Monday Ponderings {January 23rd}

…Oh, it is well to waken with the woods

And feel, as those who wait with God alone,

The forest’s heart in these rare solitudes

Beating against our own.

Close-shut behind us are the gates of care,

Divinity enfolds us, prone to bless,

And our souls kneel. Night in the wilderness

Is one great prayer.

excerpt from “Midnight in Camp” by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Monday Ponderings {January 16th}

O God, along with sunny days, life brings its nights of ills…and if fearlessly I face these nights, my soul in rapture thrills…

Each time I face life’s disciplines, unbowed and unafraid…then deep within this heart of mine new courage is displayed…

When disappointments come my way, don’t let me run and hide…for if I stand with head erect, then courage will abide…

It’s not what happens to me, God, but what I do with it…that helps determine whether I shall fall or rise a bit.

“Don’t Let Me Run and Hide” by George Bilby Walker, The Quiet Time: A Collection of Prayer-Poems, p.20

||on my mind||

•flamboyant feet•carhartt clavicles•winged words•living loved•grave gratefulness•pilgrimage path•long lingering•dirt death•soul soup•nourishing newness•single step•ugliness underneath•deep drought•creator’s creation•ravenous ravens•sojourner’s song•brewed breath•crushed comfort•yeasty yearning•hearth hopes•flowers first•purifying poetry•charcoal clinging•silhouetted self•death depth•wayfaring woman•soaked seed•milled manure•winnowed wine•loamy light•cruciform crush•affection advent• “speaking silence”*•indigo image•skeletal skies•seafarer’s seasons•pride pestle•ground grain•peeled pear•juiced joy•

Some of my inspiration:

RM’s song “Wildflower”*, the ritual and smell of grinding coffee, reading Joy Clarkson’s Aggressively Happy, watching a murder of crows in a stubbled corn field, reading Live No Lies by John Mark Comer, the new year approaching, and rereading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.

Happiest 2nd Day of Christmas 🎄 ~ Monday Ponderings {December 26th}

BLESSED are those who die for GOD

And earn the Martyr’s crown of light;

Yet he who lives for GOD may be

A greater Conqueror in His sight.

A.Proctor, The Cloud of Witness

Monday Ponderings {December 5th}

…Our bartered, busy lives burn dim,

too tired to care, too numb to feel.

Come, shine upon our shadowed world:

Your radiance bathes with power to heal.

excerpt from “O Radiant Christ” by Ruth Duck, from Biola Advent Project

“The desire to give”: poem & Ansel Adams intertwine…

::where does this pathway go?::

“Beauty Glut” by A.M.Pine

Beauty glut, beauty bright

maybe I’ll crack open

and my seams

will spill out

a little light

cause I can’t

hold this all

sieve myself

rend myself

funnel

channel

squeeze myself

fill up

spill out

faucet

spigot

shower

keep the beauty

flowing

conduit

current

carry

receiving

repackage & repurpose

from me to you

from you to me

from Him to us

from us to Him

blood & beauty spilled

nail holes & hoarding hurts

beauty & blood spurts

gasping

glut groaning gifts

growing gains

beauty born

give & it shall be given

“Art is both love and friendship and understanding: the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of things. It is more than kindness, which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit. It is the recreation on another plane the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of earth and men, and of all the interrelations of these.”

Ansel Adams, p.37 Ansel Adams: An Autobiography, emphasis mine

Monday Ponderings {November 7th}

Gather my broken fragments to a whole,

As these four quarters make a shining day.

Into thy basket, for my golden bowl,

Take up the things that I have cast away

In vice or indolence or unwise play.

Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart,

But make it a whole, with light in every part.

George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul

Monday Ponderings {August 29th}

I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,

Through constant watching wise,

To meet the glad with joyful smiles,

And wipe the weeping eyes;

And a heart at leisure from itself

To soothe and sympathize.

Wherever in the world I am,

In whatsoe’er estate,

I have a fellowship with hearts

To keep and cultivate,

And a work of lowly love to do,

For the LORD on Whom I, wait.

A.L. Waring, The Cloud of Witness, p. 356

Joy Journal: July 12th {Living Education Retreat and More}

Toad clover hat ♥️

♥️Dear Friends,

What is inspiring you or bringing you joy currently? Please join me in comments, in your journal, or on your blog!

