Jeanie’s Gift

When a package arrived a week or so ago from my friend Jeanie Croope, I had no idea what she might have sent. It turned out to be a set of three watercolor paintings of my beloved Dixie Rose, who died a year ago today. 

The image above was painted from the first photo I took of Dixie, when she was four months old.

While I’ve been learning to write, Jeanie’s been learning to paint, and watching her progress has been a joy. Being able to share her portrait of Dixie Rose is a perfect way to mark this day, just as this slightly revised version of Carl Sandburg’s famous poem seems just right.

The cat came in
on little fog feet.
She curled into my life,
took her ease
in silent dreaming,
and then moved on.

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

Blessing The Dust

“what has made it through the burning”

 

All those days
you felt like dust,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
Did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
nor for thinking
we are less
than we are,
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made,
and the stars that blaze
in our bones,
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.
                                                               “Blessing the Dust”  ~  Jan Richardson

 

Comments always are welcome.

In Flanders Field

Poppies at Wildseed Farms ~ Fredericksburg, Texas

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
                                                   ~  John McCrae

Comments always are welcome. For more information on the poem, and McCrae, click here.