Monday, September 15, 2014

"White Owl..." by Mary Oliver

I make no pretense about how I feel about Snowy Owls.  I had previously posted this to Facebook but since not all my peeps "do" social media, it simply made my heart happy to repost it to my blog which is in reawakening-mode.   To whit...

Mary Oliver, “White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field"

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —
as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Evening of the Senses

My office/library is a calming green.  It's 10:30pm and the neighborhood is quiet.  Sometime in the evening, a neighbor hung a plastic shopping bag with Cherokee Purple tomatoes on the door knob.  No wonder the security light came on...showed them the way...

The night air is cool and fragrant.  Honeysuckle vines are long past blooming, sending their intoxicating perfume across the street from the alley and right into the yard...I remember it well in June and July.  Sometimes it is a melding of the sunshine heat rising off of the pavers in the late evening with the ever-present light pinesome blanket of cypress essence mixing with that coolness that creates a kind of air I wish I could inhale all night without exhaling it ever.

The windows are open.  The moon-tinged air moves back and forth in the room on the gentlest of breezes.  It is very quiet now...the street is empty, asleep, except for the silent traffic of mice, cats and the slightly heard swoosh of an owl or the squeak of the little bats around the street lights.

Under the old English laurel hedge, knurled old root stock and weighted, thick branches, are layer upon layer of old, dried leaves...and there is life there, where all appears dead in the daylight.  I sit here, and hear the delicate rustle and rearrangement of this leaf or that twig, as life moves beneath.

Owls live in this neighborhood.  I've posted about them on social media.  They are fearless little hunters, and have no fear of humans--apparently.  I have become quite enamored of them.  I admire them for their intense gaze, their ear tufts and the startling way they become part of the hedge trunks. Oh, and the scrub jays, how they complain!  But even they move on, leaving the owl to its' nap...

The sun sets in summer are long in the Rogue Valley...and the blue gold light that rises over the western mountains, spreads under the cerulean sky like water, an ocean all its' own, over our heads.  And it is as if God needed a flashlight, and turned this sun set on to see....The sides of the valley covered in the darkest of green trees, yet we can see the hue and count the crowns.

I shall miss this summer in ways that can't be explained with was a much better one than last year...clear, fresh skies of pure azure.  White puffy clouds ever elegantly twisting and turning in their dance.  I could watch clouds all day.  I could stare into the infinite blue that becomes black with  pinpricks of various sizes dotting the darkness...but mercifully, we are special, in that we are in a kind of heaven on earth, full of conflict, cruelty, greed, is all we have right now...and it is abounding in mercy, compassion, goodness, sharing, and love, too.

This year has been particularly full of war and invasion, and the news has been terrible and deeply troubling.  Prayers for peace and end to suffering and conflict abound.  The hope endures.

There are crickets now...the hummingbirds and little songbirds are all tucked into the hedge for the  night.  There is a calm about it, the quiet night, where there is --at last -- a kind of peace.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I knew Kay Atwood at Trinity Episcopal Church less than four years and only saw her once a month when we, as members of a team, prepared the altar and church for our monthly Contemplative Eucharist Service.  

Kay was soft-spoken and funny, modest about herself but always on the ball with her part in preparing our Danish Modern sanctuary and chancel with her assignment.  Whether candles, or icons, a reading or sitting quietly by the table in the vestibule ready to greet those who attended with lighted candles, programs and accepting love offerings, she accomplished these things with grace and gentleness, yet with a strength right under the surface, shining the Love of God toward everyone, all the time.

Kay is a well-known local author and authority on the history of the southern Oregon area.  

Among her titles are Illahe:  The Story of the Settlement of the Rogue River Canyon,   Mill Creek Journal:  Ashland Oregon 1850-1860,    Ashland Community Hospital:  A Century of Caring,   Jackson County Conversations,   Chaining Oregon: Surveying the Public Lands of the Pacific Northwest, 1851-1855.  

No doubt I have left some titles out but Kay was prolific in her writing and we are the richer for it.  As a professional researcher, she often mentored others in the art of researching and digging for the minutae of a particular subject's fine points.

Kay will be missed for all she did quietly in the community, for friendships made, wisdom shared and her love and dedication to family, including her church family.  I am thankful for getting to know her as much as I did and for the way she graced all of our lives with her presence, and consequently, the world was richer for her being in the world, and for that I give deep thanks.  Blessings to you Kay on your new adventure.  We know where to find you...on the other side of the veil.

 ~ Catherine ~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Long time, no see

Life is time-consuming, hence the big blank between July of last year until now. Life still goes on but how does anyone find time to blog? Oy! I'm working on that as you can see…it's not much but it is a start….I'm working on a few topics so be patient a bit longer!