Assurance: a Poem by William Stafford

Assurance by William Stafford

You will never be alone, you hear so deep

a sound when autumn comes. Yellow

pulls across the hills and thrums,

or the silence after lightning before it says

its names- and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed

apologies. You were aimed from birth:

you will never be alone. Rain

will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,

long aisles- you never heard so deep a sound,

moss on rock, and years. You turn your head-

that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.

The whole wide world pours down.

– from The Way It Is, Graywolf Press, 1999

 

Featured Image Attribution: Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Autumn in Oregon

Autumn in Oregon heralds our rainiest season of the year. Weather prognosticators promised rain for days. Areas nearby and surrounding us received showers. Sometimes only sprinkles. Our neighborhood received nothing.

 
Until…last Saturday night. We awoke on Sunday morning with evidence of overnight rain. And we’ve had several good…let’s say heavy showers since.
 
When it rains in Oregon, we experience fog of varying levels–light, moderate, heavy. Especially when driving through forested areas. The fog dances through the branches of thick and heavy evergreens. It may sound a bit spooky, but it’s a lovely site and cozy too. The white-gray of the fog softens everything around it.
 
Sitting here watching the rainfall, I’m entertained by everchanging colors. The sky goes from blue to gray to almost black and then bursts open with either rain or sun breaks and white clouds.
 
The leaves are changing from green to the bright colors of autumn. With the days shortening, darkness drops its curtain earlier. Then the sky turns a blue-black dotted with sparkling lights if the sky is clear.
 
As I watch the changing of the seasonal colors and weather, I sense the Presence of the One who made it all possible. He calls me to rethink changes in my life and the lives of those around me.
 
I take a few moments and reflect on family and friends. I realize our great-grandchildren are no longer toddlers but are four, seven, and ten. Oh, and a new one on the way in January!
 
I take a look too at those friends who have left us for a better place and give thanks for their presence in our lives. God now has new angels in His heaven looking down on us.
 
Always present God provides our every need. Even a good conversation on a somewhat dark and dreary day.
Featured image attribution: Knopka Ivy on Unsplash

Fading Colors

 

As I look out my windows, I see the fading colors in our garden spots.

I’m not ready. You read that right—I’m not ready. 

coneflowers, flowers, fading colors, fading
Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay

The spring and summer blooms have kept my spirits high as I glanced from a window or stepped to our back deck. And on those days we’ve headed out in the car to whatever appointment I had, there was the front garden by our drive. Bright coneflowers, cosmos, and marigolds, and early on the blossoms of strawberries.

But it is only proper that with the season winding down and shadows growing longer, autumn is nearby. There are other colors waiting to take center stage. And with these changes come the fading of summer colors.

As Thoreau so wisely says, we must accept the changes and resign ourselves to what each change brings.

 

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
— Henry David Thoreau

 

Featured Image by Peggy Choucair from Pixabay

Thursday

Thursday took us back to summer temperatures with a high at 90. The beauty of the Pacific NW is at 8:10 pm the temperature has dropped to 82 and will continue to drop during the night. By 5:00 am, it will be 65.
It’s been a gorgeous day ending like all summer days. The light is beginning to change. Sunlight begins to fade bringing sunset to us.
 
We’ve come in from dinner out at a popular burger place. I mentioned a few days ago I was craving a good old-fashioned (i.e. not fast food) burger. Before heading out, I take my second get-into-the-Mustang-convertible-and-get-back-out without problems test. This time I passed!
 
After burgers and sharing fries and a huckleberry shake, we took a nice drive. I love the feel of the wind as we head down the road. I love even more the smell of the air as we get out into the country. This is my first trip this year in the convertible, and it was so refreshing and freeing.
 
Grateful am I for beautiful summer weather and the plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. And for an old-fashioned burger with my hubby in our Little Red ‘Stang.

Super Size It!

We all are familiar with the “super size it” menus of our fast food restaurants. We never dreamed we could have a plant in our overly shaded yard “supersize” itself.
 
Like seasons passed, Bob chastised himself for not nurturing our hydrangeas. You know–working the ground around them. Then addingi protection with manure, peat, other types of nutrients and wood chips. This past fall was no different, but as always, we plodded on and promised ourselves they’d do alright.
 
Then it came time to prune. I wasn’t able to help so Bob undertook the pruning. I dug out my instructions from a long-ago gardening magazine article. We watched and watched and watched from our family room window. Nothing new seemed to be appearing on their branches. 
 
Finally, leaves began to appear just when they should. And our watch began for flower buds. Impatient like we were earlier, we waited and waited. They too appeared in God’s own timing.
 
Next in line was the opening of those buds. Slowly they opened their petals. Our long wait was over. And they kept coming.
 
Two days ago I walked into the dining area, and let out a gasp! It was the largest hydrangea blossom I’d ever seen, and now you can see it above. The image doesn’t do it justice. This particular hydrangea outdid itself and most of our others.
 
Oh, we of little faith in God’s wonders.

Sounds of Summer

It’s Sunday and our family room slider is open. We’re just about into our favorite Sunday pastime–naps. But first, let me tell you about my favorite part of summer—the sounds.  Mornings with birdsong outside the window. The squeal of children playing outdoors. The beautiful flowers, the sunlight needed for them and me, and the opportunity to be outside.
 
Today we’ve been listening to the sounds of our neighbor’s grandchildren. When we moved here, this couple’s children were in preschool and grade school. We used to hear the happy sounds of that generation and now the next.
Weekends for our neighbors are busy. But the joy and laughter heard from that backyard is a pleasant thing. Laughing in the pool. Chasing each other around the yard. Swinging and climbing. And then the other sounds supplied by nature’s own. Dogs barking and squirrels scurrying up trees. And woodpeckers, crows, and Steller’s jays making raucous music. 
 
There’s also the sound of busy people caring for their lawns and gardens. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers melodiously humming a tune. For those into building, their nail guns, saws, and hammers provide percussion.
 
And the beautiful sound of families gathering around the table at the end of the day. 
 
Such a cacophony of sounds! And yet each one bears the gift of joy and happiness, thanks to the Creator’s magnificent hand.