Heart melodies

Grady in our Alexandria kitchen, July 2016

Grady in our Alexandria kitchen, July 2016

Bring me all of your dreams
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.
 — Langston Hughes

One great thing about dreaming, whether asleep or awake, is how portable it is. No place is more conducive to reverie than a beautiful landscape or seashore, but indoor spaces can offer us similar means of escape as long as we make time for a few minutes of solitude.  Cold weather gives us the chance to gaze into a mesmerizing fire with one hand wrapped around a hot mug. Warmer weather calls us to relax in the sunshine, enjoying the cool breeze or the perfect stillness of a lazy afternoon. With a little quiet contemplation, dreams can flourish in either setting.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing today, I invite you to spend a few minutes with your dreams. Wrap them lovingly to shield them from exposure to a too-rough world. Your heart melodies are needed to offset the discordant noise assaulting us from all sides.


  1. Good morning, Julia! What a perfect photo!
    And what a perfect picture, drawn with words.
    Today is a Hot Mug day for me! We were told to stay home today due to weather, so I plan to do just that.
    Sending extra cyber-hugs today, so you can give those darling babies extra squeezes!

    • Susan, after a hot mug day or two we’ve had another very warm weekend. I’m hoping this will mean early cherry blossoms this year…

  2. Jack

    I travel for a living. From the moment I get on an airplane Monday morning, to the Thursday afternoon drive to the airport I pine for home. The dreams of grandeur, of ease and comfort have yielded to just, simply, being home. Upon my homecoming tonight, my wife has signed us up for bridge lessons (imagine!), so instead of a nice warm fire, a meal with my beautiful wife, I’ll be playing bridge poorly, but with lifelong friends who care not a whit about their proficiency in bridge, but being together. Maybe that’s what home really is?

    • Jack, I think travel becomes harder for me the older I grow. About ten years ago I started saying to Jeff, “It takes a really fabulous place to be better than home.” I can well understand your longing to be there. But three cheers to your wife for signing you up for bridge! I bet you will have a great time and maybe even get good at it. And yes, that IS a big part of what home is…being together.

  3. Julia, I have offset my discord in reading this post.

    • Alan, that’s is GREAT news!

  4. MaryAnn Clontz

    Beauty! The poem, your words AND Grady at Grandparent Denton’s home! Finding a quiet space to dream & absorb God’s Goodness is paramount to peace! Thank you!

    • Thank you, Mary Ann. Like his father and grandfather before him, Grady is quite adept at creating an island of serene solitude for himself. He’s had that skill since infancy, as far as I can remember.

  5. Carolyn

    Grady is getting so big. I now you enjoy the little ones every chance you get. The pictures you have of Owen, on FB, are so sweet. My dreams right now are for nice weather, still could use some cool days, not ready for very warm days. We saw some daffodils in bloom today. Still have March and April to go. Julia you have been on my mind these past few days. Hope you are doing ok. I know the time is hard but take care. Back to dreams, our porch is ready to enjoy, I had coffee out there Tuesday, then it got to cold to be out. We have cold days and then the next warm. Love you guys. 💞

    • WOW, daffodils already! They are my favorite flowers, and DC will be abloom with them (whole fields of them near Arlington) for Jeff’s burial. We’ve been having many deliciously warm days lately. Today in the car I actually had to turn on the air conditioner briefly! Thanks for thinking of us– we think of you too, often and fondly! Love to you and Terry.

  6. Sheila

    Julia, your words are flowing again, with your spirit revived somehow. I read this first thing (before coffee) then again ( with princess nap) and just now ( in recliner). When I first glanced I thought the post was “Heart Medicine” and then I read it again. But maybe it really is! 💛 I’m so happy and knew in my heart you would “Defeat Despair”! Hi to Matt…. snow angels? ❄️

    • Hi Sheila, I like the idea of a princess nap. I’ll have to give it a try. The problem is that I am much more inclined to take an “aging dowager nap” if I let myself doze off at all! 🙂 Yes, heart melodies are good medicine. We had a very brief showing of snow last week, but it melted within an hour or two. Just enough to look pretty really briefly. Which is enough for me. How perfect that we have a fireplace on this month’s Verandah! See you there.

  7. What a sweet photo of your grandson and sweet thoughts to go with him. Lovely poem.

    • Thank you, Marlene. Grady doesn’t like being photographed but he apparently was in another world when I took this, so he didn’t seem to mind this one.

  8. Harry Sims

    Y G G!

    • T Y! (I think). 😀

      • Harry Sims

        You got it! 🙂

  9. Hey there Mr Grady Denton! You’re just the cutest little button ever 😀 I hope your dreams are coming true little man.
    I just feel like the luckiest girl on the planet most days. I have everything I ever dreamed of and more. The rough fingers of the world have tried to slam me at times but stubborness get me moving forward. Be stubborn Julia! Be unrelenting at asking for what you need most. Be sure that you are loved each and everyday! xo K

    • K, I love your advice, and it came to me at a time when I really needed it. Thank you. ❤ ❤ ❤ It reminds me of a favorite parable about a persistent widow, the woman in Luke 18:1-7.

      • I hadn’t read that before but will pop back in for another read. My eyes are heavy tonight xo Thank you for sharing J xo

        • Yes, it’s getting harder and harder for me to stay focused at night. I’m actually getting sleepy by the time it gets dark, which is unusual for me. I notice the same thing in Matt, too, who starts asking to get ready for bed about half an hour earlier than he used to before Jeff died. I think for both of us, it’s a sign of being depressed at spending our evenings without Jeff. Sleep is a way we escape from that sadness, if only temporarily.

          • Sleep is a way our bodies take time to heal too. It’s a medical certainty, more white blood cells are produced, your brain triggers release of hormones that encourage tissue growth and your blood pressure dips too. All good news on top of the temporary escape from sadness. I’m the first one to admit, some nights I burn the candle far too late, but I may catch a nap when I actually do feel tired since it’s quiet around our house most days. xoK

            • It really is wonderful that something I enjoy so much is also so good for me. It seems as if there are fewer and fewer things about which I can say that! 😀

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