Storm Cellar

10295-rose27spicnic116A storm cellar is dark and cool inside and damp and musty, but it is a welcoming place during a tornado or during a storm that might gender one. When the sky turns a ghostly sick greenish-yellow, no matter how dark and close a cellar is, it is a good place to ride out the tempest.

Looks grim, yes, but when parts of houses and barns fly, nails scream from wood, and the sound of destruction howls like a freight train––when rain pours like an ocean being emptied, there is no better place to be than underground.

This old cellar hasn’t been used in many a year. It wasn’t used the night a tornado killed eight people in our small town. Its owner slept through the big blow and only found the damage next morning. God was with her, she says.

What security does your life have for traumatic times? Do you have a refuge? A cellar like this might be enough for a twister, but for some of life’s blows it won’t do. We need family, we need friends, and we need God. He is the true refuge for man’s soul. You can weather any storm in His care.

Should you ever run to a shelter in a tornado or mid one of the storms of life, as I have, I can tell you, you will want Him there.

So Goes the Summer

_DSC8599As summer lingers with overheated days and evening thunderstorms, potted plants pine away as if they are exhausted. The porch swing is too lonely a place, yet a cat volunteers to keep me company. The air is heavy with moisture and heat. It is uncomfortable to sit outside and read; so I stay in under the air-conditioning and muddle through long days and wait for cooler days coming. I miss the out-of-doors. I want to walk and feel a breeze and hear the birds sing. Every morning, the sun comes up and pushes itself slowly across the blue dome of the sky. It sets quietly––almost apologetically––a bit earlier every day. Soon the cool weather will come. We will wear sweaters when we go buy pumpkins to set where summer plants expired. We will sip soup for supper and sleep with windows raised. I look forward, through these dog days, to autumn and the winds that will change green leaves to crimson and gold and send them fluttering to blanket the ground against winter.

Late Summer Dancers

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“There is no place like a meadow to walk your soul to peace.”

c. e. hollis

Under the blue of an Oklahoma sky, I walk in the overgrown grasses and the wildflowers. Here I find joy in the colors of the earth and in the sound of wind rustling the grass mixed with bird and insect music.

Here my soul finds rest.

Here my heart can renew.

Here my spirit can praise the creator and pray.

Here the late summer dancers, the coneflowers, twirl like ballerinas in pink and white tutus. I try hard not to crush a single flower––but touch them all.

A meadowlark on a old wooden fencepost sings to the day.

I sing too.

Butterflies flutter from flower to flower. Bumblebees buzz and bumble.

Grasshoppers spring out of my path.

 The satin blue sky overheard constantly changes as cotton clouds form and move in the wind.

No, there is no place like a meadow to walk your soul to peace.

Winter: Made in Summer

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Tomatoes,

still bubbling hot in their jars, cool on the a checkered dishtowel.

The red is a sight to excite the eyes in the hot dragging days of late summer.

I love canning.

It gives a sense of accomplishment––lifting the jars from the boiling water and setting them to cool. I know they will make good meals in the winter ahead.

They will be labeled and sit in the pantry shelves waiting for a soup recipe or a spaghetti sauce I want to make.

They will still taste of summer and garden and long sunny happy days even in February when I am weary of winter.

So today, I peel tomatoes and load them into jars with a slurp and a few drips (and a half teaspoon of salt). Come winter, they will be waiting––and so good!

The Old Farm

The old farm fades with yellow at the end of a hot summer. Sunflowers grow up in the fences and sneeze weed takes the pasture. Butterflies, bumblebees, cicadas, ants, honey bees, spiders, dragonflies and horseflies hover, zip, crawl, fly, buzz, and hum the moisture from the prarie grasses and wildflowers. The horses and cows graze peacefully flapping their tails at insects and ignoring the blazing sun. Farmers fill their tractors with fuel and cut and rake hay with sweaty bandanas wrapped ’round their dry throats. The bales are stacked along the north fence and firewood is split and stacked against the seeming impossibility of a coming cold snowy blowy wet harsh winter. No one on the old farm really expects the yellow will change to brown and then to white––at least not any time soon.

I Love Light

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I Love Light

I love the way sun slants into my house through the front windows as the sun rises.

I love the way it falls across the books on the bookcases in my livingroom and how it drifts silently and sweetly across the designs on my bed quilt. I love how a breeze touches the curtains and makes the lights and shadows shiver and shimmer like the surface of a pond when the wind ripples the sky’s blue reflection.

I love light when it falls on a summer rose in a bud vase or over a bouquet full of blooms–– a mixture of bright colors and whites like these.

I love the shadows and lines of light that fall in around and through the blinds and sheers. The straight patterns beside the flowing, curving, and fluted ones give me delight.

Yes, “delight,” which sounds like “no light” or unlit, but instead says joy.