I don’t know how many times I literally step on or over beauty. This particular bit of pattern and colour came into the house on the bottom of my shoe. With guests about to arrive, I was annoyed that again there were ‘bits’ strewn on the carpet so went to pick this one up, and as I did, noticed was not just a little ‘bit’ messing up the order of our living room, but rather treasure: its colour and design stopped me in my tracks. It was indeed a crisp leaf of an oregon grape, in its process toward decay. But in that process, its textured surface was turning various shades of umber, tan, and gold offering an autumnal palette displayed in abstract line and ink style. Even the specks of mold added an artsy randomness to the composition. This bit of beauty was literally ‘tracked in’ and there it was. Another unlikely glimpse of beauty.
We were ambling along the path, walking the dogs, and …there it was: in an obscure dark corner of an old log hut, on the top of a hill on our small island — a scene of the Nativity. So completely unexpected! and such a rich reminder of the gift of God that we celebrate at Christmas time. Unimagined Grace, in the most unexpected place and unfathomable manner. In the words of an old hymn:
Lo, within a manger lies He who built the starry skies…
May you be met by the unimaginable and unexpected Grace of God this Christmas Time. And always.
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ( John 1:14)
Like a slow stop-motion film, this photo captures the effect of the erosion of the bank, as the weight of the trees is too much for the diminishing soil around their roots. Slowly, slowly, as the soil is washed away by high tides and wave action, the trees lean further and further, eventually falling —
There’s something about this that strikes a chord in me. The poignancy. The inevitability. The noble trees that danced in the wind, are all bound to fall.
We’re in the dark season, the waiting season, the hoping season. The sombre colour of midnight blue is balanced by the narrow winding path of pink and the hint of ‘Christmas Rose’ appropriately disguised, ambiguous, broken, and coloured in the deep red of compassionate love.
To me, it’s significant that the path is both pink, indicating joy, and purplish, indicating the balance of that joy— tinged with sorrows.
This piece is a photo of my ‘stole’ for the season of advent, designed and created by Karen Brodie of Karen Brodie Designs. If you’re wondering what a ’stole’ is, in terms of liturgical vestments, here’s a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stole_(vestment)
Walking alongside Mosquito Creek this morning, and keeping a careful eye on where the dog was snoofling, my eye landed on a magnificent set of icicles dangling from a log that had fallen across the creek. Though the snow and ice were a tad treacherous, I only had my iPhone camera. To get any photos I had to get closer.
With great care, on all fours, I maneuvered down over the rocks and into the creek-bed to get close enough for a few decent shots. What a treasure of shapes and glistening light! There was a cedar tree that was newly fallen with its branches coated with thick ice, and the sun was at just the right angle to highlight the wonderful sight.
I admit to some degree of envy of the fellow who was making his way up the trail to that spot, with a proper camera on his shoulder. All day I’ve been yearning to go back. But, as is typical of these glimpses of beauty, they are fleeting. At this point the light would be too low, the creekbed in shadow. So I’m grateful for the glimpse of beauty I was given, and that I could share this little bit of it with you.
With the crisp cold and whisper of snow blessing the branches, walking in the forest trails offers constant marvels of glinting light, shape and shadow. I have been surprised that some of the deciduous bushes have held onto their leaves this late into the autumn, but its made for a lovely colourful display, combining the mellow brown, gold and umbers of autumn with the harsher realities of winter. The red berries on the bush (which I can’t identify) offer a hint of festive brilliance: a little detail mostly hidden by leaves and snow.
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day