Category Archives: Uncategorized

The experience of a great people

“The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights.  It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life.  It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, …

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Hopeful signs

“I’m looking for some hopeful signs — and something keeps telling me to look in your direction.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Today is my 800th published post, not counting the special posts linked above.  That number becomes more amazing to me the more I think about it.  Not only have I been writing that much, but …

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For a moment

“I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” — Henry David Thoreau Not long ago Jeff called me to the front …

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Foundations of ease

“Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.” — Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi I had to really think about this one for a few minutes; I wasn’t sure whether it was truth or wishful thinking.  Then I remembered the joke about the man who, when asked why he hit himself repeated on the …

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On noticing

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.” ― H.L. Mencken Have you ever noticed that we have a tendency to idealize that which charms us?  Because we like the appearance of a product, we might conclude that it’s more functional.  If we fall …

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A tree has something to say

“When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.” — Hermann Hesse It would …

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In familiar surroundings

“As much as I love to travel and see new things, I’m also a homebody.  No matter how far I wander, I’m always eager to get back to my own nest.  There’s nothing quite as satisfying as the little surprises that can pop up in familiar surroundings.  I find a great deal of pleasure right …

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In the tiny corners

“What God does in the tiny corners of our day-to-day lives is stunning and gorgeous and headline-making, but we have a bad habit of saving the headlines for the grotesque and scary.” ― Shauna Niequist Today, let’s shine the light on the headline-making happenings in the tiny corners.  I’ll start with a few of my …

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To number our days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12 (NIV) Jeff’s days are numbered.  But so are mine, and yours, and everybody’s. One of the benefits of slamming face-first into the reality of our own mortality is implied in the verse above.  I’ve found that many of the …

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After all

Though we know everything is bounded by time, there is, after all, baseball, in which time has its function, but does not rule. — from the poem “National Pastime“ by Bill Mayer Break free of time today, or sometime soon, even if only for a few minutes.  A baseball park is an ideal place to do …

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Silence sings

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.”  — Aaron Kilbourn Today, on Memorial Day, I hope you will join me in listening. This post was first published seven years ago on May 25, which was Memorial Day that year. The date was adjusted for this re-posting so that it would appear on Memorial Day weekend. …

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Changing so fast

“Things are changing so fast that what we once called ‘science fiction’ we now call ‘current events.’ “ — Ashleigh Brilliant Ashleigh penned that thought in the late 60’s, before humans ever walked on the moon.  Yet now his words are more true than ever, which paradoxically demonstrates that the more things change, the more they stay the …

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Flowerbeds with edibles

“Creating your own urban farm is as simple as planting your flowerbeds with edibles.” — Greg Peterson Given my failures at trying to keep the squirrels out of our tomatoes, I tend to doubt that it’s as simple as Peterson makes it sound.  Still, I find the idea intriguing.  I don’t want to give up my …

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We are all storytellers

“We are all storytellers, photojournalists of lives that are rich with tears, bruises, tenderness, strangeness and humor.  There’s nothing wrong with shooting smiles and holidays and rituals, but life isn’t a marketing campaign.  More interesting stuff is going on.  That’s your job as a photographer – to shoot the world as it is.  Remember that …

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The years teach us

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” ― Elizabeth Taylor (the novelist) One of the great blessings of having parents who live a long time is the ability to learn from them about how to handle what lies ahead.  As my siblings and …

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My garden of thoughts and dreams

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” — Abram L. Urban This year, the Yorktown Garden Stroll was scheduled a month early, in April instead of May. …

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The best baby-sitters

“The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida.” ― Dave Barry OK, you can blame this post on Jeff.  I preempted the post I had originally scheduled for this date, because Jeff told me …

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By the seeds

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”― Robert Louis Stevenson Spring is a time of anticipation and reward, but it also can be a time of impatience, when the weather is moody and unpredictable, and some of our plants don’t bloom as quickly as we wish …

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Poetry and fine sentiment

“There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson I agree with Emerson.  Beyond the delicious taste and health benefits, tea provides a pleasant daily ritual that requires pausing for at least a moment or two in preparation, and hopefully a few more minutes of pure enjoyment, …

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Deep roots

“The old that is strong does not wither.  Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien I quoted from this poem in an earlier post, but recently its timeless words have been on my mind again.  I was reminded of these particular lines by the daffodils in my yard. Daffodils …

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By the window

What life can compare to this? Sitting quietly by the window, I watch the leaves fall and the flowers bloom, As the seasons come and go.     — Hsueh-Tou Don’t you love sitting quietly by a window?  I don’t make enough time for it.  I always find it calming; the combination of sunlight (or moonlight) and …

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Blooming most recklessly

“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.” — Rainer Maria Rilke I probably say this every year, but I can’t remember when I was more eager for spring. Because I was expecting visitors in late March and early April, …

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Questions of faith and love

“…although the historical arguments for Jesus’s bodily resurrection are truly strong, we must never suppose that they will do more than bring people to the questions faced by Thomas and Peter, the questions of faith and love. We cannot use a supposedly objective historical epistemology as the ultimate ground for the truth of Easter.  To …

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Contentment and aspiration

“We are not to make the ideas of contentment and aspiration quarrel, for God made them fast friends. A man may aspire, and yet be quite content until it is time to raise; and both flying and resting are but parts of one contentment.” — Henry Ward Beecher I think I understand what Beecher was …

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The most exciting play

“The triple is the most exciting play in baseball. Home runs win a lot of games, but I never understood why fans are so obsessed with them.”  — Hank Aaron In typical fashion, Aaron turns the spotlight away from himself to voice an opinion I was relieved to read.  I thought I was the only one …

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