Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Take Joy

The new journal cracks open crisply, the pen dances forth to display the first waltz of words in the symphony of my thoughts. I sit pensively with pen in hand because my internet connection has fled once again. I know not where those invisible waves tarry to when they vanish, but I do know the unseen knitting of my box to those I know around the world has become a norm to me and I miss it when the door locks me out. Without frowning I merely pick up pen and record a thought for later posting. My brain can still compute all on its own. : )

Alas, I digress . . . with delight. You see, today I stand poised between Indian Summer and true Chilly Fall. Though my Japanese lanterns still swing from the trees, glowing with the memories of balmy nights spent stargazing, the surrounding foliage takes on the hue of a deep rich autumn tapestry.

As the mercury drops the montage of fall springs to life. Twin trees shading the winding walk become like goblets of burgundian wine calling to mind a roaring fire and a cozy read before it.

Like a stunning sapphire brooch, a jay pauses in the tree top, resting from his game of tree-top swooping.

Did he choose this tree above all others knowing the contrast would set off his plumage like royal robes? Has instinct dealt him such vanity, or do I merely notice his beauty through my own vain views? I stand still and observe, but my bright pink top gives me away, thus he flees uppermost in a neighboring pine and melts into the branches heavy with comrades. I stand still; they stay away. Moments pass before they jet off from towering pine to towering pine, arcs and dives choreograph their dance under skies grayed with the promise of rain. I stand transfixed. Having found these tranquil moments in a day laced with dentist appointments and such, I savor the sweetness of a peaceful short-sleeved walk, hoping that tomorrow’s predicted rain shower ushers in a welcome to sweaters.

In the midst of a season’s change I pause and drink in the wonder of the teeming of life all around me. No planning, no worries, no preparation . . . simply the open eyes and heart and will to receive the beauty of a glorious yet ordinary day in the woods I call home.

Long ago, Fra Giovani shared a Christmastime sentiment that I choose to celebrate every day:

I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow;
behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take Joy.
And so . . . I greet you, with the prayer that for you,
now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

~ Fra Giovanni, early Italian Renaissance painter of religious subjects (A.D. 1513),

Fra Giovani's heartfelt pleading for joy and peace in a day echo my daily reading of Scripture in Luke 10:41-42

And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful:
and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

The good part in my day plays amongst the trees and twitters in my ear.

I choose . . .

I take joy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Respite Wednesday

"You can never get me a cup of tea large enough,
Or a book long enough to suit me."
~~ C.S. Lewis ~~

Though my books get bigger and my teacups as well, I still close the back cover far too quickly and empty the cup too soon for my liking. Thus my delightful quest continues. : )

Today I bid you all a respite of reading. I shall choose to steal away to the deck after my list of "Musts" has been satisfied.

I will savor these curious Autumn days that clothe themselves in summer-weight garments despite the coming of November. The entrepreneurial adventures of Walt Disney will accompany me into an afternoon of respite.

Where will you settle and what will you choose to read?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sometimes It Pays to Eat Out

In a spontaneous moment Gary suggested we go out to dinner. Having just returned from a pumpkin "reforming" session over at my pal Becky's, I jumped at the chance to hoist myself out of the chair which enveloped my exhausted body (did she say pumpkin "wrangling"?) and into a fine dining establishment. The kids salivated wildly over the expectation of Amy's pizza while I went upstairs to powder my nose.

We waltzed into The Swiss House to see our friends/restauranteurs Karl and Lily. Lily greeted us with the sad news that her brother-in-law had just passed away and she would be flying out to Hawaii the very next day. Amidst hugs, promises of prayer, and some reminiscing we settled in for a typically Swiss episode in fine dining -- excellent in every way. The warm rolls and butter arrived, followed by the most flavorful split-pea soup, and then onto a crisp salad of mixed greens gently draped with green-goddess dressing. As the entrees arrived (Gary chose sauerbraten; I opted for cannelloni) we settled down to some serious gastronomic enjoyment.

