Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Spring

You prepare a table before me….

Yesterday D and I visited Longwood Gardens. The weather was beautiful–mild temperatures, a bit of sun, and plenty of clouds without rain.

D took this unlikely photo in the meadow. Oh….  A weed. Maybe; maybe not.

I’m sorry you can’t see how tiny this little ‘wild weed’ is. And I’m fairly certain some of you may not see the little insect lunching on one of the flowers. It looks like a little brown speck on a blossom to the left of the main stem.

I couldn’t help thinking about Psalm 23, and hearing this as a reference to nature’s insects. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” I’m pretty sure this little insect’s enemies would include birds and larger insects looking for lunch. But they could also include human beings. Instead of guarding them and their habitats, it seems we’re intent on destroying them.

After all, they’re tiny. A dime a dozen, Who’s going to miss them? Besides, who needs that mangy old meadow, or that weedy vacant lot anymore? They’re eyesores!

It felt odd to think of this little insect as a link in our food chain and the food chain of the meadow. One of thousands of links in distress. The news reports were full of it last night. We’re quickly ramping up our own global disaster already in the making. I couldn’t help thinking about this little speck of an insect on a common ‘weed.’

Happy Tuesday to each of you! I’m working on more LG pics for a later post.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 7 May 2019
Photo taken by DAFraser, 6 May 2019, Longwood Gardens Meadow

Saving the best for last

Saving the best for last
All creatures fall silent
Hushed save an occasional
Chirp of sweet birdsong
Spilling final notes
Into air gone quiet

Leaves release one last sigh
And wait for last light
To descend beneath earth’s
Horizon without fanfare
Or outbreaks of odes to joy

No, we didn’t walk in the Blue Ridge Mountains yesterday evening. Just around our neighborhood. Still, the poem reflects the grandeur of both locations. Not only because of green leafy trees and the relative silence of birds and human voices, but because of Spring’s early evening drama.

I always love a walk around our neighborhood. Even so, an evening walk after supper during this part of Spring is often magical. Just like yesterday evening.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 3 May 2019
Photo of Blue Ridge Mountains taken by Dana Foreman, found at pixels.com

Sunday afternoon walk and my heart

Spring air hangs breathless and damp
Broken by chirping bird songs
And children’s muffled voices
Clouds roll in silent and gray
Saturated with sprinkles
Gathering for a shower

The gathering shower turned into a ferocious thunder and lightning storm–over 500 lightning strikes last night in Philly! I slept through every moment of it. Astonishing. Today the storm is over the Atlantic, and blustery wind has moved in. Temperatures drop by the hour.

Nonetheless, beautiful green leaves, colorful flowering trees and shrubs, and small wildflowers are taking over! No turning back the clock.

During the last month I rearranged my daily routines to support what my heart wants and needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as postponing grocery shopping. Other times, it’s not so easy. Like staying home from church two of the last four Sundays after waking up with an unsteady heartbeat and the weakness that comes with it.

On the other hand, during the same time frame I visited with two of my woman friends, talked with at least two others on the phone, had email correspondence with a few others, enjoyed tea and conversation with our next-door neighbors, walked regularly with D, talked with our son and daughter via phone, and played with Smudge.

I’ve also posted from time to time, enjoyed hearing from some of you, and saw others peeking out from your gravatars!

So here’s to a thoughtful Holy Week, listening to all nature sing on and off-key, and staying in touch with ourselves and with the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Much we need Thy tender care.

Elouise

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 April 2019
Photo of Center City, Philadelphia; taken by Bill Cannon; found at fineartamerica.com
Photo of Smudge playing hide and seek, taken by me!

Behind the window shade

Behind the window shade
Dawn gleams deep blue
In dim morning light

The moon’s half face glows
At the sight of Jupiter
Hanging off to the right
Just left of the dark spruce
Looming tall beneath the sky

Suddenly a black crow
Streaks through subfreezing air
Landing in the top branches
Of a giant Eastern Pine
Silhouetted against the eastern sky
Sturdy branches raised to
Catch morning’s first sunlight

Closer to home a single dove sits
Atop the power cable next door
Quietly waiting with feathers plumped
Against ice-cold temperature
Hungry for the sun’s early rays

As seen from my bathroom window this morning at 6:10. A gorgeous sight and reminder of why I love the early morning sky. In addition to calming and mesmerizing me, it invites me to focus on true North. Not on noise and commotion already waiting in the wings.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 27 March 2019
Diagram found at EarthSky.org

Favorite Philly Zoo Photos | Part 2

Let’s go to the zoo again! You’ll recall that we’re in downtown Philadelphia visiting the oldest formal zoo in the USA. This was just over a week ago when it looked like Spring had finally arrived. D took this photo as we were leaving the zoo. The skipping girl and abstract deer are fairly flying through the air.

Which brings us to birds. First, here’s a peek at a caged primate enjoying the fly-around tube. Primates housed in protected areas (not outdoors) get to roam from time to time. The tube snakes like a railroad track through several areas of the zoo, so they get to watch us for a change!

The McNeil Avian Center was my favorite stop. The first area was wide open, with tropical plants and a stream. Exotic birds roamed at will, and guides were available to answer our questions. Other areas had protective boundaries, always with a variety of birds housed together, with plants and ground cover that suited their natural habitats.

As we walked back through the exhibits, the afternoon sun hit the ground. You can see what happened in the second photo. Sunbathing, bird style!

