Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Cincinnati Nature Center brings lovely seasonal flowers into my pondering. On a recent visit the “Resurrection Lily” (also known as “Naked Ladies”) was blooming right next to where I parked the car. I noticed the delicate pink blossoms first. And then the unopened buds caught my eye. They are brighter in color, some were still tightly closed.

I positioned for a better photo.

There were a few buds, not quite as tall as those now blooming. These buds were barely beyond the green covering and displaying the darkest tint of all.

Closer inspection brought a photo of only the buds,

barely opened, if the others had not already been blooming it would have been impossible to tell exactly what the flower would look like. I suddenly was impressed with the thought,And so it is with your life and your future, Molly Lin. Though your body is aging your future might be just lovely!”

Luke 12: 27 -32 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you--you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

I tried to argue with the notion, but this sort of wisdom endures beyond all my arguments. My prayer this day is “Have Your own way in me, Lord. Forgive me for the sins of worry, fear, and projection into the future. Help me to trust You, more Lord.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lily Pads Poem

Well, I had to post the poem here as Facebook would not take the length. Hope this brings you joy and hope! In Him, Molly D.

Lily pads at the pond Molly Lin Dutina 7-21-90

Grow on stalky stems.

Leaves unfold an opened palm,

Cupped at center point.

Summer shower starts to drop

Mercurial glistening spheres,

Gathering in the center palm

Until the bulbous weight

Smears shower drops

Into glistening globs

And tips the pad so full,

To pour its contents overboard,

And rising from the spill,

Stately shielded lily-palm

Begins the cycle once more.

Drench me Lord

In Your shower of love

Let me gather and drink my fill,

Then spill it over on those around

And rise to await Your holy will.

Keep my stalk flexible,

My palm open and cupped,

Eager to receive Your all,

Questioning not Your skill,

Only trusting the shower of love,

To melt my rigid will.

Send the wind of Your Spirit

To tip me over, pour me out,

Then drench me once again

With cleansing water of holy Word.

Let Your light shine through

My enshrouding mist.

Color me with Your promise this:

Abiding presence and constant love,

Indwelling grace that conquers sin,

Transfigured rigid I

Yielded and bent

In the service of Christ,

Spilling forth rivers of living water

And giving rest unto croaky voiced frogs

Who, when Spirit-kissed,

Become priests and kings

Singing their praises to You.

Turtle and Bloom

I came upon a turtle at the pond today. I missed her completely the first time I walked past. She was totally camouflaged by duck weed. The lily leaves were withering and the ones left standing placed shadows around her similar to the shape of her shell. I took one photo and drew closer to the water’s edge for another, hoping she would not slip into the water and vanish completely from my sight.

I posed no threat as she remained in her position on the log. I began to realize that she must be a very old turtle by her size.

As I changed my position along the shore, I could see her more clearly. I began to notice the lily leaves, first as obstacles to my photographic efforts, and then as tattered, themselves old from a hot summer of sun and storms and wind. I was reminded of the poem I wrote at the Nature Center 19 years ago about the lily pads, (for the complete poem see my posting on facebook )and the subsequent admonition from the Lord to me, “Perhaps I could ask you just to be a lily leaf. Fill up with mercurial spheres and overflow. Stand and tip. Ponder this My lily shield.” Here I am at the same location this many years later, seeking solace and direction at my current age in my current state.

The next photo attempt brought the lovely lily bloom into my photographic range. I had seen a dropped petal in the weeds along the shore line. It was fresh and

somewhat velvety as I placed it between folds of paper in my journal.

When I tried to frame the next photo the blossom made for good composition. Tired leaves, old turtle, flower blooming, though fading. Suddenly I was looking at a mini portrait of my life in the very frog pond that inspired me so many years ago. I have been wrestling with the topic of aging and the pain and distress that seem to be increasing in my body as I age. 2 COR 4: 16-18 came to mind: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” I had recently mentioned to Bob that I do not like to grow white roses as the petals begin to darken with the slightest bruising. Here I see a creamy lily flower bearing the beating of sun wind and storms and barely showing the effects in her waxy petals. The aging turtle remained on the log, still enjoying her sunbathing, unperturbed by one woman on the shore taking digital photos. The lily leaves tattered, yet most still erect on their flexible stalks, able to gather a summer shower and tip when the pad is full.

At first glance my negative mind set cries, “Just look at her! Surrounded by decay and destruction! Duckweed hanging on her lovely shell. Leaves decaying and spoiled all around her! All alone on that log!” Then as I ponder her wisdom caused her to cover her shell with duckweed to blend in, her courage in taking a sunbath even if the other turtles choose not to, and regardless of her surroundings she is looking up, even now, the changes in my attitude begin.

Upon closer inspection I am able to see the lovely colors in her neck, the awesome nails and webbing in her feet. The coloring continues around the under-edge of her shell into her legs. Most importantly, I realize she is looking up, as I am called to do, fixing my eyes upon things eternal. Letting go of the obvious pain and aging issues I am able to relax on my favorite bench and simply soak in the pond activity: belching frogs, passing humans, bird song and noonday joy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer of 2009

I had great plans for this blog and they fizzled in the heat and activity of July 2009! We have had a few brilliant days with low humidity and terrific clouds! It seems long ago and far away when I had time to watch the clouds form different shapes! Hope you enjoy these two snapshots and cna find shapes for your imagination to delight in.
Karen and Jackie paid us a short visit from California. Jackie had not seen Ellie since she was born. Lizzie was almost as tall as Jackie! We had a great time with them. They even went bowling with the girls! Ice Cream was a favorite topic and they tried UDF, Graeter's and finally Agalamesis's. I think the big A was the winner!
Hope you are enjoying your summer.
Sweaty in Ohio, Molly D.