Today, I was reminded of our 2017 trip to Indianapolis to cheer on our Seton Hall Pirates as they challenged the Butler Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. As we geared up for the big game, which our Pirates won in an exciting last second play, we spent the previous day visiting The Indianapolis Speedway. I’d not been much of a NASCAR fan, but a drive around the historic track and the visit to the museum afterwards, gave me a new and totally unexpected perspective. I use this week’s Photo Friday theme (#car) as an opportunity to share a few of the gorgeous beauties we saw that day.
Photo Friday: #Car
Having just returned from a walk in my garden, I grabbed a vase, filled it with water and placed my harvest (two Lilies of the Valley) into the vase.
Then I saw it!
The beauty of the flower sprigs notwithstanding, before my eyes was a miniature artistic marvel: capturing the vista of tall oaks stretching toward the cerulean blue sky, reflected and re-reflected in fine-point detail.
I was focused on the lilies and nearly missed the bigger picture, and the revelation that each is an exquisite masterpiece of God’s creation.
Photo Friday: #glass
sun-risen summer shores
were dressed to kill, but now
lie gray and chilled
by high surf’s crashing, glancing blows.
I spy from window’s sill.
lie there, to be ensnared
at water’s edge, if not delayed,
waylaid or swayed
by bed sheets’ soft entreat:
Forego the beach – surcease!
Instead I rise and shine,
to seize the sand scape scene,
agleam and cleaned
by tides receding, there I’m greeting
Another spectacular sunrise at Cape May – an autumnal reminder of summer’s end. Dawn was breaking when I asked myself if it was worth leaving the comfy bed at the Peter Shields Inn, to brave the morning chill. As these photos indicate, sunrise with the sea gulls is always worth it!
The unwrit page
lies blank, unmarred
by words expressing nothing,
or maybe something daft,
A stoppered voice,
in this confined space, unheard,
and in its place,
the blank and empty face
A toe dipped cautiously
into the placid lake
of my mind.
to sing, to loud opine,
To give it voice,
that still, small voice,
From here, we thought we knew where blue sky met
the ever stolid earth terrain below,
Sun rays break through wisps one can’t forget,
Each day unique, and ne’er a hint of snow.
From here, each new horizon seemed to show
If troubles or fair weather lay ahead,
Red skies or not, we’d plan, then off we’d go,
Without a second thought of fear or dread.
From here, these near horizons formed a thread
of fortunes to be won, or games well-played,
But blinded by its light, we were misled,
We failed to know, we were in retrograde.
We long for days of innocence and calm,
Up here, afar from earth, a silent balm.
Photo a Friday: #horizon
Horizon is defined as “…the line where the earth seems to meet the sky : the apparent junction of earth and sky.” (Merriam-Webster). And that apparent junction is viewer-dependent. These days, our horizons, both literal and implied, appear to be limited and often misleading. But up here, soaring over the Grand Canyon, our horizons can appear to be limitless – a soothing, hopeful thought and welcomed respite from these troubling times.
It’s all a blur, a caravan of days
and endless nights of faceless frights,
When did it begin; when will we phase
Into a healing call: emerge to light?
Acceptance comes, though focus isn’t right,
We turn to note the beauty ‘fore our eyes,
Observe instead the detail in our sights,
Perspective dawns, our goals are crystallized.
I should have known, and yet I was surprised,
In brilliant sharpness, camera shadows tell,
The greenery and buds are but disguised,
Still there to see within our bubble shell.
A photo frame of shadows, dark and light,
Grants clarity and hope; we’ll be alright.
Capture 52 – Week 20: Minimalist
I posted this photo in response to this week’s photo challenge, which inspired my thoughts on the forced isolation and uncertainty imposed on us by COVID19. I realized that in our constant emphasis on what we’ve lost, those things we took for granted that now seem a blur. We may be failing to appreciate all that we’ve gained; solitude, simplicity, serenity. This shadow of a single flower, cast upon a rather ordinary flower pot, spoke to me.
This day, this oft-ignored escape, this place
The nascent dawn breathes calm and dewy chill,
I’m beckoned, enter in this backyard space,
By fluttering finches: “Come, enjoin the trill!”
Sudden scramble – feeders newly filled,
Squirrels resume their tussling, chipmunks fussing
Scurry scuffling soon erupts anew,
Cooing mourning doves renew their fluttering.
Lachrymose and languid, whispered utterings,
Consolations ease our troubled minds,
And all the while the waning moon hangs, hovering,
Silently observing humankind.
The ever constant moon, when spied at dawn,
Reminding: “Don’t be blue…just carry on.”
March 28, 2020
Today, my daughter got married.
It was a rainy, otherwise depressing day, but today, my daughter got married.