According to custom, Karl visits us tableside, greeting us in the old world style. Typically he inquires as to our dining pleasure and the status of the food, but this particular night he changed the game and offered to send me home with some surplus ratatouille and spaetzle owing to the abrupt closure of the restaurant the next day. Of course I was inclined to jump up clapping and hugging him -- his ratatouille is unmatched in deliciousity (I know it's not a word -- but it SHOULD be!) and the diminuitive dumplings that magically roll off the fingers of this chef cannot compare with any I have ever attempted -- BUT, I maintained my composure. After all, I sit in the midst of other diners who haven't the good fortune of hitting the "Stuff 'n Nonsense" jackpot. Good manners kept me composed while he relayed instructions regarding the care of spaetzle to avoid spoilage. (Who knew spaetzle could spoil?) Then he proceeded to describe the layering of ratatouille, the piling of cheese . . . my stomach rumbled, despite having already taken in 4 courses. (I ate enough bread to count as a full course.) Fortunately the kahlua-laced chocolate mousse arrived and we dove in as Karl headed over to the next table (poor souls -- no leftovers, only greetings).

When we arrived home Matthew popped his head out of his "computer office" (also known as my laundry/sewing room). He eyed Gary's hands, looking for the usual clamshell containing the balance of my dinner destined to become his evening snack. His eyes grew saucer-like as Gary hefted a grocery sack onto the kitchen counter! I promptly fixed him a diversionary snack whilst Gary loaded the goods into the refrigerator.

The next day I layered the spaetzle, then added ratatouille, sliced in some chicken/apple sausages I found hanging out in the meat drawer, and topped it all with some good cheddar cheese (being fresh out of provolone). I popped the pan into the oven and went about my business. Once the aroma of this meal carried throughout the house everyone came running with their appetite. We feasted like kings. The meager remains from lunch allowed Matthew to dine, but no one else.

Today Gary returned the empty containers to Karl. He just returned home smiling as he reported that Karl has more leftovers to send my way. My stomach growled. It sure does pay to eat out in this town. ; )

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fighting Fear

Monday . . . my favorite day of the week. We freshen up our "To Do" lists, I lard up the pantry and fridge, each walks with a briskness that follows a day of complete rest. Yet, somehow today I drag . . .

The News, which by definition should contain something "NEW," sadly screams out the same "stuff" (hardly able to be taken as fact). The voices from economic, political, and greater world realms all clang with dire warnings and severe cautions. As an optimist by nature -- you know the type: "Did you see that sparkling refreshment rising plentifully up the sides of that beautiful pressed glass tumbler?" she exclaims excitedly -- the news strains my perky hunt for something to savor throughout the day. And yet, savoring the simple moments of my day has become of paramount importance to me.

As Lydia and I recently discussed Anne Frank's Diary, Zlata's Diary, The Hiding Place, and even her latest read, Gone with the Wind, I wondered what thoughts breezed in and out of the minds of each person the days, weeks, and months before the schisms that rocked their comfortable worlds. Did Mrs. Frank carelessly toss out a softening strawberry (as I had just done) only to regret it later as her family subsisted on meager rations? Did Corrie Ten Boom bustle past an inviting park bench facing a luscious rose parade without the slightest glance, and then conjure every memory possible of gardens and benches and rest as she labored in a Nazi camp? Could Zlata's mother have barked at her distracted daughter, ordering her inside out of the fresh air and onto chores, soon mourning such rashness as her daughter huddles indoors in fear of bullet spray?

By nature I worry. I know it serves no purpose and merely drains my resources, but still the natural way runs wild if I let down my guard. The day after 9-11 my children frolicked in the vast gardens of our rural home with a new puppy. A small plane cruised by overhead. When I heard the putter of the small engine in the skies above I panicked and ran outside to shield my babies from peril. My wild flying arms and pumping feet caused me to stumble and the children erupted in laughter, thinking me merely eager to join their puppy games. Thank you Lord for blinding my children to my fear.

