Saturday, March 31, 2012

Farm Morning

Walk in dew-soaked grass to the hen house.
Lift the door latch.
Chickens come squeaking
Out to catch bugs in the morning shade.
I chose a place in the sun,
On the stump by the water pump.
A smell of fresh turned earth
And freshly mown grass meets me.
I stop to break stalks of asparagus. 
Creamed soup for supper. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Learning to See

This year I turn sixty and eye surgery this week made me really feel my age. There I sat in a big massage chair having taken a muscle relaxer and listening to soft music waiting my turn in the assembly line of young men and women waiting for the laser machine to hum warm and all the right lights to flash.

The kind nurses reassured us each and reminded us not to touch our faces. She gave us sterile booties to cover out dirty shoes and a hairnet to wear. I felt like I was in the dryer row at a beauty salon and decided I might just pretend I was at a spa. So I closed my eyes and tried to totally relax and pretend I was going to have a facial after the massage.

Cucumbers slices on each eye, cool and fresh, or was a nurse washing my skin around my eyes. Slathering on the mud or a washing of Mercurochrome. Hmmm... Certainly doesn't smell like a spa.

Few more minutes and no more glasses. The doctor comes in wearing surgery scrubs "Alice," he says? "No, Elece, I say. "Elece? Nice to meet you. Follow me." So the rest is a blur and a pain. I was afraid and the whole thing was a terrible ordeal. But now it is over and I can see the sky and the sun and the flowers.

Today I talked to my mom in Michigan. I told her I needed to hear her voice and she said, "I'm here and I am still your Mama and you are still my girl." Oh how nice to have such a mama! I told her I feel like a skink, a lizard, because if the skink loses a tail it will grow back. The doctor cut off the top layer of my cornea and it will grow back in three days. That's pretty amazing to me.What good care God takes of all his creatures.

Now I will have to learn to see. Not from nothing but from the blurry eyes to the new prescription for sight that the doctor gave me with laser. Mono-vision will give me one eye correction a short distance so I can read, see the computer screen and the car's dashboard without strain. The other eye to see into the distance. Gradually, my brain will learn to see that way.

I hope that I will see much clearer and better. I hope that flowers will be brighter colors and that faces will be sharp and clear. I hope my heart will see differently too, always appreciating all the beauty and wonder around me, that could have been lost. I hope it will help me look with more compassion on those who can't see. I hope this trial and time of healing will teach me to truly see.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Look at That!

"Oh Marilla, how much you miss!'  This line from Anne of Green Gables stayed with me and played over and over in my mind. I know we miss lots and lots. We miss sunrises and sunsets. We see a few and we relish them and then we forget them. We miss the sky.We see the sky when it is gray and we forget when it was blue with fluffy white clouds floating along. We miss the sky so many times because we only notice when it is suiting us.

We miss trees and flowers and beautiful old buildings, and beautiful people, and colors and shapes, and sounds, and rhythms and songs. We haven't got time for wonder and joy. We're too busy. Yes, we are too busy!

With a love for nature and my photography bug, I see many things others might not notice.  I took a photo of a nice bridge with a design in its concrete railings and a W.P.A. plaque attached. I showed the pictures to my family. Where is this bridge my husband asked? When I told him he drove across it everyday to get to work, he was surprised and a little doubtful until he went to work the next morning.

How could he have missed it? He just wasn't expecting to see anything lovely or amazing in the ordinary. That is how we people are.

When we travel we take cameras and our eyes are open watching for sights, wonderful, historical, majestic, breathtaking sights, sights others may see everyday. I wonder if the people in those places might want to see what wonders are in ours.

How many wonders do we walk past in our everyday routines?

I think about the old story-line from some movies and books. The main character looks for happiness all the world over. He comes home at long last to find it was in his own back yard the whole time. Search the world for love, peace, joy, beauty and you may find it was accessible all along right near home.

I have friends who want to live in the country to find peace and contentment. It is peaceful here. I love my farm, but am I wrong to think that a person must first find contentment in his heart before he can then find it in his place, his world, his home, his life?

I have one dear friend who dreams of living on a farm and owning a pink pig. When she told me her vision, I pictured the fat pastel hog with a perky satin ribbon tied on its curly tail and a contented smile on its docile face, while ten little pink piglets nursed at her belly. A sweet dream it is! But is it preventing my friend from seeing something even more wonderful that she has already in her city, in her own neighborhood, in her own  back yard? Ah, it may well be.

"Look at that!" said the old man in a voice whose earnest inflection inspires me. "Look at that!" "Look at that!" If we only see what we saw before; if we only listen for voices and melodies we know; if we rush through our days only glimpsing here and there a wonder; we surely will miss the marvels that are packed into every space and spot in every inch of our world. How sad that would be. How very sad.

So I say , Look at that!

  The mulberry tree is budding!
 A wren is building a nest in the Crape Mrytle bush outside my bedroom window.
 Look at that! The rope swing's shadow.
 Look at that! Black hen lost a feather in the grass.
  Look at that! The apple trees in my orchard are dressed in pink.
Look! The Periwinkle sprouts fresh leaves and purple pinwheel blooms outside my front door.

By Elece Hollis

Dandelions in the grass
Smiling sweetly as I pass
Nodding heads of yellow fluff
You tell me I don’t smile enough?

Meadowlark perched on the fence
Would you sing for fifty cents?
“I only sing for free,” said he,
“For life is good and sweet to me”.

Iris fronds like swords of green
Purple blossoms in between,
You say I’m walking much too fast?
How many wonders I walk past!

Oak tree towering overhead
Rooted in a lily bed
My vision is too small you think?
I do not know how deep roots sink?

Snow white clouds up in the blue
You tell me what I fear is true
I hurry, scurry, stop too rarely
Only know my world too sparely!

Remind me to come out of self
To take my soul down from the shelf
To find the Lark’s own cause to sing:
Yes, life is good and sweet in spring.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Surprise of the Day

 A beautiful tulip tree blooming in town caught my eye. 
What a sweet surprise on a sunny Thursday morning!
 I pulled in the driveway and pulled my camera from its bag.
 I climbed out and got some lovely shots of these tree blossoms.  

The Pink Magnolia blooming means spring is at the door. 

Spring in the Meadow
        By Elece Hollis

The treetops show a palest green.
The iris fronds point straight and clean.
The daffodils nod in between
The earth and sky.

The air above is slate-grey blue;
It shines with very different hue
Than golden warm when robins flew
South in the fall.

The grass appears about to burst
Forth from the ground whose long cold thirst
Is sated now with the fresh first
Swells of spring rain.

Under the mat of last year’s grass
Bright flowers struggle up to pass
Through to the sun’s warm rays at last
From winter’s night.

The geese fly honking overhead,
As Spring arises from his bed;
He shakes himself, comes to be fed
On bread of light.

No, Spring has not arrived, but come,
Like Papa from a journey home,
Calls from the soil, calls from the loam
“I’m almost there!”