Our last photo stop tells a little story. Several peacocks roam the zoo. It’s spring. As you can see below Mr. Peacock is in resplendent glory. And he tries his best. For a long, long time he tries his best. And we all watch, hoping to see what we’ve never seen before…

Alas, Ms. Peacock seems to prefer the giant sea turtles. Or was it that other male screeching from across the sidewalk?

Thanks for coming along!
Elouise

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 June 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser at the Philadelphia Zoo, May 2018

islands of shade

islands of shade sprawl
beneath tall oaks and maples
wearing shiny bright green leaves
they rustle in the morning sun
this warm humid day in May

I’m just back from voting in the Pennsylvania primary plus an early morning walk in the local park near our home. No other walkers. Just unstoppable birdsong, humid breezes and the sound of a basketball hitting the pavement.

On many days I can’t say I’m proud of the way our country or its leadership is behaving. But today, Primary voting day in Pennsylvania, I’m grateful I’m not afraid when I go to vote.

I’m also grateful for the court-enforced redistricting plan that gives us a more balanced voting map than we’ve had for years. I care which candidates run in the November midterm elections. Yet overall, I care most deeply about the opportunity to vote safely in an election that hasn’t been gerrymandered to support (if not ensure) a certain outcome for any party or candidate.

Every two years we’re given an opportunity to have a voice. I admit things don’t always go as well as they might or should. Nor does everyone have an easy or fair experience when voting. Nonetheless, unless you’re disabled, unable to vote by mail, or not registered as a Republican or Democrat, to cast a vote in a Primary is still better than sitting at home or complaining about the system.

As for staying up to watch the returns, I’ll leave that to the younger generations!

Happy walking! And may islands of shade and birdsong welcome you.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 May 2018
Photo found at inspiredroombox.com

spring beauty

morning sun
bathes fir trees
heavy with new cones

bird pairs sing —
their broken records
stuck in a groove

I wrote these two weeks ago early in the morning, then prevailed upon D to take the photo at the top. It’s from our bathroom window, looking at what was once a baby Christmas tree planted along our property boundary. The unusually high number of new cones is visible in every variety of fir tree in and around our yard. Good news for the squirrels! They go crazy when it’s a bumper crop year.

Then there were and still are mating birds all over the place singing their loud songs–sometimes female and male birds call back and forth to each other, other times male birds belligerently announce and defend their territory. No need for an alarm clock these days.

I love this time of year! Hoping you’re enjoying whatever season is happening in your part of the globe.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 May 2018
Photo taken by DAFraser, 27 April 2018

the old woman + photos

the old woman sits
staring beyond the window
into her future
hovering beneath the sky
dancing in the setting sun

The words came to me this morning while I was sitting at my kitchen table, looking out the window at our back yard. Being with my adult children and their spouses always puts me in a pensive mood–along with the sheer joy of being in their company. Each visit feels a bit more precious than the last.

Our daughter and her husband have been here for several days. So far we’ve had a mix of cold and now very warm, moving toward hot weather later this week. I’m happy to say the attic guest room is a huge hit! On Monday we visited Longwood Gardens for an afternoon of picture-perfect weather. Yesterday we went for a late-afternoon walk along forested trails in Valley Forge Park. I’ll post photos later.

In the meantime, here are three more from our Longwood visit on Monday afternoon. Proof that Spring has arrived for sure.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 May 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser, 30 April 2018, Longwood Gardens

Gumdrops, Spring and Dr. King

Like gumdrops
Filling a candy jar
Seconds of daylight
Pile up helter skelter
Cheery gold and lavender
Green, purple and red
Steal the show
From winter’s icy grip
One precious drop at a time

Snow and sleet this morning; sun promised this afternoon. Crocus and forsythia bloom no matter what falls from the sky. Relentlessly, they’re taking back their space and sending winter packing.

On 4 April 1968, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. I can’t think of another religious or political leader who has, in my lifetime, spoken truth to power as effectively as he did. Not once, but many times over.

Dr. King’s approach offers an alternative to Mr. Trump’s Make America Great Again. Dr. King’s option is about hope for our future, though not because we’ll all be Great in the Trumpian way.

Instead, like the silent approach of spring, we’ll join others to steal the show from our long national winter of discontent. It will take no more and no less than small acts of nonviolent hope, listening as we’ve never listened before, and one courageous vote at a time.

We don’t have to wait until we’re part of an army or national movement to do what needs doing. Nor are we promised rose gardens or fame in return for our service. Instead, we’re promised the soul-satisfying, dangerous work of living and speaking truth to overweening, soul-destroying power.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 April 2018
Photo found on pinterest.com

On this side of death

On this side of death
Life seems far away
Cold and unforgiving
A half-remembered song
Of dreamers now turned
A certain age still pushing
The limits of what body
And soul can take without
Warning or a notice in
The mail reminding us
The deadline for renewal
Is approaching

This morning the calendar
Says Spring is in the air
Yet all I see are fog and the
Stubborn snow of Winter
Still frozen on the ground
Hanging on for dear life
Reluctant to cede even
Half an inch of space to
Birds announcing it’s time
For warmth and loveliness
In the face of barrenness
And last Fall’s rot

Cars rush by outside
Perhaps they know what
I don’t know about what’s
Happening and where to
Find it when wheels are
Greased and running smooth
No hiccups or tremors
Or faintness of muscles and
Limbs aiming to make it
From one room to the next
Without colliding into
One’s own precarious
Body and soul

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 29 March 2018
Photo of the Gazebo at Longwood Gardens found at tripadvisor.com

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