Yesterday I read:

I recalled my life-long struggle with incessant worry and the "What If" game: What if this happens? . . . [wring, wring go the hands] Or maybe that? [wring, wring, wring ...] In the past I pretended my worry qualified for planning or preparation; I attempted to fool myself into thinking this peace-robbing activity served a useful purpose. The result: an ulcer by age 15 and the clear warning that I would have to stand vigil against this treacherous devil throughout my life.

In my mid-30s I fell into a life-changing/saving relationship with a precious godly mentor. She cried, "Stop!" as I mewled on about possible outcomes in a VERY painful situation in my life. She halted my spiral of worry and supplied a life-preserving bit of advice laced with Scripture:

"We are instructed to focus on WHATEVER IS TRUE.* Since these things you worry about haven't come to pass, nor may ever, they aren't true. Thus they are lies you tell yourself to believe."

I stopped, stunned and truly shocked. "I'm lying to myself? But what if they DO come true?"

"Simple," she replied, "then they are true and you deal with them."

"Hmmmmmmm ... " I wondered and the bonds of fear began breaking in that very moment.

Years later I still remind myself that "What Ifs" may never come true. I also comfort myself with the truth that when my son Matthew choked on a burrito I jumped up, performed the heimlich maneuver, and saved his life WITHOUT EVER HAVING BEEN TAUGHT THE HEIMLICH. Guess my instinct served me just fine even though I had never spent a moment's time worrying about him choking.

And so, I tune out the "What Ifs" and concentrate on the "Truths" that blossom all around me. I savor the joy of hearing my girls practice their music, I delight in dead-heading the still-prolific roses, I smile as I knead the bread we will eat with supper, and I praise the Lord that He remains constant and loving despite the headlines and horrors in the world. I also pause to say a prayer for those I know who are struggling with the pain of losing a loved one (surely they are not consumed in fear regarding an election outcome or a stock transaction). Immediately I think of another celebrating the birth of a new child and pray a celebratory word for the healthy arrival which follows the devastating loss of a previous baby. Through it all God stands with out-stretched arms and entreats us to embrace one another in love, not in fear nor by force. Words of comfort spill forth as I read my Bible at the start of my day.

These things I have spoken unto you,
That in me ye might have peace.
In the world you shall have tribulation:
But be of good cheer;
For I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

A promise trumps a "What If" any day! I fill my cup with this peaceful promise and then reach to you with brimming cup and hopeful eyes.

"O, taste and see that the Lord is good:
Blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
(Psalm 34:8)
Philippians 4:8

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Wonder

Shona sculpture, created by a Zimbabwean artist
from rock exposed to intense heat.*

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

"Jesus Loves the Little Children"
Words by C. Herbert Woolston,
music by George F. Root

* * * * *

"For then will I turn to the people a pure language,
That they may all call upon the name of the Lord,
To serve him with one consent."

Zephaniah 3:9


*Learn more about Shona sculpture here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stuff 'n Nonsense

“What’s for dinner?” Rachel calls to me through the window.

“Stuff ‘n Nonsense,” I reply.

A wide grin spreads across her face.

“Hey Lydia,” she runs off excitedly, “We’re having Stuff ‘n Nonsense for dinner! Yippee!!”

Yep, that’s one of the favorite meals around here because it invites every member of the family to peruse and choose their dining experience according to the odds and ends plus bits and pieces from previous meals.

You may call this “leftovers” but I found that term made my lips curl as I said it and caused more noses to turn up than mouths. After all, “left”over connotes that somebody “left” it and probably for a good reason. (Oh wait, that voice from childhood has piped up again!) My mom tried calling them “plan”overs but that didn’t work either.

One day in a fit of perkiness on my part, to counteract whininess on my child’s part as they beseeched me for a hint about dinner (a task for which I had zero ideas and even less energy to put forth in the creation of such), I popped off with “Stuff ‘n Nonsense.” Mouth agape, the young one stuttered out a plea for explanation, to which I threw open the fridge door and invited them into my lair. The eyes of a child can find all kinds of adventure in the hallowed recesses of a food chiller. Hmmmmm … ooooh … *clank* … shove … reach … aaaaaah ... With a bit of teamwork we hunted down a delicious array of “Stuff ‘n Nonsense” and transformed a dull meal into an epicurean adventure.

