight the good fight with those things in mind always focusing on that which comes from our Creator. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen has said “Life is worth living”.

The Tree Still Stands

In early March of 1971 our first child was born in a hospital an hour away from our home. On the way home we made a short visit to a family who lived near the hospital. The weather though above freezing in the daytime, still hovered around the low forties and I had dressed our newborn for arctic weather. When my friend Lisa, a veteran mom of two young children, laid our crying baby boy on her sofa. She began unwrapping the layers: warm blanket, lighter blanket, receiving blanket, hat, booties and sweater down to a cozy footed one piece PJ.  His tiny forehead was awash with perspiration. She wrapped him in his receiving blanket and he fell happily asleep. Jim went outside and returned with a rooted one foot high stick, and shoot from his dogwood tree.

Our friends gave us a hearty lunch repackaged the little one minus a few trappings.  We moved on to our second and last stop before home at grandma’s house. Delighted she held him in her arms and gave him a nickname, Butchie. She called my husband that when he was a baby. I remember thinking of her when we had our first grandchild also a boy. It felt as if we had our son back again.  Home at last, my husband placed the stick on the eastern side of the lawn on solidly frozen ground. We were not too optimistic when the ground thawed and we planted it there.

Some forty years later sitting on my deck as the sun rose, I wrote this poem

The Tree Still Stands

It blooms a while in springtime and lifts my soul To contemplate all that’s happened Since the stick was planted in the soil  The babe came first before the barren, rooted wood  They grew together one in earth, the other in love

Some Forty-two years have past The tree has grown and bloomed  Almost destroyed by storms  Trimmed and allowed to live The child, a man, a gift to us withstands the storms of living  His progeny will face the bitter winds of life, yet live  As the dogwood blooms in springtime…                                                                                                                      May 3, 2017