The begonia on my porch is showing her true colors this week. As each tiny bead of a bud pops itself open; it uncurls into a tiny pale pink bundle like a baby girls’s soft crochetted bootie found in the cradle’s end––a tiny soft wad. Then the sun beams on it and it unfolds and becomes a whirly swirl of deep pinkness. The center is splashed with white and the stamens support pollen heads of gold.
My younger brother used to choose a flower every morning to pin to his shirtfront or pull through his buttonhole. He hoped to garner smiles and start conversations. He loved to meet new people and chat with them. He hated television which he felt robbed people of the pleasures of friendship. He longed for the days when folks sat out on their porches and greeted passersby––neighbor, friend, or stranger with a wave, a bit of talk, a “Good day”, or a tip of the hat.
I dare say one of my begonia blooms would have made him happy. His buttonhole flower habit helped him remember that life was good and that he should enjoy every hour and every day. It reminded him to be friendly wherever he went. We could all use a vase of buds or a blooming plant around to remind us that friendliness, like my begonia, is bright with promise.
Like a feathered bird
Little summer surprise.
Wearing a pink tutu,
Dancing in the sun and breeze.
A 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.
“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.
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!