Now, despite the fact that these food items have been stockpiled from a former dining experience and may constitute a portion less than adequate for more than one person, we assemble an eye-appealing array of this and that atop serving platters and in fetching little bowls that just cry out to be sampled. “Presentation is everything,” according to Martha Stewart and never more so than with the wholesome and still palatable dregs from the fridge. Candles, cloth napkins, and charming music make for a thrifty buffet everyone will enjoy.

I once watched my mother-in-law cut up dinner’s remaining bread+spread (a concoction my arteries don’t want to remember), a few uneaten bar-cookies from dessert, and other assorted finger-foods that the group hadn’t consumed. She attractively arranged these leavings on a tray and set it in the middle of the table as we carried on an after-dinner conversation. I queried why she offered more food directly after we had finished eating and she replied sweetly, “There isn’t enough to make another meal, so if I cut this all up into little pieces and place it in the middle of the table it will disappear.” She proved to be a magician as the assembly of eaters, who could in no way have maintained hunger after her filling meal, proceeded to nibble and sample until the platter winked starkly from the center of the table. My mother-in-law smiled, retreated to the kitchen to wash the platter, and left me with a tidbit of wisdom regarding hospitality.

Hmmmm … I wonder what would happen if I dropped little bits of unfolded laundry onto the middle of the table next time we are all sitting around gabbing after dinner? Just a little bit more stuff 'n nonsense -- or should I say "fluff 'n nonsense"? ; )

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Respite Wednesday

My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not deck'd with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen; my crown is call'd content;
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.

King Henry VI, Part III
Act III, Sc I, Line 62
~~William Shakespeare~~

* * * * *

Sweet Friends,

What peaceful respite shall you find this day?

I take a daily pot of tea with my devotional time. Whether upon the deck in the warmth of another Indian summer's morn or cozied into my favorite chair, I must pause amidst the scuffle of a family reaching for goals and desires and satisfaction of needs to thank my Lord for yet another day under His watchful eye. Like Paul, I have known want and I have known plenty,* but the greatest knowing has been contentment and peace regardless of the circumstances.

Today I bid you peace and encourage you to find a quiet place to thank the Lord for all you enjoy. Let's count it all joy!** Though I carry no crown upon my head, surely the crown in my heart shines brightly through my countenance. That alone merits celebration on this Respite Wednesday.

Come . . . rest . . . we've a moment to share in the joys of friendship. More tea? : )

Your delightful comments have gifted me with the happiest of musings about taking tea together. Why, I felt as if I had dozed off on the settee in the warm fall sunshine and awoken to find my gardens awash in waltzing well-wishers eager to celebrate with me. Thank you ever so much!!!

*Philippians 4:12
**James 1:2

Monday, October 20, 2008


= 101 POSTS!!!!!!

Well, I have been away from the blogosphere for a bit (love that auto-post option) as we entertained family from out of town (and had a blast), gabbed on the phone with my daughter (who is far-far away at college and missed tremendously), and took part in various delightful forms of relaxation that do not require any keyboard action (hey, my journal is smiling again).

I returned from the break to find that my little dashboard counter signified 100 posts had slipped under the bridge and floated off to blogland. I am astonished at the rapid journey from newbie to 100 -- wow! I guess time really does fly when you're having fun!

So how should we celebrate???? I contemplated many celebratory options but none seemed to include everyone. I pondered this over a pot of tea and then it hit me: I would dearly love for each and every one of you readers to drop by for a cup of tea so we could meet and really talk. What a delightful way to while away the afternoon on a 101st post.

So, I invite you to a virtual tea party. Leave a comment and let me know what you think we'd chat about (got any questions?) and what we'd choose to nibble and sip during our teatime chat. I've exchanged emails with some of you, but many of you remain a mystery to me. Could be fun to step from behind the curtain and wave. I'll be on the deck with a teapot under a cozy, just come on in and have a seat. Let's chat . . .

