Posts Tagged With: spring

Welcome Spring

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Welcome Spring

Once again renew our hearts

With hope we cannot otherwise find

Unless you bloom with blossoms pink

And bulbs push up the soggy earth

Unless you conquer winter’s frost

With wind’s strong blasts

And skies that rend the heavy clouds

 

Welcome Spring

Renew our hearts with joy

To sing the ancient songs that well within

When sights of life and beauty overcome

Calling forth our voices

Our steps will lighten into the dance

Joining all creation as life renews itself again

This time each year

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

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Categories: beauty, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Incident of a Duck and a Dachshund

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Usually our 10 pound Dachshund is pretty obedient.  That is if he perceives we are close enough to grab him.  If he is more than five feet away all bets are off on his obedience.  He reckons if we can’t grab him, he is a free agent.  It was kind of like that today.  Although we had not noticed him slipping silently away when we were looking out across the Puget Sound.

 

It was such a beautiful, freakishly summer-like spring day in the Northwest.  We had walked along the beach towards the pier.  The tide was coming in but there was still plenty of time to get back to the part of the beach that does not disappear when the tide comes in.  The part we were standing on would slowly get smaller and smaller and the water would eventually come all the way up to the rocky embankment.

 

When we did notice that Archie was not right beside us, it was too late.  He was already madly swimming after a Mama duck. We, of course, called and whistled but he completely ignored us.  Pure instinct had taken over. All loyalty to his Master and Mistress thrown to the wind with the scent of that duck in his nostrils. The mama duck swam back a little closer to the shore to be joined by her six chicks.  They kept up a steady chatter of cheeps as they swam after her. Now Archie was chasing her and her 6 chicks.  She took him deeper and deeper.  He didn’t think twice about the frigid temperatures of the Puget Sound or the angry fowl he was chasing.  She kept zigging and zagging and taking him deeper and deeper.  Finally she flew over his head flapping and took him in the opposite direction of her chicks.  They must have had a brief pow-wow.  Something like:  “OK duckies, I’m going to distract this crazy dog and you guys swim that way and I will swim this way.”  It worked for a while but Mama couldn’t ignore her chicks bleating cheeps for too long, so she swam back across Archie to make sure they were OK.

 

By this time Bill was taking his shirt off, emptying his pockets and heading out to the shore across from where this drama was being played out.  All the while, I was praying that Mama duck would lead Archie a little closer to the shore so Bill could grab him.  She eventually did start coming close to shore and Bill jumped into the frigid waters.  He swam close enough to Archie to almost grab him.  Archie finally came to his senses and let Bill separate him from his prey. The two of them came back to shore.  Rescue completed.  I am sure that Mama Duck would thank us if she could, or maybe not.  Maybe she would scold us for our poor obedience training. We hurried back along the ever disappearing shoreline picking our way through the rocks in time to get to the non-disappearing part of the beach. When we came home Archie, planted himself in his favorite chair and slept the rest of the afternoon away.

 

Categories: Birds, Dogs, Life, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleansing the Land

The earth had been defiled. A young couple had attempted suicide in the park on a dark winter night.  A few old growth cedar stumps anchored the path reminding us that ancient forces of life have been here a lot longer than we and our people.  Our ranger friend lead us up the path and then off the path, bushwhacking down to a spot under a cedar tree.  He had asked earlier if we would come and help cleanse the area.

 

That dark winter night one person had second thoughts, and called 911 on a cell phone with a fading battery. It was enough for the first responders to know generally where they were. Attempts to return the call failed, but they set out with a Search and Rescue dog.  One group came in from the top of the park and another from the bottom.  The rangers house was at the bottom.  They knocked on the door and were able to get the Ranger couple’s help since they are the caretakers of this land and know it better than anyone else.  Eventually the couple was found, thanks to the efforts of all, including the dog who was able to locate them. They were evacuated and taken to a local hospital with life threatening wounds.  Later, word got back to the rangers that they survived.

 

When we got to the spot, Psalm 24:1 was read: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. The world and all it’s people belong to him.”

 

We prayed for the young people who came to this place so desperate.  We gave thanks that their lives were spared, that the forces of life were stronger than those of death that night.  We understood that because they came to the park, they were able to be rescued. If they had gone somewhere else that may not have been the case.

 

We took pure water from a spring that bubbles up near the path then joins the creek that runs through the park. We poured the water out as a symbol of life and cleansing. We prayed the water would be cleansing to the earth and renew it along with the gentle rain and our prayers.

 

We ended the ceremony with this Celtic prayer:

 

In time of sorrow:

 

May you see God’s light on the path ahead,

when the road you walk is dark

 

May you always hear, even in your hours of sorrow

the gently singing of the lark

 

When times are hard may hardness never

turn your heart to stone

 

May you always remember when the shadows fall

you are not alone

 

Walking back to the bottom of the trail where our cars were parked we noticed the sun’s setting light in the tops of the trees and remembered the first stanza of the prayer: “May you see God’s light on the path ahead, when the road you walk is dark”. We talked about the Japanese and Korean custom of “Forest Bathing”. It is a walk in a forest as a way of relaxing and managing stress, while breathing in the healing aromas of the forest.  This whole experience was indeed cleansing for both the land and our souls.

Categories: God, Hope, Life, Paths, Prayer, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Birdsong

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I am paying close attention

to the birdsong

this spring.

They stop me at the window

in the yard

on a walk or

on the way to the car.

“We have something to say to you!”

“Are you listening?”

 

As a small girl

I would lie down in the cool

shaded grass

looking up into the green leaves

deciphering the birdsong

code –

the chattering, whistling,

singing from one branch

to another:

“Come to tea!”

“Don’t forget to feed your babies!”

 

Now they are singing

sweet reminders:

“Slow down,

no need to rush.”

“Don’t take life

so seriously.”

“Enjoy this moment with us.”

“We have a secret

we want to sing to you.”

 

© 2014 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Life, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Northwest Sunshine

When the eagles soar

High over the high ways

I have to be careful

Not to bump the car ahead

There were four the other day

Two the day before

Did they notice the sun was out?

A rare occurrence in the northwest spring

Were they just being like the rest of us?

Drunk with sunshine

Low tolerance for it

Only a little makes us giddy

And run out the door

 

Categories: beauty, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Lenten Post #5

Pruned

Pruned

Cut back

Reduced

Standing here

In the ground

Immovable

Barren and ugly

With sap running down

No choice in the matter

The Gardner came by

Lopping off wild branches

And dead wood

Exposed and cold

And not happy about it

Now just waiting

Have to go about my business

Please pass the peas

Sorry about that sap

Wait for hope to return

With the first sign of spring

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Lent, Life, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Signs of Spring

I know it is officially here

I see the date on my calendar

I have been awakening to the song of birds outside my window with the first light

Blue Jays have begun a nest in my vines

Blossoms blooming finally

The weather has inched up 10 degrees, maybe

But the rain keeps coming here in the Northwest

A few extra sun breaks to keep our hopes up

I still wrap myself up in scarf and warm jacket when I go out

So I plastered a picture of last year’s tulips and bright blue wallpaper on my blog

To cheer me up and remind me

Spring comes every year

Hope is still alive

Even after the hardest, coldest darkest years

Winter will not always be

Frozen, bleak darkness

Will give way again

Slowly, slowly

To buds and blossoms

Songbirds and new life

Light will push back the darkness

Hope is renewed

© 2011 Julie Clark

Categories: Paths, Photography, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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