This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Christmas Book Tree’s

This post if full of great creative ideas. Has anyone else done this?

The Reading Chick

I was in Columbia, TN this week wandering around their downtown and wandered my way into a bookstore. Funny how that happens!  What drew me in was this beautiful Christmas book tree in the window of the store. (I’ll be honest, the books did too!)

Book TreeI took a picture and turned to the guy at the counter and asked him how many books it took to make this tree. He said “I dunno.” Very disappointing answer! I can’t imagine I’m the first person to walk into the store and ask that question. Anyway, I took a picture and marveled at how high it stood, wondering if I had enough books at home to make one.  I probably do, but it would leave my bookshelves absolutely empty! As well as the thought of putting all of those books back on the shelves persuaded me to not build a tree quite that…

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Change of Season Inside and Out

This summer seemed to be a perfect growing season. We had a lot of warm and humid days with just the right amount of rain.

My focus was on the outside. Gardens and traveling. Getting together with family and friends.  Going all the time. Focusing on other people and other places.

The farm fields were bursting with life and growth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen corn so tall. Some of the roads felt like driving between tall, green walls of cornstalks. Most of the wonderful views were hidden until now, as row by row crops have been harvested and it feels like the world has opened up again.

With the change of seasons I find myself drawn inside more. Both inside myself and indoors. Time to bring my attention closer. Like the views, my mind is opening up. Maybe it was growing season for my thoughts?

Soon there will be snow drifting over the open fields. It’s time to make my home a cozy haven for the cold months ahead and explore what has ripened in my mind.

Oh, if I could be more like a tree on this Sunday morning

This is a beautiful post from one of my favorite blogs. Please visit Live & Learn by David Kanigan. Happy Sunday.

Live & Learn

See how the trees
Reach up and outward
As if their entire existence
Were an elegant gesture of prayer.
See how they welcome the breath of spirit,
In all its visible and invisible forms.
See how the roots reach downward and out,
Embracing the physical,
The body and bones
Of its soul of earth and stone,
Allowing half its life to be sheltered
in the most quiet and secret places.

Oh, if I could be more like a tree on this Sunday morning,
To feel the breath of invisible spirit
Touch me as tenderly as a kiss on the forehead.
If I could courageously and confidently
Dig down into the dark
Where the ground water runs deep,
Where shelter and sanctuary
Can be had and held.

Ah, to be like a tree
With all its bent and unbent places,
A whole and holy thing
From its topmost twigs
To the…

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Saved Flowers and Hummingbirds

It has been almost two years since we moved and I am happy to say that there isn’t much that I miss from the old house. It’s a great feeling to know that while we were there we were very happy but that time is over with and I have moved on without any regrets.

I knew however, I would miss some of the plants in my gardens so I brought two of them with me.

One is a Canna that I have wintered over in a pot for years. Canna in pot

I’m not sure of the exact cultivar. It has amazing leaves full of color and patterns. And the flowers are a bright cheerful orange. I keep it in the pot and put it in the garage every winter since it isn’t winter hardy here. Every couple of years I divide it, keeping some in the pot and planting others in the ground. I got this plant years ago when I worked at a nursery. I’ve always had it grow in the pot outside our garage and I have continued that tradition here. This summer I needed to divide it and I planted four small ones along the side of the house. Needless to say they are very happy here! cannas 1

The other plant that I knew I would miss is called Lady-In-Red Salvia or Salvia coccinea.

Lady flowers

Salvia coccinea

 

The flowers on these delicate annuals are hummingbird magnets. I had them planted just outside of my screened in porch and it was magical to sit in that porch and have hummingbirds come right up to me.

 

I collected some seeds and brought them with me when I moved. Early this spring I started them in pots and when they were big enough I planted them in the ground outside our front porch and in the back by the patio. Then I waited.

You can’t imagine my delight the first time a saw a hummingbird sipping from these flowers. A female ruby-throated hummingbird has been visiting for the last few months and it makes my day whenever I see her.

I discovered that she likes the flowers on the Cannas too so that was a fun surprise.

It may seem silly if you aren’t into plants and gardens but these two plants make me feel settled here and somehow that despite everything, all is right in my little part of the world. That there is beauty and continuity even when so much changes in life.

