Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter's most beautiful day

What a walk this afternoon, all blue skies and winter wonderland.

What intense blue sky! Bare trees and leafless branches are breathtaking in the chilly afternoon, grayish brown against cerulean. Frozen puddles shine along the roadside.

"Wait a minute!" I shout to Mr. Wonderful. "I have to capture the ice!"

I want to remember every detail.
He is smiling that smile that tells me he is so in love with me that he doesn't mind waiting even though he doesn't see what I'm excited about at all.

But I think it's gorgeous. 
Look at the frost I found in a puddle in our driveway.
Right in our own drive!

Even an ordinary leaf frozen into a puddle seems like pure magic reflecting the sky.

Down the road Steve is refilling his bird feeders. 

I catch myself skipping on the way home. 

Perhaps I shouldn't admit to being so unsophisticated but sometimes when the day is full of beauty and you're living in the moment the best thing you can do is simply abandon yourself to joy. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Over the river and through the woods...

... but I wasn't going to Grandmother's house, it was lunch and a walk with my dear friend Mickey that called me out today.

You can see why this little woods is a favorite spot. We stopped to call the birds.

"Doodle! Doodle! Doodle!" 
But Doodle the chickadee and his nut hatch pals were shy.

Still, there were plenty of other delights.

Tree trunks.
Drips of rain.

Little miracles hiding in plain sight.

Familiar plants we love all the year round. They wait like friends along the path.
"Oh, look! There's an animal burrow by the violets!" and "Next summer we'll see huckleberries here!"

And even here in the woods, hints of Christmas shine bright.
A note in the trail mailbox. "Merry Christmas, Mickey!"

Too soon we head for home, back through the cemetery to Mickey's house.

"It's hot cocoa weather for sure," I tell her.

Past tombstones with gracefully engraved letter forms. Cemeteries always make me want to linger.

But it's cold and drippy and time to go. We wander past the memorials and the headstones, dogs playing and we two women talking of deep things and nothing at all.

Merry Christmas, dear friends, from me to you. May the year ahead be full and fruitful.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Every so often we're blessed with friends that bring out the best in us.

What a rare gift. And to think I have so many who fit that description!

Today I spent the entire day in the studio with just such a friend, Anne Olwin.

Like many of my friends, Anne is an amazing artist. Just being with her I began to feel revived, refreshed, and inspired.
Hours flew...
art and inspiration flowed...

Anne brought me an unusual Christmas present. The truest friends can bring you something odd that nobody else would dare... and know it is a lovely gift you will appreciate.

 Anne brought me a duck's wing today. Her pet duck was killed by a raccoon just yesterday and Anne knew I would want to study the feathers, the way the wing moves...

 Together with the feathers my neighbor gave me that is just what I'll do. Such a perfect gift~ admittedly very quirky but this is how we learn physiology and structure, by study and observation.

We brought out the pigments I hauled home from the ochre mines in Rousillon, France last fall and played happily for hours...

Oh, what treasure it is to have talented friends who share your interests, to receive from them the gifts of love and acceptance and precious time. 

It is Christmas and I am blessed with so many special friendships. Surely friends are one of the best gifts on earth.

Merry Christmas! May you be blessed with joy and peace and the gift of friends and family who love you for who you are.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Home for the holidays

Will you permit me to brag and share a concern?
I've been away again & unable to post.
But now I'm back and it feels so good to be home where I belong,
readying heart and home for Christmas.

I had the joy of accompanying my sister, Janny, to her son's graduation from Marine Officer School in Quantico, Virginia.

Rob is a young man of valor, courage and faith. He was always the kid who stood up to the bully and befriended the victim, and led others to do the same. I guess we shouldn't be surprised he's taking the career path he is but I have to admit it frightens me.

Seeing the faces of these young people reminded me again that while I don't often think about our military, it is made up of people like Rob, who have homes and dreams, mothers and girlfriends who lay awake nights wondering if they are okay.

Rob will be living outdoors all winter for more training in infantry and survival skills, then heading out to his first deployment with men under his leadership and care this spring.

Whatever your political point of view,  please pray for these young people. 
I have seen their fresh young faces at Quantico and realize anew how much they need our support and prayers.

While we are in quiet, warm and peaceful places, others are cold, hungry and in dangerous situations defending our nation.

Let's pray for them while we enjoy the festivities of the season.
Bless you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Inspired flight

Wouldn't it be wonderful to fly?
Don't you long to soar on the currents and look down on tree tops?

Perhaps that's why I treasure the snow geese that overwinter here.

I savor the beating of their wings at sunset as I jog along our country road...

the glow of feathers against chocolate-colored fields, as they honk and forage for leftover potatoes...

feet hanging down as they land, patches of black contrasting against their white bodies.

Sometimes I stand along the road just looking and listening.

Such oddly graceful birds, so strangely balanced you wonder how it is that they perform such a magnificent ballet of flight. And yet they do.

Snow geese are visual poetry for me. 

I find so much beauty right in my own backyard. Changing seasons reveal new fascinations and each sunset brings the close of another day of miracles.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Simply inspired

I collect quotes. 

When I came across this one it inspired a new collection. 
Here's a peek at what I've been doing and the quote that set me going.

Creativity is more than just being different. 
Anybody can play weird~ that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach.
Making the simple complicated is commonplace. Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple~ that's creativity. ~Charles Mingus, late American jazz composer