At the Window

At a Window
by Carl Sandburg

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

(Public domain)



I’ve written and deleted so much blather about windows these past few days.

It’s hard to gather all the loose ends of my thoughts into something — anything, really — that makes sense.

I love this picture I took two summers ago when the milk house was being torn down. One window remained of the broken down building. It had the prettiest view over the valley.

Roger Bacon said,

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God’s favor.

The world is so broken.

Yet somehow, in the midst of it, or over it all, a great benediction is being whispered — and it’s that little bit of love. That hand that reaches in to touch me in my dark room, breaking my loneliness.


Now I look through a dirty pane
Where cobwebs
and
The dust of the world
Blur my view

I rub at it
With my fingers
And though my hands
Come away dirty
The grime on the glass remains

If I but drop my eyes
No glass obscures my view

And to my right
A larger scene awaits

Overhead
The sun
(so bright I dassn’t look)
Shines
and
Brightens the whole world:
The valley
The river
The barn on the horizon

Yet I squint
At my dirty pane
Wishing I could see more

Advertisements

Family Picnic

We had a family picnic a few weeks ago.

Actually, that’s kind of a generous description.

It was a partial family get-together that involved food, frisbee, and talking.

Five out of eight children — that’s more than half the family.

A kind of weird conglomeration of food that included deli meat (but no bread), watermelon, fresh mozzarella salad, chips, and blueberry pie — I suppose that constitutes a picnic. We were eating at a picnic table.

A huge caterpillar.

Future luna moth

Frisbee.

That became layered frisbee.

A walk by the lake.

And lots of sitting around, talking.

The best of life is made up of so many simple moments.

They may not be perfect, but the sum of them is.

 

 

People

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge — Alphabet with a Twist — needs to have two E’s in the topic — peopl(I bolded all the 2 E words.)

When my father was in the army, our family was sent to Kagnew Station, Eritrea, in Ethiopia.  I was very young at the time and my memories are few, but my parents took a lot of pictures. I especially love the photographs of the people.

in a town?

On a country road

Look at her smile!

Clay jar backpacks

In the river

Outside a school?

I have vague memories of children materializing whenever we were out and about in Ethiopia. Those memories came flooding back when we first went to visit our work site in Bosnia. The car pulled in, and a small passel of girls came running out, excited to see “the Americans.”

The smile of a child is medicine for any soul.

 

Drvo

Cee’s Photography Fun Foto Challenge: Alphabet with a Twist marches on to the letter D — 4 letter words that start with D. I added a twist to the twist this week and chose a 4 letter Bosnian word that begins with D.

Drvo means wood or tree.

I was very excited when, in Bosnia, I saw the word DRVO on a sign, because it was one of the words I had learned on the app I used before the trip. The sign was at a lumberyard, so I probably could have figured it out with the words. Lumberyards are readily identifiable by the lumber. Still — it felt like an accomplishment.

I took a few pictures of wood this afternoon — none of it lumber at a lumberyard, although I did drive by our local lumberyard and think about it.

Wooden railing, wooden steps, wooden half-barrel with sunflowers

Remnants of a stump

An old split-rail with a knothole

A closer look at the knothole

A look through the knothole

A red maple my father planted 45-50 years ago

Looking up at the branches of one of the maples

Firewood for winter

In a month all our maples will be wearing their most beautiful colors. We’ll be bringing that firewood into the house. The sunflower will be dried and ready for the birds.

Today, however, is a balmy September day, a good day to snap a few photos.

At the Corner

At the corner of Grove and Spring Streets, I paused. Maggie dropped her fish and panted while I stepped back to survey the building from a different angle.

It’s a lovely setting surrounded by trees. Porches and patios invite the residents to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Quiet and serene, the building stands removed just far enough from the hubbub of busy our tourist town. Expanses of lawn buffer it even more.

When I’m inside, I’m all yes.

When I leave, I wonder.