And if you believe in such things, hummingbirds represent joy. I couldn’t agree more.

That’s Okay.

Summer has flown by for me.

It has been full of growth, experiences, and a season of transitions. Good and bad. And not just for me but for the world it seems. It was just full to the brim. Overflowing, really.

I think I felt overwhelmed by so many things and in some ways shut down. Yet at the same time I was observing all that I could. Really feeling life. Really trying to understand all I was seeing and experiencing. Which was great!

I’ve also been exploring different outlets of creativity which is fun and exciting.

My writing stopped. I kept up with my journaling but not really any other writing. The strangest part of that was that I didn’t care. I go through dry spells but when I do I’m always wondering why or worried about not writing. Not this time. I didn’t worry and it was okay.

I think my energy was going to other things. There is always so much to deal with in life so I was doing that. Again, good and bad. I just went with that energy.

And that was okay.

Now the words are coming back. The first sign of that was not sleeping well. I have to be writing regularly otherwise my thoughts become too numerous and unruly. They are like petulant children who aren’t getting enough attention and begin demanding it. My priorities become unclear and I end up doing too much of everything except writing. Writing helps keep me and my life in order.

I don’t even realize that this is the problem until I try to write it out. And then its like the flood gates open and I get writer’s cramp from trying to get it all down as fast as I can. And it comes out in a disorganized jumble of thoughts.

This gets messy. And this is why I should know better than to let it go so long. But it’s exciting to get back into it again. I hope it lasts to become a habit again. Time will tell.

I decided to write a blog post. You know, start small and say hello again. Hello!

Well, that became five pages of handwritten notes that probably could be revised into at least a half dozen or more topics.

Like this post. I’m sitting with my scribbled notes and had planned on writing something totally different. These are the thoughts that made it first. Fascinating, isn’t it? The way our minds work?

And that’s okay.

Happy Summer

Hello. It was a really busy spring and today I am sinking into the warm breezes of summer. What have I been up to? There were gardens to plant. 

 

 

 

We went on vacation for ten days. Our first big trip in a long time. We camped in the mountains of Virginia,visited family in North Carolina

 

 

 

 

and explored the Luray Caverns.

 

 

 

We met our new grand kids. Literally. Kids!

We are also into our busy season at work with Summer Reading programs. Whoever says that kids aren’t reading sure hasn’t been to our library lately! They are checking books out by the armful which makes me very happy. And more than reading they are also talking about the books they are reading. That is a lot of fun.

I have been doing some writing. Not as much as I should but I’m making progress.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Some for myself and some for work.

Today I am getting caught up in the blog world. I have been seriously lax about that. It’s nice to visit again.

How is your summer going?

My Excuse is Spring

I was on a roll with writing and then spring arrived. With spring comes an energy that I get swept up in. The whole world around me comes to life and I become a part of that.

Even though I have only a tiny piece of this earth to take care of, it takes time and energy. Because this house was new construction I am taking the care of this bit of ground seriously. I feel it’s my job to heal and rebuild my little bit of land.

So I’ve been raking, weeding, mulching and planting. I’m very happy that I planted so many bulbs last fall and am enjoying the crocuses, daffodils and tulips.

I’ve had fun seeing what the anemones would do since I’ve never grown those before. Bulbs are so cheerful in the spring and well worth the effort.

Gardening is also creative. I spend a lot of time trying to decide what to plant and where. It’s fun to think about colors and textures. Gardening is a bit of trying to predict the future; envisioning how plants and flowers will look when they are mature.

There is something about spending time on the ground that is so healing and calming. Stewardship of the land is a two-way street; the land and I take care of each other. Ultimately this is the basis of life here on earth and being able to literally be ‘hands on’ is wonderful.

This post got a little deep, didn’t it?

So back to writing. I have seasons of writing too. Luckily I have a few friends who periodically ask me how my writing is going and that is the gentle nudge I need. Now I am back at it. Thanks to you who keep me going. I appreciate it.

I would write more today but the outdoors is calling!

I hope all of you are enjoying spring or whatever season you are in. Keep creating where ever you are!