Five Minute Friday: Build

Gentle Reader,

Spent last night at a middle school basketball game. Brought back memories of my own years playing the game. Always had fun, but I was never good. Glad I discovered that my talents lay elsewhere. It’s easy to get over the disappointment of not being a great athlete when you busy yourself by being in plays and writing for the school newspaper.

Kate says: build.

Go.

Do you wanna build a snowman?

I don’t know how much of the white stuff we’ve gotten today, but it’s been coming down for hours. The big, fluffy flakes that are beautiful at Christmas but annoying by February. Long, heavy icicles dangle from the tree just outside the window, breaking off every so often, disappearing into the drift below. The few hardy birds that stick around during the winter months circle above, searching for something. Both of my dogs alternate between sighing and snoring, bored with being cooped up in the house but unable to fight the urge to sleep the hours away.

Can’t blame them. Feeling drowsy myself.

I wonder about my pioneer ancestors, the ones who trekked across the country in the hopes of making a better life for themselves. Their moments of stir-craziness must have been worse than ours. Granted, much of their time was taken up with simply surviving, but still. And for them, not a soul for miles around, the lowing of cattle too stupid to take shelter in a barn the only break in the silence.

Normally, I love silence. I love having the space to breathe and think. But at this point in the season, it’s just oppressive. Almost as if the snow wants to smother us.

Yet, for all my crankiness, it’s still a wonder to me that each flake is unique.

With that, my thoughts turn. Are there seasons in Heaven? What kind of home is God building for us there? Will I have the greenhouse I currently long for, filled with lovely flowers and the freshest fruits and vegetables?

When I think on that…maybe the snow’s not so bad. Maybe it’s still beautiful. Maybe it’s still a wonderful expression of God’s great creativity.

Maybe I can go ahead and be grateful for this moment.

Stop.

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Five Minute Friday: Who

Nature Song

Gentle Reader,

These are the last bright, colorful days of Autumn. Squirrels race to pack their secret warehouses. The dog’s coats grow thicker. Soon, clouds roll in. Rains drip and drop. Then, snow. But right now – a dazzling display. A brilliant declaration of the existence and abiding presence of the Creator.

Kate says: who.

Go.

On Autumn nights
Clear and sweet
The crystals dance
Across the sky
Waltzing to an
Ancient melody – steady
The one that
God dreamed up
Nature tunes its
Instruments to the
Hidden music – delicate
Frogs croaking in
Shadow next to
Crickets, grass, water
High above all
Cries the owl
“Hoo?” or maybe
“Who?” a question
The answer I
Do not have
But God knows
God, He sees
God, He hears
Caresses little owl’s
Head and says,
“For this, now,
Is why I
Made you, bird.
Steady, keep watch.”
I snuggle down
Beneath the sheets
Content to dream
While owl stays
Guard to keep

Stop.

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Five Minute Friday: Play

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Apropos of nothing, a little poem I wrote the other night:

Mountain and meadow,
Sunlight and shadow,
All made to glorify Thee

Birds here, beasts there
Fauna tall, flora fair
Every one singing of Thee

Child’s laugh to old man’s sigh
Calendar pages flying by
Humanity aching for Thee

It’s the five-minute flash write with the fabulous people. We: play.

Go.

All these pretty happy shiny people with their pretty shiny happy Instagram posts, loving summer.

My disdain for you knows no bounds.

That’s not really true. There are people for all seasons and seasons for all people. This isn’t mine. Which is odd. Because I was born in August. The hottest month of the year around these parts.

Summer is the time for extroverts, I think. They get to go out and play in all the groups with all the noise and all the mess. Me? I’m sitting inside, by my air conditioning unit, sulking. Waiting ever-so-impatiently for late September and the slide into non-tortuous temperatures. For rain and boots and scarves and crisp mornings that beckon one out into the glorious, changing expanse.

I hate summer. People get depressed in winter; me, I feel low in the haze and the heat. Yes, I’ll go play with you for awhile. I’ll swim or enjoy a ride in a boat. I’ll certainly eat ice cream. I do love to garden. But after an hour – I’m done. It’s over. I’m sweating and sticky and my facial expression is involuntary, major side-eye. The great she-crab just wants to retreat into her shell. (Do crabs do that? Probably not).

How glad I am, as Anne Shirley was, that we live in a world where October exists.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m gonna do
‘Cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

– Cochran & Capehart

Stop.

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Five Minute Friday: Green

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Spent last evening hanging out with a couple of my godddaughters and so missed the chat. I was exposed to “Lalaloopsy.” Parents, I applaud you for not tearing your hair out. What happened to cartoons?!

Kate directs us to write about: green.

Go.

The leaves on the maple tree in my front yard put the best of Monet’s paintings to shame. There is no doing justice to the subtle shifts of color, no capturing the way the light plays on each shade. Dark and mossy nearest the grayish brown limbs fades into a true green, then a bright kelly. The delicate ends of each leaf are splashed with lime. Hints of yellow and orange mark the changing of the seasons.

A gentle breeze, full of crisp autumn notes, stirs the leaves into a symphony. They clap against each other, rustling and shushing. A few of the less tenacious members flutter to the grass below. Veins, rapidly drained of water, stand in bas relief against the paper-thin background. This green will disappear, swallowed up in a riot of burgundy and prairie winds.

The grass stirs in shifts and shadows. Its texture is not that of high summer. It neither fresh nor inviting. This grass is ready for the sleep of winter, the green expanse pockmarked with bleached blades that feel like hay beneath my fingers. Well-worn pathways trod by paws snake this way and that.

The world begins to close its shutters. Rose leaves curl up and drop to the rocks in the flower bed below. Each day the green of the daylily bunches is sapped by white-gold. One morning soon I will awake to glittering frost. The green will be gone, tucked away in the sleeping trucks of trees and the soft earth far beneath the hard surface, waiting to burst to life come spring.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)

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