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Monthly Archives: October 2009

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This isn’t the greatest shot in the world, it’s just a shot that says to me:  Hang in there.  Because sometimes the world turns me upside-down, and inside-out, and I feel like I’m barely hanging on.  So, a little reminder is a nice thing.

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Everywhere we walk, I feel like I’m on a constant vigil to protect Kat from the spines and barbs and utter wickedness of the cacti.  Four year olds are curious and not always steady on their feet, which leaves me sounding like a broken record. “Don’t touch it.” “Be careful.” “That’s gonna hurt.”  It makes me feel kind of bad for her.  You see, I spent all of my childhood and most of my adult life being able to reach out and touch flowers and grasses and trees.  I’m tactile that way – wanting to know how everything feels.  It’s one of those things I’ve never been able to resist; the soft silk of a rose petal or a downy leaf of Lamb’s Ear.  The desert is simply full of jagged edges and sharp corners, which doesn’t exactly feed my tactile urges…or my desire for a soft place to land.

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They’re not Macintosh or Delicious, or Jonathon or Honey Crisp.  They don’t dangle precariously from branches, willing to fall at the slightest provocation.  You can’t stand in a sunny orchard, on a crisp autumn day, and eat to your heart’s content.  You can, however, get yourself a thick pair of gloves and some tongs and a bucket, some boiling water, vegetable scrubber, mason jars, and a paring knife, a little lemon juice, powdered pectin, and some sugar.  Once you’ve done all that, you can mash, blend, strain, allow to settle, separate juice from the sediment, add to mason jars, seal with paraffin, allow to set, cool, refrigerate, etc., etc.

Not quite the same thing as standing in a sunny orchard, on a crisp autumn day, eating to your heart’s content.  But, it will have to do.

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Everywhere else, the seasons are changing.  I hear stories from my midwestern friends and they speak of cool winds, rainy days, apple harvesting, pumpkin patches, and hayrides.  They talk about trees ablaze in color and the desire to hunker down; the signs are there about what’s to come and some of them are fearful.  But here?  Here, it’s 100 degrees and the only thing I fear at the moment is this “summer” will never end.  In honor of that, here’s an archive from my Michigan Summer and my mom’s perennial garden.

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There is no question I am very small in comparison to the big picture.  There is no question miracles happen.  There is no question nothing is left to chance, but is divinely inspired and executed with a purpose.  I stood in this spot, camera in hand, thinking:  I am small.  I am a miracle.  There is a purpose for the events making up my life.  No question.

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I have no idea why this picture makes me hear Smokey Robinson: 

So take a good look at my face

You’ll see my smile looks out of place

If you look closer, it’s easy to trace

The tracks of my tears.

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Some days, I believe I have more on my proverbial plate than I can handle.  It’s so easy to be mired down in the worldly static;  frustration, loss, grief, weariness, and regret.  Some days, any one of these emotions can wrap themselves around me in a stranglehold; the boa constrictor to my hapless rabbit.  It’s one of those poisons, despite how I try to ignore it, which can slowly creep up and ruin the day.  If I let it.  I was talking to someone recently who reminded me about living consciously and the need to honor the good with the bad; the need to accept and learn and move forward despite either fear or oblivion.  Those words made me realize what some days I forget – there really is something bigger.  Someone bigger.  Someone who would not have laid this snake at my feet if I were not able to overcome, learn, live, love, and find something positive in all things – good and bad.  Some days I need only look as far as the setting sun to let the reality of that miracle overcome me.