Sunflowers seem to invoke cheer, the way roses appeal to our sentimentality.
Category Archives: Reflections
For the several years my husband has planted sunflower seeds in the spring, they have come up tall and strong by the onset of summer in all their Sunflower Yellow glory. Ours are now forming flowers in their still-green stage. Their stalks are straight, tall, strong, and prickly.
I was trying to recall who wrote a poem with a refrain, “And I am waiting for the rebirth of wonder,” and came up with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in whose poetry I lost interest while I was still in high school. I Googled the quote anyway, and it seems lots of people have used it, and it wasn’t expressly clear whether Ferlinghetti was the first.
Whoever wrote this line, it enters my mind when I await the bloom of sunflowers, and other wondrous and beautiful bounties with which our Creator blesses us, for nothing we have done.
A sunflower begins its complex process of blooming: it will undergo metamorphoses from verdant to gold, and prickles to petals.
“I am waiting for the rebirth of wonder.”
Another fitting line: “Death is the mother of beauty.” (from Wallace Stevens’s poem, Sunday Morning).
Since last Saturday, weather and work squeezed out any fishing time for my husband and me until today. This morning we finally had time to go to the nearby pond. The legal limit for trout there is five per day per person. I caught the limit in less than an hour. None seemed to want to hitch on to Vic’s line, though we were using similar lures.
One trout rode my hook, and I reeled him in to shore, only to have him jump back into the water. After a brief time, he evidently regretted his escape, and swam back to the shore and stopped there. I reached in with my grippy glove and lifted him from the water. He was passive or exhausted. I handed him off to Vic for dispatch. He discovered the source of the trout’s passivity. In a previous encounter, he had swallowed a hook and escaped with it. The hook was lodged in his stomach. How sad; but I suppose he appealed to us to end his misery. Vic has read that fish have no nerves in their mouths, but that is not to say that a hook in the stomach doesn’t hurt.
We returned home with the five and Vic prepared them for canning. They filled three quart jars.
Fishing is such a blessing. I’m violently allergic to fish, but I love fishing. My husband also enjoys fishing, and fish is a healthy component of his diet, as well as a food he finds very agreeable.
Our Lord shared fish with His disciples after His resurrection. Fish is a Gospel food, and all we catch is thankfully consumed.
Preparing fresh-caught trout for canning
After yesterday afternoon’s 90°+ heat, we attempted to sleep through a lightning storm flashing brilliantly, even through our opaque Roman shades. There was no thunder or rain, only lightning. Normalcy resumes; the temperature is in the 60’s and clouds cover the sky with no blue in sight.
Effie naps. She spent a few hours in Effieland earlier this morning. The bugs are returning from their winter holiday, and Effie was digging up beetles. She prefers crickets and mantises, but they will arrive later.
Spring asserts its hold for now. Winter is not inclined to return; summer put in a preview performance yesterday, but after taking her bow, she properly conceded the stage to Spring.
Effie looks forward to tasty bugs. I look forward to watching her make amazing leaps catching them, on the wing and on the ground. My own aspiration is almost as dramatic: I look forward to catching a Steelhead. >><<<<<>°
I wish I could learn this skill from Effie. . . .
We knew it was the wind plexus of the planet when we moved here. We’d lived with wind before—even tornadoes. But the wind wasn’t the villain so much as the clown.
The clever little chicks we acquired two weeks ago are growing fast. I thought perhaps the feed store had unknowingly received ostrich chicks instead of chicken chicks, but they look just like our grown Rhody hens looked when they were chicks. The chicks actually are a little more clumsy than they are clever.
My husband went into our shop this morning on his usual routine chore circuit, to get the mature chickens’ food and bring it up to their outdoor house, retrieve Cat Halvor’s bowl so I can wash and fill it with his morning refill; and check on the chicks, whose hutch is in the shop and warmed with a heat lamp.
Our shop is a kind of life axis, housing Halvor, the dory and skiff my husband built in the shop, tools for working on our vehicles and everything else, and the chicks, who possess concurrently the traits of precocity and stupidity. The shop itself also is important to us, having made our home remodeling projects possible as well.
This morning my husband discovered the chicks’ heat lamp had been overturned and the air in the shop was smoky. A fire could have started had he not discovered the downed heat lamp when he did.
The mortifying news shook me terribly hard, harder than the 30 mph wind. The thought of coming so close to such emotionally devastating losses as well as material loss has been ruggedly visceral.
But the wind, the wind. . .30 mph gusts lifted one of our plastic trash containers, pulled off the latched lid, liberated the liner bag which immediately became airborne and flew down our steep driveway ahead of the low-flying container, and uplifted the bag-tied kitty litter scoopings and other items formerly secured in the container, and all sailed down the road to unaccustomed freedom.
I called my husband, and he came home and fetched the runaway trash container. Its erstwhile contents were not readily retrievable.
I can’t say a good time was had by all, but I will say that I am boundlessly thankful for the kind grace of our Lord, who knows what we can bear, in sparing us a fire.
I’ve had a sinus infection for going on two weeks. If that were not enough, an old pain in one of my teeth returned, right at the site of the root canal my dentist performed five years ago. I aced the procedure, but had zero desire for a replay.
Thursday afternoon, after two days of throbbing, I called my dentist’s office and explained the return of the pain. The sympathetic receptionist worked me in for an appointment Monday. The office is closed Friday, and she told me I should not hesitate to call my dentist on his cell phone Friday if the pain became unmanageable. He would come in to the office with an assistant and check out the problem.
I knew that. My dentist is a superior being. He once met my husband and me at his office, the evening of Memorial Day. He drafted his son-in-law to assist him.
Today is Friday. I awoke to an ancient memory. I have had this pain before. It’s some kind of knack with me, to get sinus infections; I have had a lot of them. The maxillary sinuses have a nerve relay indistinguishably near the back teeth, where my root canal was done.
I checked my back teeth in the mirror. Aha! My gums in the canal zone were significantly inflamed. The connection light finally switched on.
I deduced that the pain had nothing to do with my teeth or the root canal, but was due to sinus inflammation. The throbbing subsided within half an hour after taking an anti-inflammatory combo of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
I’m still trying to decide whether to take consolation from the theory that, at this point in life, my teeth are better than my memory.
Effie’s sunshine greeting far exceeds the melting point of PTSD.
At last I am gaining perspective. It’s still weak, but I am coming around to believing that an auto accident a year ago in which no one was significantly hurt (except for a torn tendon in my right elbow that hurt for nine months; and Grünhilde, my Audi and a veritable member of the family, who was totaled) is not a sufficient reason to torque my worldview downward.
With the help of God through His Word, and my husband, my pastor and Effie, now on therapy cat duty (as she probably always has been), I am able to concede that every driver on the road is not specifically out to harm me.
Particular noteworthy Bible verses coalesced in my attention sphere this morning.
“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.” Job 40:4
(All verses above are from the New King James Version (NKJV), © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)