☕️ Messes & Marvels

A Saturday Caesura

This morning I sat down and wrote some thoughts for this caesura. Thoughts about vulnerability and virus variants and stuck supertankers and murder and violence and other egregious acts against fellow human beings. I wrote a lot of words, but I don’t think they were very coherent. Sometimes I just need to dump everything on a page and let it sit there in a mess for a while. Someday when I will come back to the word-tangle, maybe there will be a clear line of thought that is worth unravelling.

So today’s caesura is not about those thoughts, but about some images from this week. Images like the tiny “hairs” lining the edges of a baby lupine leaf. The lupine is in my classroom at the moment, escaping the heat of the greenhouse until it’s warm enough outside to give it a more permanent home in my yard. I noticed the hairs because they caught the early morning light coming through the window and created a halo around each leaf frond. The glow drew me in for a closer look. Remarkable.

In true northern prairie fashion, it snowed on the day after the first day of spring and I don’t want to talk about how much it snowed or how horrible the roads were, but I do want to talk about how the snow is now melting drip by drip off the edge of the roof. Sometimes a few drops will drip in unison, other times in succession. They remind me of a hand-bell choir. I wonder what song they would make if each drop dripped a note on the scale. Would it be a lament for winter? Or an anthem for spring’s arrival?

The Christmas cactus I bought as a gift for a friend (that I never had a chance to see at Christmas because of Covid) still sits in my kitchen window. It bloomed this week. The brilliant pink blossom looked like an exotic bird from some distant tropical jungle, and even though Christmas came and went ages ago, this blossom was the best possible gift for this week. There are two more budding gifts and now I’m not sure my friend will ever see this particular plant.

Sometimes I need to leave my thoughts in a muddled mess of words on the pages of a notebook I can close and walk away from. And sometimes I need to leave all the messes of the world (beginning with my own heart) at the foot of the cross and focus on the small but extraordinary blessings each day contains. Often I can view the messes with more clarity and understanding when I filter them through the lens of God’s intended goodness for his creation.

🌿 All the Joyful Things

When it’s threatening snow in April

almost May

and you need to find all the

joyful things

like daffodil sprouts defying

the cold

and rotten trees that crashed

now burning

and crackling in the wood stove

and supper

of leftover chicken was actually

quite tasty

and there are friends to meet for


and your mind races and leaps with

joyful things

that would make a list too long for

this poem

so you just breathe thank you and go

to bed.

#30daysofpoetry #day29

Pondering the Ordinary

Like a perpetual conveyor belt, several months have daily slipped from future, through present, and into the fading twilight of past.  Much has happened in my particular life story during that time, and yet nothing has happened: variations of ordinary disguised in busyness; routine with slight hiccoughs of irregularity; mundane moments made meaningful simply because they exist in the larger context of life.  

These are the places where I live.  And mostly I’m okay with that.  Sometimes I look at other people’s lives and accomplishments and adventures and blessings and I feel extraordinarily ordinary.  Sometimes.  But mostly ordinary suits me quite fine.  

Some of the most profound things can be found in the ordinary.  It’s fun to look for them, to marvel at them, to ponder them.  Here’s a few I found hidden in the crooks and crannies of the past few months:

– every day little birds land and takeoff from my bird feeder at intervals that would put London-Heathrow to shame — and all without any need for air traffic controllers, ground crew or de-icing procedures.  

– millions of virtually weightless and nearly microscopic snowflakes somehow become incredibly weighty when it’s time to shovel them.

– an extra 4 1/2 minutes of light each day somehow seems far more significant than the mere seconds it represents

– a moment of laughter with my husband can encapsulate years of camaraderie

– freshly washed sheets always feel cozy, a cup of hot tea always brings refreshment, and pussy willows are always delightful

– I love you.  Thank you.  I’m sorry.  Simple, ordinary, and profoundly impactful.  I try to use the first two regularly.  I’ve had to use the last one too often…

– frozen, flowing, or falling, water intrigues me in its multifaceted and prolific presence.  It trickles and roars, pelts and caresses, refreshes and destroys…  characteristics akin to spoken words. Interesting.

– clouds add character and texture to the plain blue canvas of prairie sky.  Every day a unique painting is stretched between horizon’s frame.  Sometimes I forget to notice.

– a sincere and loving hug is never ordinary.  Sometimes I forget that I’m not the only one who needs one.

So many truths, delights, mysteries, comforts, and complexities are woven into the tapestry of an ordinary day of an ordinary life.