Measuring My Days

August 2006
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“No art can exceed the mellow beauty of one square rod of ground in the woods this afternoon.  The noise of the locust, the bee, and the pine;  the light, the insect forms, butterflies, cankerworms hanging, balloon-spiders winging, devils needles cruising, chirping grasshoppers;  the tints and forms of the leaves and trees, -- not a flower but its form seems a type, not a capsule but is an elegant seedbox,  -- then the myriad asters, polygalas, and goldenrods, and through the bush the far pines, and overhead the eternal sky”

                         Ralph Waldo Emerso

                         from The Laws of Nature


Chalet L’Abri, August, 2006….

Measuring My Days….acg



          The great pendulum of our Milky Way has hesitated now at mid-year and swings backward to shorten each day, not altogether imperceptibly.  Subtle hints of the waning year remind me again of how fleeting our days.  Chicory & Queen Anne’s lace bloom again faithfully and profusely along the byways of our valley.  Roadside produce markets are hawking their luscious berries and veggies.  Bounteous summer rains have revived the parched land and the landscape is green again with weeds maturing earlier than the calendar portends.  A family of kildees that nested on the edge of the parking lot of the store where I work have vanished -- not likely to be seen again until next summer.  And this is the serendipitous time of year when monarchs waltz magically through the wildflowers to trumpet their message of eternal life.   And friend Rosemary, in New Zealand, informs me that jonquils are abloom “down under.”

          A number of my friends and kin are facing illnesses, challenges, and passages that set me on a quest to storm the Holy Gates on their behalf as well as for myself.   Perhaps not by chance, I am reading again a series of sermons by James Stewart that speak so eloquently of how to cope with suffering.  He takes his text from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, verse 6:  “Never be anxious, but always make your requests known to God in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.”  Bring God into it”, writes Stewart.  “Get the horizons of the divine around it.  Undergird it with the love of Heaven….When you are feeling fretted and unhappy…when life is doing its level best to thwart your plans and defeat your hopes, pause and remember the lovely things on the other side, all God’s troops of stars amid the darkness….Forget not you are His debtor for every breath you draw;  the debtor for life and intellect, and memory and hope, and the courage to endure;  His debtor for day and night, and the wind on the heath, and the light of sunset skies;  His debtor for every moment of insight, every clasp of the hand of a friend, every atom of beauty in the world around you, every experience of forgiveness at the foot of the cross of Jesus.  Be sure you see to it, says Paul, that you face your difficulties and frustrations in the light of the mercies and blessings, “in prayer and supplication – with thanksgiving.”


          “Where there is great love there are always miracles.”      Willa Cather