In the belly of the furnace of creativity is a sexual fire; the flames twine about each other in fear and delight. The same sort of coiling, at a cooler, slower pace, is what the life of this planet looks like. The enormous spirals of typhoons, the twists and turns of mountain ranges and gorges, the waves and the deep ocean currents – a dragonlike writhing.
~ Gary Snyder
(A Place in Space)
Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have a clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
~ J. R. R. Tolkien
(The Return of the King)
Contemplating the lace-like fabric of streams outspread over the mountains, we are reminded that everything is flowing – going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks both in solution and in the form of mud particles, sand, pebbles, and boulders. Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs, and animals flock together and flow in currents modified by stepping, leaping, gliding, flying, swimming, etc. While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature’s warm heart.
~ John Muir
(Meditations of John Muir: Nature’s Temple)
On this occasion it was Janet who brought me to the Stonington Cemetery to visit my newly adopted tree. And this time I photographed her from her other side (above) and noticed something else of interest. It might be difficult to make out, but there is a stone corner post embedded in her roots and trunk. The tree must have grown around the post as she widened in circumference!
…the Holy Family…
…♫ It had to be you ♫ wonderful you ♫ had to be you ♫…
A little online research satisfied my curiosity about the woman buried in this grave with a very unique headstone (above), who died at the tragically young age of 51. She was Catherine Voorsanger, an associate curator of American decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
…buds are emerging…
…nooks, crannies and a needle-eye…
Brother #6 has returned to England now, and Brother #4 awaits further medical tests after an infection, for which he is being treated, clears. We’re getting lots of practice exercising patience as we wait and wait for elusive answers to our questions…
Olga remains mostly in hiding, but Zoë is enjoying the fresh air coming in the open windows, and watching all the birds and squirrels scurrying and fluttering about near the balcony. She’s getting plenty of exercise chasing the red spot made by a small laser flashlight. Besides pony-tail elastics, it’s the only toy that seems to inspire her to play.
I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Oh! where do fairies hide their heads, When snow lies on the hills? When frost has spoiled their mossy beds, And crystallized their rills: Beneath the moon they cannot trip In circles o’er the plain: And draughts of dew they cannot sip, Till green leaves come again.
~ Thomas Haynes Bayly
(Songs & Ballads, Grave & Gay)
…”The Little Drummer Boy” is Larisa’s favorite Christmas song…
This year Tim had a vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year, so we decided to travel to visit our kids, who did not have time off from work for holiday adventures. Tim spent Christmas Eve in the emergency department seeking treatment for another bout of diverticulitis… But a CAT-scan determined that it was caught early enough and was mild enough for him to be treated with oral antibiotics and sent on his way.
…Larisa and Compromise…
Christmas morning we set out for New York to spend the day with Dima & Larisa, who cooked us a scrumptious feast for dinner. When darkness fell the twinkling tree lights came on and we admired all their decorations. Compromise, their pet albino rat was allowed out of his cage and spent the evening with us, cuddling with Larisa, while we were playing board games. It was a lovely, cozy and peaceful evening, our first Christmas in the city, with Christmas carols playing softly in the background.
Whenever Larisa needed to get up to attend to something she left Compromise on her chair, knowing he would not risk jumping off it. He would wait patiently for her to return and hold him again. We never knew a rat could be so affectionate. Sometimes he would sit on her shoulder while she was busy with things. So adorable!
The next morning Dima & Larisa were off to work and then Tim & I left for our next destination in Virginia!
Autumnal Fortress created by Kristen Thornton
photos by Barbara Rodgers
Faellan is the faerie for colorful autumn foliage. His name comes from Old English and means an abundance of leaves, aka the fall! The many colors and textures of the leaves inspire the painters in so many ways. As the leaves turn from green to gold, they capture the creative imaginations at several stages. Whether held aloft in the tree top, dancing fancifully through the autumn air, or carpeting the ground below, Faellan’s leaves are the season’s showstoppers.
(Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making)
Blind folk see the fairies, Oh, better far than we, Who miss the shining of their wings Because our eyes are filled with things We do not wish to see. They need not seek enchantment From solemn, printed books, For all about them as they go The fairies flutter to and fro With smiling, friendly looks.
~ Rose Fyleman
Deaf folk hear the fairies However soft their song; ‘Tis we who lose the honey sound Amid the clamor all around That beats the whole day long. But they with gentle faces Sit quietly apart; What room have they for sorrowing While fairy minstrels sit and sing Close to their listening heart?
~ Rose Fyleman
The fairies have never a penny to spend, They haven’t a thing put by, But theirs is the dower of bird and of flower And theirs are the earth and the sky. And though you should live in a palace of gold Or sleep in a dried-up ditch, You could never be as poor as the fairies are, And never as rich.
~ Rose Fyleman
(Fairies & Chimneys)