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Wonder

"Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hopeful Friday

HOPE is . . .

An outstretched hand,
A tear-stained smile,
A sprouting seed,
A dawning day,
A gentle rain,
A fresh spring breeze,
A sparkling eye,
A swelling womb,
A forgiving embrace,
A dying savior,
A living God.

* * * * *

The weary traveler plods along one footfall at a time. Careworn and faltering, battered by the elements, humbled by the onslaught of trials, he seeks an end regardless of resolution.

A gentle light breaks forth in the night. A taper’s glow spills forth from a lace-clad window calling “welcome” to all who pass.

Regretting the lack of relation, he stumbles past as hunger gnaws his very heart.

A backward glance, a parted doorway, a beckoning gesture serves invitation to the stranger.

To pause, to ponder, to doubt again the intention would surely extinguish the hope. The chilblained digits cased in threadbare mitts wave back a pointed query: “Me? Call you me?”

The glint of a smile in the frosty moonlight glances off the face and warms the weary heart.
Later a satiated stomach and thawed frame rest gently by the hearth as tears course down coarsened cheeks. The simple glow of a flame endorsing hospitality, nearly lost in a cold and careless world, has assuaged another and enriched us all.

Refreshed and rested, the traveler sets back upon the path. The vigor of his step belies the arduousness of the journey. Hope burns again, kindled by the mere flicker of a single obedient flame.

Where once a solitary flame burned, another has sparked to life and walked out in hopefulness to infect the world with selfsame hope.

* * * * *

Ye are the light of the world . . .
Neither do men light a candle,
And put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
And it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men,
That they may see your good works,
And glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

* * * * *

Pass It On

“It only takes a spark, to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing . . .

©1969 Bud John Songs, Inc
Words and Music by Kurt Kaiser

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Respite Wednesday

The test of a man's religious life and character
is not what he does in
the exceptional moments of life,
but what he does in the ordinary times,
when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on.

The worth of a man is revealed
in his attitude to ordinary things
when he is not before the footlights.

~~Oswald Chambers~~

* * *

Dear Gentle Readers,

Today I carried each name gleaned from the rolls of this blog to my Father. Those of you caring for the young and the old, the sick and the dying, the lovely and the unlovely, the grateful and the ungrateful . . .

May the Lord bless you as you toil this day.

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me."
(Matthew 25:40)

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ah, my sweet husband and I have been moonstruck since we met. We love to gaze at the moon. I must note, however, that while our eyes train upon the same glowing disk in the nighttime sky, we rarely see the same thing.

While I gaze upon a bright celestial orb ripe with beauty and mystery and hope, a light under which one can dance and dream and float serenely . . .

"Water Baby and the Moon"
Jessie Wilcox Smith

he views a large land mass encircling the earth, showing itself in various phases throughout the month, all the while sporting an intriguing topography of pits and craters. He proudly shares this:

Gary's finest portrait of the moon in all her pock-marked glory.

When I saw this photo, my first reaction was, "Don't worry honey, with a little bit of coverup and some carefully applied powder we can cover those blemishes and no one will even notice." It's kind of like Albert Einstein and Emily Dickinson trying to describe the moon. We're both right . . . aren't we?

We've always been complimentary in the "tomato-tomahto" sense. Our backgrounds, tastes, temperaments, and all the rest clash, commingle, and cohere in such a dynamic way as to form something special we just call "The Good Life." Whenever I hear somebody report that they and their mate have never had a cross word or disagreement, I surely can't relate. The very first day I met Gary sparks flew. I (age 17) floated into the hardware section of Sears as backup help on a busy Saturday morning. Gary (age 18), a regular hardware department employee, expressed astonishment at my complete hardware ignorance (and he announced it loudly for all to hear -- more than once). I found him rude and insulting -- along with being the owner of the most amazing set of eyes . . . and those eyelashes! Wow!

