Oh, to be in England

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(Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, North England)

A year ago this week, my mother, sister, and I were in England, and eventually Paris. It is one of the most memorable times of my life (so far, anyway) and I would be remiss not to share about it. I started talking about it at my former blog home, but never really finished. So, I hope to share in the coming weeks precious memories from this dream trip.

Home-Thoughts, from Abroad
By Robert Browning
Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Poetry Foundation

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Haiku

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{precious moments}

 

Strands

willow bough unfurled

shifting riotous wild strands

daughter’s curly mane

 

Plain

clop, gleam, clack, hoof-beats

solemn, silent, saddened face

stooped figure, plain

 

Logophile

words afloat, dandy fluff

flitters through air lazily

mind and pen a swirl

 

Silly 

i’m hungry mom

nothing to eat in whole house

fridge and cupboard groan

 

(I recently met with some of my library writing ladies and we learned about and discussed haiku together. These above are my attempts. I really enjoyed trying to learn this form, the Americanized version usually following a juxtaposing of a nature element and other topic with a 5-7-5 syllable count.)

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Hope

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Snow pouring down. Cold, wet, gray, and blindingly white. Mirrors my soul a bit. Yet, hope is like a thing with feathers, indeed. Somehow just acknowledging that I can’t control others, that I have to love despite hate and frustrations, and that I am loved deeply and completely despite my flaws. This hope truly perches in my soul. It takes wing and it soars into the doubting parts of myself, it alights on the self-loathing and pecks away at it. It sings beautifully in the face of the storm, no matter its fury. I gaze at my new, wonderful bird feeder. It has been inundated with Dark-Eyed Juncos. Fluffy, fat, delightful fellows. They don’t seem to see the snow. They shake it off, dance a bit, grab the seed, and flutter in happiness. Those seeds of hope. There is always joy, love, and light in any bit of darkness. Jesus is that Hope. A gentleness and love pours from Him, making me great, strengthening me to sing again and again in the face of bracing winds, and icy fingers of life. Hope to sing long and loud, hope to rise up on wings like eagles.

 

{ Emily Dickinson’s poem Hope is a Thing with Feathers, Psalm 18:35, Isaiah 40:31}

 

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Amy Carmichael

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O Thou in whose right hand were seven stars,

And whose right hand was on Thy servant laid,

How tender was Thy touch, Thy word, Be not afraid.

Thou who didst say, O man greatly beloved,

Fear not, and, Peace be unto thee, be strong,

What wealth of grace and mercy doth to Thee belong.

 

Thy touch, Thy word, and lo, like to a cloud

That was but is not in the fields of air,

So is the fear we feared; we look, it is not there,

Dissolved, departed, banished by Thy touch.

Oh, as we pray, purge us from every fear,

Thou who dost hold the stars, our Lord, art Thou not here?

 

Thou Givest…They Gather

Amy Carmichael

pg 31

A Book by Hannah More

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I’m a strange contradiction; I’m new and I’m old,

I’m often in tatters, and oft deck’d in gold:

Though I never could read, yet letter’d I’m found;

Though blind, I enlighten; though loose, I am bound –

I am always in black, and I’m always in white;

I am grave and I’m gay, I am heavy and light.

In form too I differ – I’m thick and I’m thin,

I’ve no flesh, and no bones, yet I’m cover’d with skin;

I’ve more points than the compass, more stops than the flute –

I sing without voice, without speaking confute;

I’m English, I’m German, I’m French, and I’m Dutch;

Some love me too fondly; some slight me too much;

I often die soon, though sometimes live ages,

And no monarch alive has so many pages.

 

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