Friday, April 17, 2009

The Pepper Tree

The contrast of shapes and textures is nearly as sharp as the aroma of the pepper tree in our back yard, 67 years ago. Varigated browns and grays define layers of bark while thin danlging leaves offer lacy sunlight. Accents of red berries play hide and seek within the greens. Possible hiding places lurk among the branches after using the board steps nailed to the trunk next to the rope swing my father made.

The best view to my eyes was the blur of green against blue sky as I pumped the swing higher , reaching to touch extended branches with my bare toes. Then back I flew seeing the earth with its chicken scratches in the dirt, inhaling deeply for the next climb. My stomach tingled as my feet stretched to the teasing twigs, hoping to catch them in their dance.

Time to come in, my mother called. Always there are chores and homework. And always I can return to dreamy flights of imagination, soaring higher than rope and board can take me.

Later I will play at canning fruit in my mother's glass jars, filling them with fallen faded red berries.

A pattern for life - my pepper tree adventures. Soaring and singing and dreaming then returning to earth with its chicken scratches and droppings. Earthbound now, I can reach only as far as the rope of life that holds me. Someday i will escate those earth ties and soar away. I wonder if the spicy scent of pepper tree berries will cling in my memories.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter sitings

Reminders of Easter are everywhere. A tour of the nursery at OSH refreshed my vision, bright colors reaching out to be taken home. Two six-packs of impatiens wait in my patio.

Maudy Thursday service at Menlo Pres was solumn and worshipful. Piano and cello accompanied the choir and it was heavenly.

Unexpected glimpses of the importance of the Resurrection blessed my soul. Friday waiting for eye exam, a man and I began chatting. He had unsuccessful surgery to correct glaucoma, had to cancel a cruise he and his wife were taking. His eyesight is at risk in that eye. He expressed concern over missing Holy Friday mass and said his favorite festival is Easter. We shared the comforting thought that if everything else falls away, we have the Resurrected Christ.

Usually the laundry room is not a holy place. Last evening a Chinese man responded to my question about Easter by saying yes he goes to a Christian Chinese church.

A resident told me someone I know from a prior Bible study had a stroke and can't talk clearly. This Catholic resident was on her way to take her Bible to Mona. She knows Mona reads it very day. Mona may never be back here, she said. So we agreed Easter is a good reminder of our future.

We all need Easter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


How can I help a pigeon building a nest? I watch him picking at small twigs, rejecting some, finding the one with with just enough weight and flying away to the nest. I lay a few promising twigs on the patio for him to find. How does he know which ones will provide shelter for the eggs his partner still carries in her swollen body? Instinct, God given, directs his movements and choices.

How can parents assure God's blessing on their families? I picture those who love the Lord laying out the materials of faith, watching children grow and mature in the way God has chosen for them. Pigeons don't pray. Parents pray and provide snippets of faith, sharing what God is doing in their lives. Parents rejoice with evey step of Christian maturity and know it is a gift, and inheritance of believers.

I praise God today for His life I see in my children and in thier children.
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Lead us not into temptation

The new-to-me old rusty wrought iron bakers rack outside my window has become a launching pad for birds. I heard thumping noises and looked out to see 2 pigeons and a robin taking turns throwing themselves at the top of the window. I chased them away once, futily. Something up there is so intriguing to the birds they risk a major headache to reach it. Nothing of note hung near the window but I noticed some buggy-looking stuff under the window frame.
Aha, bugs are noteworthy to birds. So I grabbed my insect spray and did my best to rid the area of temptation for birds to bash in thier heads. Is that why we use the term "birdbrain?"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


My assortment of granddogs has a new member, Leah, a white powder puff of a dog, a Bicheon Frise. Of course Rachael had a hand in naming her since she has a name from Star Wars. Now when visiting my families I also have a dog to play with, from big black lab and golden Lucy to loving Pepper, and a white ball of fun. Now my goal in life is more visits to families.