Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day

 Another February 14th rolls around, and I send you all my love and Valentine greetings.

This year finds me on a health kick: lots of walking and lots of vegetables.  And then, as if to encourage me, one day this happened:


All I did was trim the end of the root. The radish shared serendipitous love!  

This is as close to snow as we've had this winter, but no complaints. I like good walking weather.

This Valentine's Day I think I will finally succeed in memorizing a favorite love poem.  When was the last time you tried memorization?  Brains like a good challenge.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

“The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle:—
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:—
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley

We recently sang an anthem that has such wonderful words, I want to share them here:
Beloved, God's chosen,
put on as a garment
compassion, forgiveness
and goodness of heart.
Above all, before all,
let love be your raiment
that binds into one
every dissonant part.

I love the image of binding into one all our dissonant parts. May it be so. 
Again, "Happy Valentine's Day!"  Be well, be happy, and shine your light!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Big and Bold...


Today I'm writing about a vegetable, of all things... with poetry included. Come along if you dare.

Confession: I've become somewhat smitten with rutabagas.  I know... what a world!?!

What is a rutabaga?  A root vegetable that is an unlikely cross between cabbage and turnip.

Purple turnip on the left is NOT a rutabaga, golden rutabaga is on the right.

Rutabagas are sometimes called swedes because they originated in Sweden and are popular in Scandinavia. Maybe because of our scandinavian background, or maybe because I like vegetables in general, every once in a while I give rutabagas a try.

Reactions to a Rutabaga

You need a huge strong knife

to cleave this brute in two

hard work!

peel and dice

cook until tender


extra texture

mellow cabbage flavor

a bright star in your stew

--draft, Karen Eastlund

All this rutabaga talk because recently I came across this poem about rutabagas and if felt perfect. Here are a few lines with the link to the entire poem below:

Rutabagas: A Love Poem 
by James Silas Rogers


Rutabagas were on the table.
I had to ask Jean what they were.
My first mouthful tasted
like something in a gunny sack; 


She said she loved their dug-up texture
the hint of dirt
that couldn't be washed away,
how they left the tongue
with a rumor of something
underground and dark.


Read the entire poem HERE.

Okay, so Rogers doesn't exactly endorse them, but I love his description. I had to savor that if nothing else.

I find rutabagas easy on the pocketbook and heavy in the grocery bag. And, it turns out they're very good for you!  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rutabagas  If you decide to try them, let me know!

As an aside, Carl Sandburg wrote Rootabaga Stories for children. I'm going to get them from my library. 

What the heck... I'm on a roll with rootabagas!!!

Whew! I'm done with vegetable talk. Heave a sigh of relief! Have a laugh and a good week!  

It is Poetry Friday, and you can find the whole gang at Carol Varsalona's.  Don't miss her stunning collection of poetry postcards!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

A Color so Splendid

 "Blue... blue was a color so splendid..." - Joe Newberry

Our host this month, Robert Hamera, asks us to consider the colors we project to others, or the colors that act as guiding lights to us.  Look for Robert's post and links to others in the Spiritual Journey group HERE.

I taught preschool for a number of years, and I loved the preschool classroom. It was a wonderful learning experience for me, as well as a great joy and a deep responsibility. One of my most enduring realizations was that I was responsible for the tone of the classroom. I knew that children needed to feel safe so that they could take risks and learn, so I tried to provide a safe and calm learning space. And the color I most associate with calm is blue.

I am drawn to color, and greatly affected by it.  For me, blues are always at the top of the list.  I often wear blue, and blue is a theme in my home. I like to think of bluejeans... they're comfortable and go with everything, right?  That's what I want my home and my classroom to reflect. I want to do real work in these spaces, and I might get messy, so bluejeans will be perfect. 

I've been told that I project calm when working with children, and I hope I have also projected it in my home. And along with calm is also wonder and joy. Blues suggest all these qualities. 

Above: Starry Night quilt for my granddaughter Gracie

There's beauty in blue. Consider the sky, from morning to night. Where better to feel calm and wonder than gazing into the great beyond? I once saw such a gorgeous blue night sky that I could scarcely stop staring at it and pay attention to my walk home. I haven't been able to name that deep blue, but it captivated me and enveloped me, and I still think about it even though it must have been 30+ years ago.

I love the beauty and surprise of morning glories, the shock of deep blue lobelia (some volunteered in my garden this past summer!) and the chalky blue of globe thistles. I have relaxed in the deep blue of clear lakes and laughed at the twinkle in my father's blue eyes. I am thankful to live on a blue planet where even the ice and snow reflect blue.  

Blue may also suggest sadness. We all experience and express sadness, often with tears, words and music. Blue can be both calm and buoyant, a perfect hue to bear our emotions. Below is a blues song I enjoy, especially for its wordplay.  Joe Newberry wrote it, and he tells that the whole first line came to him while waiting in line at the post office. He wrote the words on the back of a Christmas card envelope, so someone didn't get a card from him that year.  He's accompanied by April Verch. Enjoy!

I agree with Joe's first line, but I have to change the tense of his verb. Blue IS a color "so splendid." 

Along with blue, if I look in my closet, I see red, red, red. My second favorite color. But that's a story for another day.

Thanks for hosting today, Robert, and for this interesting prompt!