Author Archive: Julia

Because we are so loved

“I believe, with every fiber of my being, that when we are struck down by adversity, God weeps with us and, then, because we are so loved, heals us in ways we can never expect or even imagine.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach I’ve shared here in previous posts that the past eleven months, although fraught with devastating …

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Summer afternoon

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James Though summer has never been my favorite season, I can understand why the words “summer afternoon” are beautiful, especially for someone who lives in a cooler climate than the one where I grew up.  Summer coaxes …

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They knew things

“We know some things they didn’t know in the past, but they knew things that we’ve forgotten.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Here’s something to ponder: if you were to time-travel and suddenly swap places with a person of your age, gender and ability who lived two or more centuries ago, which of you would have a harder …

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Exquisitely dependent

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” ― Carl Sagan I plead guilty to that!  Or maybe not. On my list of things I find fascinating, my impulse would be to place “science and technology” near the bottom.  Actually, though, I’ve …

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A fascinating vitality

“Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.” — Roderick Haig-Brown We lived in Memphis during the years Jeff was in dental school, and …

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Going to the desert

“Modern life is becoming so full that we need our own ways of going to the desert to be relieved of our plenty.” – Thomas Moore The first time we ever drove across the United States en route to our new home in California, we thought we were making pretty good time when we arrived in …

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No time

“I have no time to be in a hurry.”— Henry David Thoreau When I was a child, I often heard talk of “the lazy days of summer.”  I haven’t heard that phrase in a very long time.  Indeed, summer seems more hectic than any other season, with vacations, activities and daily obligations packed so tightly …

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In season

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand.”  — Mother Teresa  With all the people in the world who are hurting for lack of love, can we really believe that it is within the reach of every hand?  Absolutely yes, if we think of love as something …

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Ultimately worthwhile

“Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile…initially scared me to death.” — Betty Bender In most ways I’m a cautious person, riddled with anxieties about all sorts of things, but some people get a false impression that I am bold or daring.  I think this is because certain traits that run strongly in me …

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Enliven and transform

“Instead of resigning ourselves to lives in which 75 percent of the day is less enjoyable or at best, neutral, we can find ways to enliven and transform these moments.” — Todd Kashdan Whatever you have planned for today, tomorrow, or this week, see if you can think up some ways to add sparkle to …

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The most perfect refreshment

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” — Jane Austen I have been so happy to see Jane Austen finally getting the attention she always deserved.  When I was a young mother, I loaned a copy of Pride and Prejudice to our teenage babysitter, …

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Something absolutely new

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” — Rajneesh (Osho) As most readers know, I normally schedule these posts well in advance, usually by about two weeks.  However, today I am making an exception and …

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He always stays

“A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near.”  — Mary Carolyn Davies However else I remember 2013, I will remember it as the year of saying goodbye to dogs. Within a few weeks of the day we …

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Our ordinary days

“Summer weather, like being in love, is a philosopher’s stone which turns our ordinary days to gold. But not the whole day… For it is never the whole day, never all our life which is transformed in any happiness, but only the exquisite moments.” — Nan Fairbrother More than any other season, summer seems to …

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You will flow

“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” — author unknown; attributed to Emmanuel Tanay Among the most ultimately comforting but persistently difficult teachings …

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A vision that stays

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always.  No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree.  The feeling they produce is not transferable.  From them comes silence and awe…they are ambassadors from another time.” — John Steinbeck It really is impossible to capture a forest …

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Carry your childhood with you

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”  — Tom Stoppard Here it is: photographic evidence that a lot of things about me haven’t changed in nearly half a century.  I still love cats.  I still love yellow.  I still wear my hair in a bun often (no wisecracks about librarians here).  And the camera, well, …

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Pay attention

“Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.” – W. H. Auden Auden captures a truth here that has always been evident to me, yet remains elusive in the ongoing rush of life.  When one is distractible or detail-oriented, …

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A full expression

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” — Ansel Adams This photograph of my friend Kathy, taking photos of me taking photos of her, is not a …

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Hope is at the root

“Hope is at the root of all the great ideas and causes that have bettered the lot of humankind across the centuries.” — Ronald Reagan Touring the beautiful grounds of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, it isn’t hard to understand why he was such an optimist.  There’s something about California that always …

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An enchanted hour

“An enchanted hour was filched from the hereafter and tossed into the lap of the present, as a foretaste of what is to come…A mystic world, into which we step as soon as we cross the threshold of the porch.” — Ethelind Fearon (1946) I don’t know why I have such a love of porches.  Perhaps it’s …

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Everyone belongs

No one is a stranger here. Everyone belongs. Finding our forgiveness here, we in turn forgive all wrongs. — Bryan J. Leech On a recent Sunday during worship in northern Virginia, we sang one of my favorite songs before communion.  A verse from the song is quoted above.  Having entered the assembly that day feeling …

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You wouldn’t be ashamed

“So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.” — Will Rogers We don’t have a family parrot, but we have something a bit more risky: a son with an exceptional auditory memory (which tested at the level of a 13-year-old when he was in kindergarten) and a …

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In a garden

The kiss of the sun for pardon The song of the birds for mirth One is nearer God’s heart in the garden Than anywhere else on earth — Dorothy Gurney I don’t know what it is about Canada, whether it’s the climate or the eagerness for warm weather or the souls of its people, but …

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Walk and be happy

“The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.” — Charles Dickens When I think about it, I’m surprised that this quote came from Charles Dickens.  It sounds more like something we’d hear …

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