Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stop and Smell, Taste and See

A popular saying is "Take time to smell the roses." What does this mean? To enjoy the rose it is necessary to focus on it and bring the rose as fully before our senses and mind as possible. To smell a rose you must get close, and you must linger. When we do so, we delight in it. We love it.

Taking time to smell the roses leaves enduring impressions of a dear glory that, if sufficiently reengaged, can chage the quality of our entire life. The rose in a very special way--and more generally the flower, even in its most humble forms--is a fragile but irrepressible witness on earth to a "larger" world where good is somehow safe.

This simple illustration contains profound truths. If anyone is to love God and have his or her life filled with that love, God in his glorious reality must be brought before the mind and kept there in such a way that the mind takes root and stays fixed there.

--Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

(I highly recommend enlarging the photos for greater viewing pleasure. Sorry I can't provide scents to go with them....)

Pansies on our deck, from the spring.

My all-time favorite flowerpot.

Poppies and primrose in the Cancer Survivors' Park, before the scorching heat hit.

What is it about these flowers? I just adore them!

Roses from sweet piano students at our recent recital.

Hydrangeas in the backyard, when they'd just come into bloom.

The last hydrangea blooms, rescued before summer heat took its complete toll.

Brown-eyed Susans...

...which popped up by our front porch, a welcome surprise.

O, taste and see that the Lord is good!

--The Psalmist, 34:8

Monday, June 14, 2010


It's that time of year again. Time to hibernate. My recessive English and Scots-Irish genes somehow overpowered the Cherokee and Choctaw in me, and I have almost no heat tolerance. Today for the first time, I walked and ran in the gym instead of outside. The heat index was 106 the other day. I've taken to wearing a wide-brimmed hat if I have to walk across huge parking lots. For the next two-plus months, I won't walk anywhere except across parking lots, probably.

Except that last night, we did go for a walk late in the evening, and thanks to the breezes, it was bearable.

And I'll be in Europe part of the next two-plus months, so of course I'll be walking all over the place there.

But while in the South, it's hibernation time for the most part.

Even so, I love this time of year because of the flowers. My petunias look great, the portulica is so colorful, and unexpected trumpet vine added a shock of color recently to our chaotic hedgerow.

And magnolias are just magical. I walked by a tree this morning (en route from the gym; it was still bearable enough, in the shade, to walk a block and a half) and smelled its perfume from ten feet away.

That scent, and those larger-than-life, creamy flowers are irresistable to me. When I'm in the park, I have to stop and put my face down inside any flower near enough to the ground.

And now and then one comes home with me, as in the photo above. This one came from a tree that gets climbed a lot and has graffiti all over the lower part. I figured it would be better appreciated at home than remaining on the tree.

Here's to the beauty of summer that makes the heat worth it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Why do I like this picture?

Yes, this is a picture of my kitchen sink as it appeared earlier this afternoon. Why a photo?

Reasons abound:

1. It shows the remnants of a happy visit with my mom, sister and niece earlier today. Among other things, we got Lenny's sandwiches and brought them home to eat.

2. The reason I have styrofoam rinsed and drying in the sink is that Whole Foods is now recycling it! Yea! I still try to avoid using it, but it's not altogether possible in my life yet. I'm so glad it's not just going in the trash.

3. It reminds me of how funny it was that all four of us ordered the very same sandwich--turkey on a round wheat bun. What are the odds? We all got lemonade, and two of us got Cheetos and the other two got baked bbq chips. You'd think we had planned it!

4. I thought it was sweet that the Lenny's worker wrote "Mom" on the box to show which sandwich was which. The other says "pickles" and was ID'd by another worker. I liked the personal touch. And it was only after I saw she'd written that I realized I had ordered the sandwich by saying, "Let's see, my mom wants...." even though it mattered not in the least to Ms. Lenny's who the sandwich was for. And she heard me say it, obviously.

5. It's cute how "MOM" looks like "WOW" upside down.

And last but not least....

6. Beneath all this styrofoam, there really aren't many dishes to do!