Death is Good and Other Unrelated Thoughts

I wore a hat and scarf Monday as I walked. Weather had certainly changed. The ground was frosted white and the leaves curled on the trees shivering in the 30-something degrees.

Later the sun came out and I took a look at the last of my wildflowers. Still pink, but drooping badly. The leaves glistened green. I was surprised to see a bee trying to nuzzle his way to the center of the pink flower. Was their still nourishment there?

I dug and stored bulbs.

I looked at the sad, drooping Swiss chard I hadn’t cut. The mess of it bent like a group of old men huddling against the cold.

Do I want to picture this? It’s death and it’s not pretty. I’d rather picture life, full and smiling. Still, there is purpose in death. Death is good for many things; the cold kills bad insects, and seeds die to live again next year…then there are bad habits. Sometimes they die a long, hard death.

I don’t mind the death of summer; watching leaves curl and fall. I will watch all winter, while the naked trees sleep in the cold. I’m not sad for them, because they rest. I know summer will return.

It’s time for hot cocoa, a blanket and book in a cozy corner. A time which forces us to slow in many ways, here in the North. A time to give God more than a fleeting thought.

It’s time for me to pack a bag.  I will be heading out to a cabin on Lake Michigan, in Wisconsin for a week and sit under the teaching of Leslie Leyland Fields. Eleven women will share writings, and encouragement. Leslie’s years of experience in creative non-fiction will guide us. Prayer has covered this trip, and for each woman attending. Words cannot be written lightly and without thought.

So, instead of dead flowers, I thought I’d post a couple of yummy things!

A recipe I found from Taste of Home and a poem from Robert Frost.

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Apple Pandowdy

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 55 min.

MAKES: 9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 cups sliced peeled apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, optional

Nutritional Facts

Added by System Jul 24 1 serving (1 piece) equals 260 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 304 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Directions

  • In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add water and lemon juice; cook over low heat until thick. Cover and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine baking powder and remaining flour and salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter. Add the milk and mix just until moistened (a few lumps will remain); set aside.
  • Arrange apples in 9-in. square baking dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Add nutmeg, vanilla and remaining butter to sauce; pour over apples. Drop dough by spoonfuls over sauce. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until top is brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with cream if desired. Yield: 9 servings.

 

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The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Being Mindful of God

When I was a kid I used to love to ride in the car looking out the window. When the bright sun would shine in, I would shut my eyes and feel the sun changing as we drove by trees or mountains—bright, dark, and bright.

I still love it.

I love to walk through the dead leaves and hear the crunch, crunch under my feet. Leaf color gone, but other senses take part—I am hearing autumn.

Laketrees

Leaves curl and fall. The wind pulls them away and they glide like spaceships on a journey to another world. What if I was the size of Thumbelina and could ride on one as if it were a magic carpet?

What if I was the size of a chipmunk and could scurry down the dark hole into the ground? No, I think I’d rather be a squirrel in a hole in a tree. Give me a place to see the light…let chipmunks and moles have the underground.

This year I’m amazed that once dull trees, suddenly came to a peak and startled me with their brightness. Then gray clouds came with winds cool and crisp.

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Then geese gather and fly…and honk.

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Horses will grow their thick furs and be fuzzy and fat all over. Later when the hard chill is on, they will stand stock-still to keep in their warmth.

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The hardy birds will come to my feeders and sing cheerfully all winter.

These are things I enjoy that never get old. Our dear, “Mother Nature” people fondly call it, is in reality, altogether Creator-God.

We hear much about being mindful these days. You can search Google and find all sorts of Mindful coaches. Being present in the moment, in the now, not the past or the future is good advice. But what are they really all about; does their teaching bring us closer to God or away from Him?

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One Creator, One God of the Universe is who and what we are to be mindful of. He the One who planned us before time began, and is still very current in our everyday lives. Do we know him and do we seek him out?

Are we mindful of God in our ever wakeful moments?

I love to review the words of the Psalmist…

“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, to lofty for me to attain.”
Psalm 139:1-6

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“The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.”
Psalm 89: 5-8

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