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Measuring My Days

October 2007
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"We write, we make music, we draw pictures, because we are listening for meaning, feeling for healing. And during the writing of the story or the painting or the composing or singing or playing we are returned to that open creativity which was ours when we were children. We cannot be mature artists if we have lost the ability to believe which we had as children. An artist at work is in a condition of complete and total faith."         Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water

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      High in this October moonscape watercolor soars a squadron of migrating sandhill cranes. Look closely and  use your imagination to reckon where their flight began and ends.  All through the month of September I saw smaller flocks of Canadian geese flexing their muscles in V formations flying very low.   Their flights gave my days on the golf course a special dividend (when my golf score wasn’t PGA notable!)  I found myself sending up a Deo Gratis for the clear skies, a good soaking rain that preceded these golf days, a pleasant breeze, a special measure of good health, my American freedom, our troops, and a lone monarch butterfly headed southward.  Now in retrospect, I muse, small wonder that my golf score would betray my state of mind.  How can one focus on hitting that little white ball perfectly with so many distractions out there in God’s great big beautiful wonderful world?  Too, a whirling, wheeling, diving, soaring flock of starlings waltzed their way into and out of my line of sight from horizon to horizon.  Was I hearing the Vienna Philharmonic playing Strauss?  It helps to be a little bit demented to play golf, don’t you think?  Laugh here.

            Now is the time to “put away summer” and prepare for the coming winter.  The water hoses are brought in, the outdoor faucets are drained, the house is secured with caulking and insulation, the gutters are cleaned, the bird feeder is up and filled.   Observing closely, the bed of annuals are becoming more intense in color, or so it seems to me.  The reds become maroon, the oranges more red, the pinks a deeper pink, the yellows deepen to gold.  It is as though they wish to announce to the world that life is more precious as the end draws near, as indeed it should be.  “At the end of life’s summer, why should we not join with the forest that surrounds us to let the glory out?” 

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“There is an inner beauty we can grow all the way to the end. Paul says, "Our outer nature is wasting away but our inner nature is being renewed day by day. Therefore we do not lose heart." If there is an art we need to learn and practice, it is that of interior decorator, longing to nurture within the spirit that God gives, the spirit that is loving and joy, creative and giving, caring and self-disciplined, the spirit of Jesus that is the beauty of the soul no matter the shape of the body. This is the ultimate beauty we ought to admire and pray for and seek to grow toward to the very end. “ Gil Bowen

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  II Corinthians 4:16-18