It wasn’t a typical catered affair, with florists, musicians, and photographers, as she’d planned so many months ago. The statewide shutdown made that impossible. Even the last minute plan to wed outdoors, overlooking her parents’ backyard, was foiled by chilling rains that drenched the beribboned makeshift aisle.
Instead, she and her beloved joined hands and hearts in the family room of her childhood home – our home. Her sons gave her away, and we, her parents, bore witness. In keeping with the spirit of social distancing, there were no invited guests.
I’d crocheted a wedding shawl to accompany her lovely bridal dress, but the modified dress code was PJs and slippers. The lacy shawl will be set aside for another day. The flowers were arranged by Mom (me) and the furniture was arranged (and rearranged) by Dad. Her bridal bouquet was a single yellow, long-stemmed rose and Somewhere Over the Rainbow was her entrance anthem, as she walked arm in arm with her sons.
It was unpredictable, spontaneous and a bit chaotic. And yet, it was the most sincere expression of commitment, love and hope in the future…yes…even in these days of viral foreboding…that I’ve ever seen.
I shed a few tears of joy.
Today, my daughter got married.
In times gone by, we’d take the family car
‘cross rural backroads, farmlands on display,
Expanse of nature’s palette, fields afar
from madding crowds that often swarmed our days.
These days the world has changed; we shy away
from bear hugs, kisses, handshakes, social clubs,
These niceties forbidden, long-delayed,
No end foreseen, instead our hands we scrub.
This afternoon, attempting to bear up,
Escape the endless strain of sheltering,
Green Village Farm became our healing cup,
The great outdoors and spring buds blossoming.
I strolled around the pond, and breathed a sigh,
And weeping willow breathed my heart’s reply.
Yesterday, In an attempt to get out of the house and yet remain safe we drove to The Farm at Green Village, reminding me of the days when, my father would load us in the family station wagon, to drive through Llewellyn Park on a Sunday afternoon; just to get some fresh air and green trees and escape from the closed-in environment in which we lived.
My daughter and her fiancé, dealing with their now-postponed wedding (which was to have been next Saturday), followed us in their car, so as to comply with social distancing recommendations.
The Farm, though open, made it well known that they were enforcing social distancing. The best thing about The Farm at Green Village is that while you can stock up on all of your herbs and gardening supplies (which will be put to good use over the next few weeks, one might imagine), they have wonderful grounds with walking paths around the pond, serene peacocks and beautiful flowering trees and shrubs. We hoped it would offer a welcomed respite from the tensions of the day. It did not disappoint.
I wrote this poem because as I glanced towards the pond, I paused for a moment at the weeping willow. Further across the water I spied my daughter walking hand in hand with her beau, no doubt pondering their dwindling alternatives. The willow seemed to express my emotions, as words could not.
Winter’s veil is ever surely lifting
from top-iced, frozen birdbath in my yard,
Crackling, melting, straining wavelets shifting,
While finches perch like sentries standing guard.
Perhaps it’s spring thawed days for which I long,
For balmy breezes wafting o’er my face,
To wake once more to robin’s sparkle song,
Presaging shining morns of dew-dropped lace.
Reflections on my pond of budding blooms,
Tips of dogwood frame the mourning doves
soft chanting; nature’s symphony resumed,
Beyond, the blue-sky backdrop hangs above.
Complex simplicity – how can it be,
A tiny birdbath so inspires me.
As Jack Jones advised ”…Keep them handy, flowers and candy…Roses and Lollipops”.
It’s concert day and for as long as I can remember, every time I sing in a concert Bobby always surprises me with flowers and candy. And surprisingly, I’m usually surprised!
This afternoon Choral Art Society of NJ will present “Americana,” and once again, my wonderful husband will be sitting in the audience. I won’t be next to him, but he’ll be with me for every note of every song.
This morning, music’s running through my mind,
Unending fragments, strains of melodies
that play incessant, just beneath – behind
my consciousness, a chorister’s peculiarity.
Now full awake, I finally realize,
Ahead this week, there lies the rationale,
Rehearsals, repetitions, parts revised,
For many voices, raised as one chorale.
These ‘worms’ reside within my ear canal
Where only I can hear and oft repeat
those tricky parts and passages, et al
I’m ready, though, will soon be bittersweet.
It’s concert week, the climax of our song,
Anticipation, joy, then set aside, ere long.
This week The Choral Art Society will fine tune our “Americana” program, rehearse in concert spaces and present this collection of choral settings of American music. I love concert week! But this time next week it will be over and I’ll be removing my music from my black folder and filing it away. It’s wonderful and yet, strangely bittersweet; like a long-anticipated vacation that is over all too soon.
But for now: Rejoice – it’s concert week!