Maggie picked up her fish and we continued walking past the building.

I looked at the porch with its flower box. To the left was the dining room. I had eaten there a couple of weeks ago with my father.  We were just visiting, but I was impressed. Tables for six or eight, set with white linen table cloths and real china. Real food, not institutional. Servers who were both pleasant and competent. A little jazz played in the background.

“They take turns choosing what kind of music to play,” the administrator told me. “Also, people sit at the same table for about two months, but then we rearrange the seating plan so cliques don’t form and they all get to know each other.”

Every resident’s room is unique in configuration. Some have window seats. All have walk-in closets, high ceilings, and private bathrooms that include showers with seats and grab-bars. The rooms are spacious and cheerful.

I just never wanted to see my father leave his home.

But this isn’t an institution. It’s almost more like a sanctuary.

“We have lots of activities for the residents,” the administrator said. “We get tickets to the Hall of Fame Classic baseball game and sit in the grandstand so they are shaded from the sun.”

Dad would really enjoy that.

“Next week we’re going on a boat ride on the lake and maybe having a picnic on one of the beaches.”

I would like that.

I reached the end of the block with Maggie and looked back at the building.

From this corner, it still looked lovely.

I guess it’s time to finish the application for him.

There’s No Place Like Home

*click* *click* *click*… There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home…. *click* *click* *click*

Dorothy, in the “The Wizard of Oz”

Cattails and sunset — August 10, 2017

Dahlias and sunset — August 10, 2017

The neighbors slowly heading off to bed — August 10, 2017

Evening walk — August 12, 2017

Enjoying a summer evening — August 12, 2016

Home doesn’t usually happen in a jiffy. It can take years — even decades — for the roots to go down so deep that no matter where a person goes in the world, he or she can feel the call of home.

Truly, there is no place like home.


Day #7 of a nature photo challenge. It’s my home.

If this is a challenge you would like to do, it’s pretty easy — 7 days of nature photographs taken by you.

The Elements

One of my favorite family trips was in June 2015 when we all traveled to British Columbia for Sam and Donna’s wedding.

The Pacific Northwest is God’s country. It’s wild and beautiful.

Sam drove us to an amazing vantage point, looking down on the city of Vancouver.

Sky (and earth and water)

It made me feel small and big at the same time.

That same day we visited Whytecliff Park where we climbed around on rocks and skipped stones in Horseshoe Bay.

Earth and Water

My Facebook profile picture is from there that day.

Earth and Water (and me in between)

Everything about that trip was wonderful. My family was all there. A dear friend joined us. The wedding was beautiful.

Since we had to fly out of Seattle, we spent a day there on the tail end of the trip.

We walked all around Seattle. Through Pike’s Market. Though the Olympic Sculpture Park. To the Space Needle.

We didn’t go up in the Space Needle, but instead went to Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum which is near the base. The intermingling of glass sculptures and native plants is stunning.

I sat for a while at the base of the “Sun”  in the heart of the garden —

Fire

A robin sang its familiar song. I could hear him long before I found him, perched on one of the rays of the sun.

I’m sure there’s an object lesson somewhere in that — but I’m not going to try to find it.

Rather than try to tie all these random thoughts together, I’ll leave with a quote:

I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.

Pete Hamill


In response to this week’s Photography Challenge: Elemental


My friend, Renee, tagged me in a photography challenge that involves posting nature photos (taken by me) for seven days. She did it on Facebook, but I’m going to do mine here, starting with far away places and moving closer to home every day.

For Day #4, I used pictures from Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA. I was just under 3000 miles from home!

I’m going to tag some of my favorite bloggers to take up the challenge too. If you’re tagged and don’t want to do it, that 110% fine with me. I totally understand.

…Relax (Sorry, I realized that I don’t even know your name!) — I’m tagging you. I know you don’t post many pictures, but maybe you can use 1,000 words instead. You do have a way with words. 🙂