A few days later he invited me on break for a slurpee, claiming he had a Susan B. Anthony dollar that he needed to get rid of (remember those one-dollar-coins the size of a quarter back in the 70s? Bad idea on someone's part). "Romantic," I thought sarcastically as I rolled my eyes and ignored the rapid beating of my heart. Did he win me over with that corny "dollar" line? Nah, but he sure took a giant step forward when he opened the door for me as we exited the store, slurpees in hand.

From that day forward he has demonstrated his willingness to "Lasso the Moon" for me. (I just LOVE that part in Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life.") We've spent many a night in upswept wonder staring at the moon, dancing by the light of the silvery moon, rowing down Moon River together, and wishing on shooting stars in serendipitous joy. The sparks still fly as we argue about the names of constellations, debate star-versus-satellite, and quibble over whether I truly saw another shooting star or merely had a suggestive eye flash. We may not agree on everything, but we do agree that when we get together sparks might fly . . . and that's not always a bad thing.

It's a Wonderful Life!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Wonder

(from Rachel's sketchbook)

* * * * * *

"Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
for ever."
Psalm 23:6

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Invitation to a Ball

Strange and oh so strange, this bloglines thingy. My week has suffered stress of the bloggiest nature and last night I nearly pulled the whole thing down in frustration over the false posting issue. So I popped off a post and then rescinded it (*sigh* another false post).

Sadly enough, a beautiful post of my garden has not appeared on the bloglines roles, thus I believe many of you may have missed it. So I decided to issue another invitation to come to the Sylvan Ball, for any of you that missed it. Go here and stroll my gardens if you would like.

I am off to enjoy a chilly Saturday AWAY from my computer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh Come to the Sylvan Ball

{I dedicate this blog post to my Faerie Friend, Cielo, who lives through the blogwoods over at The House in the Roses. She has blessed me abundantly and has plenty to share with everyone. Come along, take my hand, and I will show you the way to her Hopeful Friday celebration.}

* * * * *
* * *

Fairy Elves,
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while overhead the moon
Sits arbitress.

~~John Milton~~
Paradise Lost
Book 1, line 742

As softly fades the light of day I hear a familiar rustle in the woods. With myriad duties to attend before night’s end, I wrestle with the urge to follow the sound into the gentle surrounds. Another sound draws near my ear and I flee the deck and follow in pied-piper fashion.

Down the path and around the bend,
Under the light of a full gathering moon,
I find further invite to evening’s event.
I stand on the threshold of careless disregard for hearth and home needs, yet close my eyes and whisper softly:

“Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight,
Make me a child again, just for to-night!”*

I plunge through the thicket under watchful eyes of an on-looking moon, as dulcet trills of evensong bid me enter the Sylvan Ball.
That rustle that once seemed certain to be but fallen leaves, proves well to be the taffeta- and silk-clad ladies as they scurry to meet up on the dance floor and celebrate the ending of another blissful day.

Full of ruffles and rainbow’d hues they sway and glide and wink from behind foliage polished and bright.

Full-bloomed faces laugh in the face of the growing shadows,
As shy fresh buds step forward to join the assembly of woodland’s fairest.

Small choruses chime in with glee, And others wave lest they be forgotten. Shy ones peep demurely.
Some shrink back,
Whilst others surround themselves with a host of familiar ones and step to center stage.
This humble fellow donned his finest of velvet and boldly joins the festivities
alongside the pristine beauty of those in bride-like splendor.

Flourished and fancy, so many dance about.

Why even the tiniest clad in weeds oft-rejected finds welcome in this spritely gathering.

Like dancing princesses in tales by brothers Grimm, these sylvan dwellers dance to tunes embedded deep in the heart of all children. I count it all joy to have stepped back from the hearth, ducked under the fig, and crept ‘round the bend to fall headlong into this childish delight. I danced ‘til my slippers wept rents, and at the final resting tone I stole back through the verdant curtain and plunged into the sudsy waters of kitchen care . . . yet, humming a tune of Sylvan revelry and dreaming of my next dancing chance.

* * * * *

*from “Rock Me to Sleep”
By Elizabeth Akers Allen

**All photos taken in my garden.