Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Guest Blogging Elsewhere Today

"Far up in the deep blue sky,
Great white clouds are floating by;
All the world is dressed in green;
Many happy birds are seen,
Roses bright and sunshine clear
Show that lovely June is here."

Dear Beautiful Friends,

What a glorious June morning. It's calm, sunny, blue skies with birds filling our world with singing, whistles, and chirps. The air is sweet as there's no smoke—thankfully it's been clear here for a couple of weeks now, even though some fires still burn, alas, elsewhere in the province. 

Today, I am guest blogging over on InScribe. Chatting about Michelangelo the great sculptor and writing—musing about the interesting parallel between these two crafts. Click HERE to find my post Set the Writing Free. Hope you'll stop by.

I'll be back later in the month with a new blog post. In the meantime, I'm wishing you a beautiful day.

❦ Heart hugs,

Photo credit: Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Sunday, May 14, 2023

A Postcard Hello...

Dear Beautiful Friends,

Hello from sunny Alberta.
 Popping in to say I am well and trust things are fine with you.

Spring has finally arrived - it seemed to take such a long time
for it to green out this year. It's very dry. May Day trees are now in bloom,
and I wait to catch their fragrance on the breeze—hopefully today. 

Not quite feeling the usual exuberant gleefulness of spring;
our province is experiencing unusual hot weather. It feels like
April flipped straight into mid-July. The heat
as well as the lack of moisture and lots of wind have created
conditions for wildfires. And they are springing up in many places.
Our provincial emergency alert app goes off several times a day
as a new fire starts.


So many communities on evacuation alert, with many families
scrambling to evacuate their homes. Some have already lost their homes.
So heartbreaking! It all creates an unease in the atmosphere
even though personally we aren't involved at this time.
Although we did bring up suitcases last week when one fire
sprung up not too far from us. Yikes! Thankfully it was contained
and hopefully it's now out. We think about what to grab
if we had to go in a hurry. To be a little prepared.

We try to keep calm and carry on.
Deep breath.

In the midst, we had the delight to watch the Royal Coronation
in the UK last weekend. An awe-spiring service with all the
historical pomp and ceremony. Rick and I had the opportunity to visit
Westminster Abbey during our trip to England in 2016. 
What fun to recognize certain spots because we'd been there in person.
Enjoyed watching guests arriving at the Abbey. Such a
lovely parade of stately regalia and elegant ensembles... and hats.
Great fun when cameras captured little Prince Louie—his older sister,
Princess Charlotte, appeared to keep an eye on him; wasn't it sweet
when they held hands as they came in!

We relish the moments we have.

Birds are nesting - yesterday I saw a female robin slip through the branches
of the neighbour's cedar tree by the garage. What a perfect spot
for a nest. Will keep our eyes on her comings and goings. 

A book I've enjoyed this week is Letter from New York
by Helene Hanff (author of 84, Charing Cross Road). It was first published
in 1992. It's a delightsome collection of what originally had been monthly
five-minute radio scripts for the BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Broadcasts from
1978 to 1984. Miss Hanff entertained her listeners with a lively
glimpse of history, culture, and daily life in New York City where she lived
during the mid-20th century. I found it gently distracting, and soothing,
in the midst of what is going on these days.

I miss you and think of you often.
The break away has been good. It has
allowed my mind to think about other needful things.
Spring is always a busy time, don't you find?

Don't know when I'll be back on a regular basis.  In the meantime,
I'll drop an occasional postcard to let you know I'm still here. Still well.
Still reasonably happy and staying grateful.

Sending you love and heart wishes for a beautiful day.
Happy Mother's Day!


Photo credits:
Top: Katya-Guseva from Pixabay

Friday, April 14, 2023

Waiting for Spring: Grateful for Books and an Imagination

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her
loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also."

Spring is still in its early stages in these parts - snow is gone in our garden but there are a few icy patches here and there in the area. We spotted the green nubs of the crocuses one day this week under the oak tree. The next morning we were disappointed to find they'd been nibbled off - guess Mr. Rabbit was waiting for them as eagerly as we were. While our world is still brown and we wait for the nights to stay above freezing, I hungrily gather images of the season from sources other than nature:
- poetry books with their sections on spring themes;
- nature books such as Nature Writing for Every Day of the Year (Jane McMorland Hunter), Spring Anthology (Melissa Harrison), and Emma Mitchell's nature diary The Wild Remedy;
- magazines filled with spring imagery and bright photography such as Country Life and Victoria;
- my blogging friends who live where spring arrives earlier and share their photos.
Even my own memories are pressed into service. I remember my siblings and I looking for pussy willows in the early spring when I was a girl. And while I wait, I use my imagination, what Wordsworth refers to as 'the inward eye which is the bliss of solitude'. And imagine daffodils dancing in the breezes. 

Today I feel so grateful for the gift of being alive. For the gift of observation as I watch the clouds building in the spring blue skies. I listen to the birds singing and wait for the song of the first robins to arrive in our area - haven't heard them yet. I watch the trees, squinting as we drive along forested edges on the highway for any noticeable changes to their dormant browns. Surely I see the faintest hint of green on the bare branches, or am I just wishful thinking?

I'm not impatient, but I am so leaning forward.

I turn to lines written by Dorothy Wordsworth, sister to William, from The Grasmere Journals (1802). As I read these lines, they make me feel alive with anticipation... and joy:
"When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils close to the water-side. We fancied that the sea had floated the seeds ashore, and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and yet more; and at last, under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the mossy stones about and above them; some rested their heads upon these stones, as upon a pillow, for weariness; and the rest tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew upon them over the lake; they looked so gay, ever glancing, ever changing ... There was here and there a little knot, and a few stragglers higher up."

I peek into Elizabeth von Arnim's delightful novel The Enchanted April (1922) and read this favourite passage. It's when Mrs. Wilkins opens the shutters on her first morning and looks out:
"All the radiance of April in Italy lay gathered together at her feet. The sun poured in on her . . . and underneath her window, at the bottom of the flower-starred grass slope from which the wall of the castle rose up, was a great cypress, cutting through the delicate blues and violets and rose-colours of the mountains and the sea like a great black sword.

She stared. Such beauty; and she there to see it. Such beauty; and she alive to feel it. Her face was bathed in light. Lovely scents came up to the window and caressed her. A tiny breeze gently lifted her hair. Far out in the bay a cluster of almost motionless fishing boats hovered like a flock of white birds on the tranquil sea. How beautiful, how beautiful. Not to have died before this . . . to have been allowed to see, breathe, feel this . . . She stared, her lips parted. Happy? Poor, ordinary, everyday word. But what could one say, how could one describe it? It was as though she could hardly stay inside herself, it was as though she were too small to hold so much of joy, it was as though she were washed through with light." 
Ahh. I feel that, as if I'm standing there by the window myself, letting the beauty wash over me. I think of that ancient line in Isaiah 6:3, 'The whole earth is full of His glory'—as I imagine that morning alongside Lottie Wilkins, I feel it to be true.

On another note, I am taking some time away from the blog to work on other writing projects. It's the middle of April, we're a quarter through the year, and I'm not anywhere near a quarter through my audacious writing project list for 2023. Plus, we are taking a short road trip to another province for my niece's college graduation next week. So I won't be around for the next while. I'll try not to be away too long. I'll think of you often. Until then... 

Happy dreaming and my best wishes for a beautiful Spring,

Photo credits:
Top: Image by Ralph from Pixabay
Middle and bottom: Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life, 2017