Wind

The wind is blowing. Outside my apartment window the trees in the copse behind the parking lot sway. It’s beautiful to see. Each tree has a different level of pliability. Some sway a lot, others not so much. Their branches and summer green leaves make mystical shapes as they bend to the wind. They bend toward, then away, from the tree next to them, in a dance that reminds me of American Square Dance.

I guess scientists still are not sure what makes the wind blow. Like the writer of the Epistle of James in the Bible says: “The wind bloweth where it will, and no man knows from whence it comes or whither it goes.” There is still much in nature which is mystery. Science hasn’t figured it all out. Wind is a great example of one of these wonderful and mysterious phenomena.

Summer Solstice 2014

It is 2014 and we are at the point in time when the earth begins to move to show its southern half to the sun. Tomorrow the light of day will begin to become less and the darkness more. I mourn each year at the summer solstice. Why could we not have summer light all year around? It would certainly help in the cold of winter.

Last year, while I recognized this day, I did not much care. I was recovering from a broken arm and surgery to repair the break; I required lots of rest and sleep. I slept away those long, daylight hours.

I cannot believe this day is here again. It grieves me. I love to leave Vespers on Saturday evenings with the light still bright in the sky.

We seemed to have such a long winter this year. People were beginning to freak out. I have a friend, a social worker, who believes everyone in Wisconsin should be on Prozac at least six months of the year. I am on Prozac, and learned a hard lesson never to go off it again, especially during the winter, especially when I am under stress. It took me down – the decision to stop taking my medication.

We had a long winter. It only just ended. We have finally had a string of nice days, but now, once again it’s summertime. And the longest day of the year is here. I feel sad. I need a longer spring. I need long days to continue for a long time. But they won’t, I know. In just two months the sun will be going down before 7:30 p.m.

I guess the best I can do is try to enjoy what’s left of long evenings — take late evening walks; just recognize and enjoy the light and warmth after Vespers each Saturday; enjoy being able to drive to a friend’s home after work or dinner, while it is still light, and maybe even come home before it is completely dark

The trees are still full with summer-green leaves, flowers still abound, grass is deep green, young ducks still swim in the pond. Enjoy the moment, for it will soon be gone.

A Sonnet: Day’s End, Commuter Style

Written for a World Lit class at the College of DuPage, in 1970

It’s five o’clock and at the close of day

The streets are filled with people who are done

With work, and hurry quickly on their way

To catch a bus, a train, some transportation

That will get them to their various homes.

It’s spring, or so the calendar proclaims.

Snow, sleet, and slush the earth embalm

With white; the weather still old Winter claims.

To some the thought of home brings glad retreat

From all the din the city brings. Their trains

Transport them to suburbia where they meet

The glimpse of what the end of daylight reigns.

 

The sunset of another day has spread

It’s brilliant rays of light on earth’s white bed.

 

— Ginni Freshour

Waiting

The phone is silent.

I wait for a call that may increase my small bank account this week.

I am up very early, waiting to hear

That someone can’t make it to their receptionist/secretarial job

In some school in the local school district.

I need the work.

Only for so much time can I try to write,

Try to compose.

Looking for work begins to feel useless.

I am 65 and behind on computer skills.

The jobs available are often not suitable for my skills and expertise.

I want to write. Write with a purpose.

I’m good with people. I love being receptionist.

But even clerical jobs require proficiency in

Microsoft office – Word, Excel, Etc.

I can learn these skills.

But I need on the job experience.

Tutorials only get you so far, they don’t make you proficient.

So I wait by the phone. And I try to write.

And I wonder what will become of me.

 

March 19, 2014.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

For most of my life I have been a night-owl. That changed somewhat when I went on an anti-depressant that the doctor decided was partly to adjust sleep patterns. I decided then that I should take my need for sleep much more seriously, and I did

However, I continued to sleep late on Saturday mornings, holidays, and some Sundays.

In the past few years I have become an early bird. This was partly work-related (needing to get up at 5:30 to get to work on time). I also started going to bed much earlier, partly because I was very unhappy with my work at the time, and partly because I had to get up so early.

More recently, I have been accepting temporary assignments with a temp agency and am on call to work as a substitute receptionist in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Because I never know until early morning if there is a call for my services, I have to get up and at least shower before 6:15 (they have called me that early).

I am up this morning, because I did not know the school district was closed. But I am beginning to enjoy being up early, getting a head start on the day, feeling alive as dawn turns to daylight.

It is currently 7:47 and I have showered, had my coffee and breakfast, gone through new FaceBook entries, and written this little essay (I guess you would call it).

Feeling alive!!

Now I need to pray before the morning gets on any further.

January 2014

The Seventh Decade

I’m having a hard time adjusting to being in my 60s. I know I have less energy, and certainly less motivation in many ways. I could never sustain the level of involvement I once had in church, church activities, church committees, Sunday school. It’s all I can do at times to just to show up.

I have a hard time realizing that if I live a normal life span, I may not have more than 10 years left on the planet. How did this life go so fast? And how do I have so little to show for it?

“Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.” the Psalmist wrote.

I fritter away time. Oh, maybe it’s not so much wasting time as not knowing how best to use what time I have. I look at Facebook and wish I could read all the informative articles on so many subjects that show up each day.

What have I accomplished in these past 65, 66 years? What of value? So much that I once thought was important I now see I did with so much pride, with so little humility. Now focusing on Lent and the coming Passion of Our Lord, I realize the all-important thing is knowing Him, seeking His face. Sure, we have to make a living, we have to make plans in our lives, we need careers, vocations, work to keep food on the table and roofs over our heads.   But in doing these things, is Christ preeminent in my life?

If Christ is preeminent, what kind of fruit will be forthcoming, what kind of works? I worry that I have failed so far in being the kind of person that Christ called the sheep, as opposed to being a goat. When have I fed Christ, or given him to drink, or visited him in prison, or, or, or? And I can’t just do these things to gain points with God and earn my salvation. These actions have to be generated out of love and compassion and mercy that comes with being filled with the Holy Spirit. Have I sought opportunities to serve Christ by serving others? Of the givers and takers in the world I fear I am a taker. In the next decade, or whatever time I have left, I hope to grow more into a giver, one who is merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, etc.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.

For Jan

“It seems it should be lilac time,” he said of her

Who was his daughter; Who was my sister.

She who hated winter and loved the spring.

But during winter’s firm and bitter grasp she left us,

So that in the cold and dark of winter we recall this bleak day.

Not like Walt Whitman whose sorrow returned with ever returning spring,

Our sorrow returns in winter.

At spring, when lilacs bloom again, we can rejoice her journey is complete,

And remember her in a place

Radiant with the warmth and flame and beauty of God’s eternal presence.

 

In the Middle of the Night

In the warm, damp chill of this very early morning, I seek His face.

Blessed art Thou O Lord, teach me thy statutes.

He knows the seasons of my life now passed.

Blessed art Thou O Master, make me to understand Thy commandments.

He knows the new season now begun.

Blessed art Thou O Holy One, enlighten me with Thy precepts.

In the warm, damp chill of this new-born day,

Let they mercy be upon me for I have set my hope on Thee.

Blessed art Thou O Lord.