I’m grateful today for…

The Gale by Winslow Homer – Wikipedia Commons

-and-

Les Maisons by Chaim Sountine – Wikipedia Commons

||making ice coffees at home|| Gerald Manley Hopkins wordsmithing || Karen Andreola’s books and back blog posts. || paper & river birch trees || sunlit diamonds on river and lake || buying just one book treasure from my favorite used bookstore || a favorite book, Fog Magic, found in a Little Free Library || washing my hair in the lake || making my very first 🍵 matcha latte, so good || Regina Spektor’s “The Call” || sunlight glinting off web as spider lowers herself to the floor ||

Green, white, and blue ♥️

|| extended family picnic in the shady, sun-flickering light of my childhood backyard || a lovely friend, Kathy, passing on a free Sense & Sensibility outdoor theatre ticket to me, it was a wonderful performance || the gift of a pedicure from and with my sister || reading The Mysteries of Uldolpho with a Booktuber friend || finishing I Capture the Castle and the feeling of wanting to start it right back over again immediately || Still thinking on Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book and it’s quiet and gentle exploration of youth, aging, and how the natural world ties us all together in understanding. I loved this book. || early cabin mornings, drenched in pine scent, quiet prayer with my coffee || time with cousins, sister in laws, and camp friends for my children and I|| daughter taking me for iced coffee ||

Deceased Common Sulfur my daughter found – so beautiful!

How well I remember that run through the stillness, the smell of wet stone and wet weeds as we crossed the bridge, the moment of excitement before we stepped in at the little door! Once through, we were in the cool dimness of the gatehouse passage. That was where I first felt the castle – it is the place where one is most conscious of the great weight of stone above and around one. I was too young to know much of history and the past, for me the castle was one in a fairy tale; and the queer heavy coldness was so spell-like that clutched Rose hard.

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Illustration by Tove Jansson, The Summer Book

|| Nancy’s opening talk on Joy at the Living Education retreat || White Pelicans at sunrise || watching a Kingfisher land on tree, then dive into lake for a catch || the joyful swooping, diving of fork-tailed Barn Swallows, over lake and over me when I’m lawn mowing, one my my most favorite summer joys of all! Their iridescent coloring is stunning || Art’s talk on joy and sorrow, the interweaving of Biblical truth, Charlotte Mason, the thoughts of Catherine of Siena, and Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” together in a beautiful way || talking about hospitality with Brittany and a few other ladies || mozzarella, balsamic, and tomatoes sprinkled with basil || early morning meditations near lake and worship in teeny chapel || chapel windows, stained glass and unique way of opening ||

Forget-me-Nots and little bridge over stream ♥️

|| my son’s excitement as he shared what he had learned in Don’s Critical Thinking session || camping through a rain storm in our tent with my son, using my umbrella inside, memories || gifts from friends, healthy banana pumpkin walnut muffins, special flavored Scandinavian falk salt, new coffee mug, salsa, and a lovely photo of us, framed || listening to A Wrinkle in Time with my son as we drove to the retreat in Minnesota || Amber’s lovely thoughts on poetry, learning new-to-me poets to explore, Effie May Newsome and Gwendolyn Brooks || all the wonderful conversations I had over good food or near the lake, so encouraging || meeting three Instagram friends, IRL! So exciting! || forget-me-nots || driving through Mankato, MN home of Maud Hart Lovelace, inspiration for Deep Valley || new book titles to search and look forward to || lovely tote bag with bookmark, card, and journal gifted to attendees ||

What is bringing you joy? What are you thankful for? Lots of love, Amy 💕💕💕

Joy Journal: June 18th {Happy Birthday to me!}

Bits of joy…

♥️Dear Friends,

What is inspiring you or bringing you joy currently? Please join me in comments, in your journal, or on your blog!

I’m loving right now…

|| thinking this article on Iris Murdock || Lesley Austin’s blog, YouTube, and email newsletter || purging books and filling up 5 main Little Free Libraries on my driving routes || Cherry-flavored water by Clear American from Walmart || golden-lit afternoons, summer sun filtering through Honey Locust leaves and shining through my kids hair as they play || adoring the photography and poetry at Leaf & Twig, even the blog name is enchanting || reading in sunshine and wind ☀️🌬🌥

Gills…spore print coming up!

|| cozy lifestyle vlogs, Hyonyeo, cakes and cats in South Korea || popcorn and oatmeal cookie picnics while reading Prince Caspian under the tree|| lawn lounging days, my Mother’s Day hammock from a few years ago is getting a lot of use || our first bonfire, slowly burning up last years Christmas tree, my 3yo calling the sparks ‘fire birds’ ♥️|| Mary Azarian’s woodcut picture books || ponytails and rooster tails || swimming for the first time this summer ||

Lake and Dickens days…

|| reading short story Watter Mitty and then watching older version with Danny Kaye together- so silly and hilarious! We also love the newer Ben Stiller version of it, too. || SundryWords bookmarks || the haunting, new-to-me author, David Almond’s book, Skellig || TWO recent mail surprises {including a Moomin journal 😍} from a Texan friend, Kim, THANK YOU! || Rae of Sunlight’s back Booktube vlogs || making a summer bucket list with the kids ||

Summer is so lovely…
Tornado watches…gorgeous, angry sky…we had to go into the basement, but rain and high wind were the extent of it’s bite. Do you like storms or wild weather?
Summer snoozes, dirty, darling, little boy feet…
A friend gifted me peonies two summers ago…first bloom!

What’s bringing you joy? I’m so very blessed 🥹 and I just love recording it! ♥️📚♥️ Grace and peace to you, Amy