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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Afternoon sun stripes the dark green grass with the rich, golden timbre of September, sending illuminated ribbons into the shadows between the trees that crowd around the creek. A few stems of goldenrod rise like fountains from between the gray rocks along the uphill slope. Not long from now, and almost before dinner, the trees will become silhouettes against the pale evening, all gold drained from the sky and absorbed into the pink surface of cirrostratus clouds. It was the poet Robert Frost who wrote, “Nothing gold can stay.” For all the poems celebrating the substance of autumn splendor, there are...
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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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