Author Archive: Julia

Spring emerges

“As a child I used to think that spring happened suddenly.  Now I know that spring emerges gradually, as new as dawn—and as old.” – June Masters Bacher We had some unseasonably warm weather a few weeks back, and because of that (and OK, maybe because of what the ground hog said) I was expecting …

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Like a fire

“A place that ever was lived in is like a fire that never goes out.” – Eudora Welty The house pictured above is the place I will always think of as my childhood home. I’ve returned there, just to drive by it, several times since my parents first moved away more than twenty years after …

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Too important

“Human beings are too important to be treated as mere symptoms of the past. They have a value which is independent of any temporal process──which is eternal, and must be felt for its own sake.” ― Lytton Strachey I had a rough week, interacting with various robotic systems that were creating errors related to banking, …

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Life is there

And still the earth is cold and white, And mead and forest yet are bare; But there’s a something in the light That says the germ of life is there.           — Jane Goodwin Austin, “February,” c.1886 I searched through all my February photos and couldn’t find any that showed pretty flowery …

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There sat the world

“I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there sat the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside it.” – Patrick Ness When I was a child, we didn’t have nearly as many children’s …

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Generous beyond all reason

“This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: the facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things that ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.” — Augusten Burroughs Perhaps the …

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Small places in a large world

“A story is a garden you carry in your pocket. The stories we tell ourselves and each other are for pleasure and refuge. Like gardens they are small places in a large world. But…we must never mistake the stories we tell for truth.” – Alexandra  Curry Over 30 years ago in a Bible class, the teacher …

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To see wonders

Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer Of one small primrose flowering in my mind. Better than wealth it is, I said, to find One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear… …The years that pass Like tired soldiers nevermore have given Moments to see wonders in the grass. — Patrick Kavanagh This post …

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Hints of gladness

When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.    – Mary Oliver I had already begun putting this post together when I looked for a link …

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Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

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Flowers, always

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”― Claude Monet I was looking through my archives of January photos, and found this one from the first month of 2016. Jeff had brought me a dozen white roses for no particular reason, except that he knew I loved flowers, and I think he loved them nearly as much …

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If you can wait

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…  — Rudyard Kipling If I had to name my top five favorite poems, “If” by Kipling would definitely make …

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A song for all the years

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, …

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Downright goodness

“It is, without doubt, the gifts we get from our excursions into differences—the people we come to know whom we could never have met otherwise, the wisdom we see in those we consider to be simpler than ourselves, the downright goodness of those we fear because we do not know them—that make us bigger of …

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While time stands still

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” — Rachel Cohn As I write this, snow is covering the ground for the second time in the past month. Two snows BEFORE Christmas? Unprecedented in the life of this southern woman. And very unusual for northern …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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Never far

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” —James Norwood Pratt It seems contradictory that a chatterbox such as I would love silence as much as I do, but there it is. Perhaps it comes of having lived with Jeff for so many years. Or perhaps, in …

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A wonderful thing

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ― Voltaire The sixth anniversary of this blog passed recently, without mention by me or anyone else. The giddy hope that inspired a feeling of celebration on the first and second anniversaries gave way to reality, although I did recognize …

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Heroes who live among us

“There are two kinds of heroes. Heroes who shine in the face of great adversity, who perform an amazing feat in a difficult situation. And heroes who live among us, who do their work unceremoniously, unnoticed by many of us, but who make a difference in the lives of others.” —Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Yesterday was …

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The grand finale

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”— Lauren Destefano The weather here is finally cooling off enough that we are getting some splendid fall color, though it was still over 70 degrees several …

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A thing well done

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Surviving trauma and loss requires learning how to ride the waves of sorrow that threaten to turn exhaustion into despair and resignation. Despite the ever-increasing use of antidepressants, the efficacy of which has been called into question in several …

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Each must be the last

“Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.” ― Elizabeth Enright A great many of us have experienced an unusually warm autumn so far, though it seems the cold weather is creeping in. Eager for cooler temperatures, having had …

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Overheard by the soul

And we dance to a whispered voice overheard by the soul undertook by the heart. You may know it… —Neil Diamond There’s an intriguing story in the first book of Kings, in the Old Testament. The prophet Elijah was fleeing for his life, because the queen, Jezebel, had sworn to kill him. It was no …

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All serious daring

“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” — Eudora Welty By most standards, I have lived a very sheltered life. I don’t regret it. I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences, traveled widely and read extensively, but I also have had the luxury of being …

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This is enough

“The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know…Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” ― John Adams I can certainly identify with Adams’ observation about reading, thinking and anxious inquiry. In fact, I’ve noticed that my …

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