Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter afternoon

 This winter afternoon, short but beautiful...


...our everyday walk,
packed with the familiar sights, smells, sounds... 

The ordinary beauty of the barns we pass every day...

skeletons of trees whose bare bones and subtle coloring show a stark delicacy
against the quiet winter sky.

And overhead, the honk of geese, the flapping of hundreds of wings and the amazing beauty of big birds landing, coming to a halt in the muddy fields puddled with rain water.

In silence, I pause to ponder sheep in the fields, moss atop a worn wooden fence post.

Winter afternoon.
Small pleasures.

The joy of changing seasons and the pleasures of home and farmland.

The sun sinks as I close the door of the little house and turn on the light.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Borrowing (from) the neighbors

We live in the best neighborhood anywhere.

It's the kind of place where we do a summertime barbecues together, autumn bonfires, and warm pies left on the doorstep across the street. 
(Yes, really!)

We borrow cups of sugar and canning equipment.

And now, when it's Christmas and there are no children in our house, we don't just borrow from the neighbors, we actually borrow the neighbors themselves.

Which explains how we came to have a loud ruckus, complete with gingerbread houses and sticky fingers and all manner of happy chaos.

After the gingerbread houses were decorated, when the children were still shouting, "ho, ho, ho!" they redecorated the tree and then moved on to the dog.

Oh, what a long suffering pet our Penny is! She actually enjoyed being strewn with ribbon and ornaments.

Oh, the merriment of having children next door 
and sticky fingers in a Christmas kitchen...

The blessing of laughter all through a neighborhood!

Friday, December 21, 2012


It's been busy-as-the-bees work in the studio this month and a fair bit of Santa's Workshop as well,
but we are thrilled to share with you at last the first of what we're hoping will be a series of videos.

You'll see my work and hear the voice of my delightful agent, Alicia Dauber.
Hope you enjoy the peeks into the studio with me!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


On clear nights, I almost think I can hear the universe singing.

Sometimes it's soft as fog.
Sometimes brilliant and deafening as thunderclaps.

Mornings when the rain drips like music on the roof,
or those moments when you hear the call of a blackbird
or the snap of an ordinary dry twig

it seems like the whole earth,

everything from the great wide sky

to the tiniest mushroom

The whole earth is singing a song of gratitude and joy.

It's the music of life, the rhythm of the seasons, the vastness of the globe swinging on its axis.


Can you, too, hear the whole earth singing?

All images © Sharyn Sowell. Please do not copy or use in any form without permission.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simple comforts

Blustery autumn.
Season of chilly winds and indoor pleasantries.

But medical adventures have a way of disrupting all that.

Distressing circumstances call for simple comforts,
so Mr. Wonderful and I took a long walk, 
hand in hand,
recounting our favorite things.

As my mother used to say, "the happy things."
The things that make us glad.

And there are so many of them!

 Warm, cosy homes
with views of brilliant golden sunsets.

 Gently rolling hills.
Muted colors.

The scent of wood smoke on a crisp morning breeze.

 Familiar paths, replete with bird song.

All the hues of the rainbow... 
blues and greens intermixed
with buttery tones of sand.

They say when you lose one sense, the others are strengthened.

When you lose the ability to speak normally, you gain an appreciation for the beauties of 
bird calls, whistling of the wind, and the crunch of leaves underfoot.

You become more comfortable with silence,
something that is lacking in modern life, and surprisingly soothing.

 We love the play of light and dark,
bright colors and ones that are more subdued.

Dappled morning light.

Surprises in a pathway... love notes from God. 



Complex shapes and simple ones.

But more than anything else, most comforting of all
is the warmth and wonder of being loved.

A kind touch, a little scratch behind the ear, so to speak.

Just the thought of so many blessings
makes everything feel so much better. 

So thankful that God has given us simple comforts along the path.
What a blessing to be resting in strong, caring hands.

And counting the blessings of simple comforts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thousands of blessings

It's my favorite holiday again.

Time to say thank you.

Thank God for morning, for blue skies, and autumn sunshine.
The clouds blow away, along with the bad dreams.

Oh the pleasure of counting our blessings! 

Blessings shining and abundant as the glowing birch trees along the river bank.

 Yes, there's adversity.
But there's also joy and peace and abundance.

Time for looking at leaves blowing in the wind
and the smile of the three year old next door.

This is the week for noticing, for saying thank you, for gratitude for the million and one gifts we've been given.

Blessings more uncountable than the leaves fluttering on the birches...


May they all be yours in abundance this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On being deeply rooted

There is such beauty in a tree that has stood its ground,
standing firm and deeply rooted
through even the violent storms.

And so with us, too.

I've been diagnosed with a permanent vocal disability.
A fairly serious one.

But this is the season to count our blessings.
How do you thank God for such difficult news?

I'm thankful that I can speak through my art.
Thankful for loving family, supportive friends.

So thankful that the last sentence I spoke loud & clear was, "I love you."
Thankful for a strong faith that will carry me through.

I'm so thankful that though life breaks all of us,
we can choose to become deeper, wiser, stronger
because of hardship.

Tears are healing, but we can blow our noses
and go on with determination and thanksgiving and faith.
Even joy!

And somehow, we can still thank God for the hard things.
They can be a gift.

Root. Grow strong. Hope and gratitude will prevail.