The Garden of Prayer

The Garden of Prayer
I’m walking through shady woods on a warm Saturday afternoon, shafts of golden sunlight illuminating the variety of pine, ash, beech and hemlock trees along the trail. Somewhere unseen, water rushes over a rocky creek bed winding its way down the North Carolina mountainside. The aura in these woods is unlike any I’ve ever experienced. Not because of any especially unique landscape or unusual beauty, but because a special peace permeates the atmosphere beyond the typical tranquility of woods. This peace is God’s peace. Along the twists and turns of the trails are wooden benches and inscriptions of...
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On Butterflies and Violins

On Butterflies and Violins
I’m walking the neighborhood on one of the unusually not-as-hot days in July. I love looking at the growing blooms around my neighbors’ houses—the pink notes of shiny begonias, the bright spots of impatiens in shady yards, the unending variants of green in ferns, hostas and coleus. I turn the corner and see the stunning purple of what look like delphiniums, their tall stems swaying in the breeze—and then I notice the gorgeous tiger swallowtail butterflies flickering in between the stalks like candle flames, light on light on a summer’s day. I stop and watch. They latch lightly yet tightly to a bloom....
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Fruit in Season

Fruit in Season
It is a hot Sunday afternoon. My husband and I are having lunch on our covered patio, enjoying the breeze created by a fan whirling above us. The air is sweet like the fresh cherries on our plates, alive with the trickling of our pond and the songs of birds. The plants around our little patio oasis are blooming and bursting with summer greenery: striped hostas, unfurling elephant ears, bright basil and an abundance of mint. But they all need water. I head over to water the two tomato plants first, picking the first ripe tomatoes of the season. One tomato plant expands up and around the cage, multiple...
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Mother’s Day 11 Years Later

Mother’s Day 11 Years Later
My mother and me, perhaps in 2008 It is hard to describe the memories I’ve had of my mother these last 11 years without her. Yes, there are the anecdotal memories, like the time she prayed with me to give my life to Jesus Christ and the Bible verse she read to assure me that I belonged to Him. And the time she carried me from the creek up the incline of our back yard toward the house when something exploded into my knee while we were burning trash. I can almost see her tears as the family car drove away, leaving me in Chicago for my first year of college. Usually, what comes to mind is a mish-mash of...
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At Twilight

At Twilight
honeysuckle a thousand candles burning in memory I savor the cool air of a quiet dusk, the trees still dripping with rain from a downpour earlier in the evening. I walk down my favorite street alongside the leafy banks of the creek,  stop to listen to frogs calling back and forth, and then find myself wandering in the direction of the honeysuckle bushes nestled into the overgrowth of a steep slope where the creek is hidden from view. My mind wanders as well, thinking with sadness of the national and global loss of life over the past month. Irreplaceable sons lost to unjust, hard-to-comprehend...
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