My Intention

These days I walk to my garden to look at the sunflowers, the beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, gourds, and squash.  I enjoy taking my time, often just standing there like someone who has never seen a garden before.

In the early hours of the day I see the dew still clinging to the leaves. My feet feel the dampness and some of the dirt clings to my sandals. A cardinal and a wren compete up in the trees to see who can sing best.  My senses are given such a gift as my hands touch the plants, the fragrance of the tomato plant, pungent and full of summer, brings back memories of gardens past.

What keeps me standing in that space, inside that fence, are the sunflowers, with the morning light filtering through those yellow petals, the fine little hair on the stalk and leaves. The stalk alone brings to mind the magic beans planted by Jack…

I circle and pause, circle and pause, moving a leaf here and there.  

Then as the sun climbs higher the bees arrive.  I can hear their soft hum and see the delicate wings.  I witness the miracle of their relationship; the flower needs the bees and the bees need the flower.  They exist for each other.

This is the gift of the day, this precious time to see and savor what is.  Time to hear those birds, to learn their songs and their colors. Time to feel the heat of a summer morning on my skin.  Time to watch a doe and her two fawns late in the evening as they go by. 

I could trade all this in and do something considered “ambitious” that would earn a wage. This goes through my mind a lot.  

But I don’t want to miss this.

My intention (which, by the way, is another word for ambition) is to stand in my garden and watch these miracles unfold.   

And share them with you.

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In the Kitchen on Christmas Eve

I’ve spent some time in the kitchen today, taking my time to bake a pie.  In the process I began to think of how many fabulous memories I have from the cooking and the wonderful meals shared with family and friends…precious times.  
I’m sharing a bit of the sights in my kitchen on this Christmas Eve.  

From a shelf in my kitchen window, this little snowman smiles and watches.
half of the fudge is gone
I find that the best memories, the most fun and enjoyment for me, comes from creating goodies and cooking favorite holiday dishes.  So do many others, and this half empty container of homemade fudge is perfect evidence of that.
old recipe cards
There are time honored recipes, some in vintage cookbooks on my shelf,
others handwritten on cards.  I just love it when I find one that has been used a lot and shows smears and crumbs from being handled before.
springerle rolling pins
My collection of springerle rolling pins sit in that kitchen window, too. Later today I hope to start a batch of those cookies and try a new flavor.
pumpkin pie
Already, the aroma of pumpkin pie is drifting through the house.  Can you remember the smells of a favorite food being cooked as you waited for the big feast? 
fresh fruit
Sometimes I just like to look at the colors of the fruit, to see the many shades and tones, the imperfections of the peeling, and imagine the juicy taste.  
Making food. Making memories. Making a time and place for good fellowship.
My wish for you is that this holiday will bring that same opportunity to you.
Merry Christmas!
 ~ Deb ~

Lights and a Star

At last…
Something familiar from holidays before.
Putting this little metal star in place
on a new fangled kind of tree,
and then seeing it in the glow and warmth 
of the little lights…
Sort of starting to feel like home
here in this new place.
Sending you thoughts of peace,
and the hope that you, too, can find
pleasant surprises in all the corners.
Surprises that will lift your spirits
and remind you of that light
that lives
in all our hearts.

On Labor and Messes

I am a woman in labor.  

It’s been a long time coming, this something being born, and I want to cling to how it was before, how I was before, and I’m afraid of this new that is on the way.  

It came to me as I heard a song on the CD player, a familiar song of this season, and words came floating through my head.  

Or was it through my heart?  

All around is the festive celebration of a birth, a special birth that is the crux of belief, the cornerstone of faith.  Yes, that person was born then and that life holds hope and promise and sacred meaning to so many of us.  

Always at this time of the year I see so much more.

Thoughts carried me back to actual physical birth pains, and that time when I just knew I was not going to get through that, that I could not do it any more.  And that was when all of it broke loose and we were at that point of becoming new…as a new life was welcomed into our arms. 

All was changed. Nothing looked the same.  

Weeks or months later, I could finally see myself as this new person, this young mom, so head over heals in love with this new life, both the one I could cuddle and rock and feed and bathe, and the new life that was a way of being.

Don’t we go through this same process over and over?  
Not the child bearing, 
But the nurturing of our ever changing lives.  

We plod along as we have been for a time, then we find ourselves holding something new. We’re scared…maybe. Excited…perhaps.  Wondering what hit us…yup.  

Here I was, 
in the middle of painting woodwork, for cryin’ out loud, and all this hit me.  Painting woodwork is a painful task…tedious, unrewarding, very time consuming, requiring lots of careful brushing on of multiple layers of paint.  I feel like I’m stuck in that paint can forever.  I’ll never, ever get this done.

The new, exciting ‘stuff’ of moving has worn off, and now I’m in that part that seems not so pretty.  Coming to terms with being here, not there.  Realizing that the new familiar is not much like the old.  

This is indeed hard work.

Even still, the messes can be tolerated. The house actually is looking more like home. Doesn’t everyone have a step ladder sitting in their dining room like we do?  Canvas drop cloths add a nice touch to wood floors, and maybe they even help soften the sounds in the room.  We could be trend setters.

There will always be messes.  

Each will look different, will come from different causes, but will eternally remind me of the changes throughout all of our lives.  

Learning as I go … 

I see that we all have something being incubated, nurtured, anticipated within us.  Each day, each moment is a leap of faith. 

Messes and paint brush