A Day of Grace in the Dead of Winter

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photo by Josh Scholten
crescent moon photo by Josh Scholten

Leaning by the counter,
we steal a long slow kiss,

tasting of coffee and cream.

The chicken’s diminished to skin & skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
order themselves
into the winter night.
~Barbara Crooker from “Ordinary Life”

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

…it’s easy to forget that the ordinary is just the extraordinary that’s happened over and over again. Sometimes the beauty of your life is apparent. Sometimes you have to go looking for it. And just because you have to look for it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
God, grant me the grace of a normal day.

~Billy Coffey

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…there is no such thing as a charmed life, not for any of us, no matter where we live or how mindfully we attend to the tasks at hand. But there are charmed moments, all the time, in every life and in every day, if we are only awake enough to experience them when they come and wise enough to appreciate them.
~Katrina Kenison from The Gift of an Ordinary Day

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These dead of winter days are lengthening, slowly and surely, but I still leave the farm in darkness to head to my work in town, and I return in darkness at the end of the workday.  Barn chores at either end of the day happen under moonlight and starlight.

Each day, so extraordinary in its ordinariness, is full of grace if I awake to really see it, even under cover of darkness.

The bones of the trees, and the bones of me, illuminated.

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An Ordinary Day

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…it’s easy to forget that the ordinary is just the extraordinary that’s happened over and over again. Sometimes the beauty of your life is apparent. Sometimes you have to go looking for it. And just because you have to look for it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

God, grant me the grace of a normal day.
~Billy Coffey

 

Now all I see are dandelions on fire in the field.
To think I’ve walked through,
on top of,
over and around them for almost 60 years,
and only now I see what magic they contain
if I just settle down at their level and look.

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Choosing Sides

photo by Kathy Yates
photo by Kathy Yates

The issue is now clear. It is between light and darkness and everyone must choose his side.
~G. K. Chesterton

…love has always sought to put back together that which hate has broken.
…our hands have always been able to heal as much as harm.
…since the dawn of humanity, each of us contains three people—
the angel, the demon, and the one who decides which we will obey.
~Billy Coffey

It should not require an act of evil for us to recognize the human capacity for love,  caring and compassion.  It should not take fearsome suffering and death of innocents to remind us all life is precious and worthy of our protection, when others would discard it.

We are created to choose sides.  Our Creator chose to suffer to guarantee we are eternally worthy of His protection.

How then shall we choose?

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

Everything is…

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…anything can be written about. Not because nothing is sacred, but because everything is.
~Billy Coffey

Too much on the internet is “anything goes” because nothing is considered too sacred to be dissected, illustrated, exploited and promoted in as public a way as possible.   Most of it is so cringe-worthy that it feels very risky to click on any unfamiliar link as it may take the viewer into such a dark corner of the web that it feels impossible to escape.  Once an image is seen, it is difficult to erase from the mind’s eye.

So my little corner of the web is meant to be in the light, instead of a portal into dark.

Over the years I’ve written about many things that are personal, whether it is mistakes I’ve made, overblown worries, my parents’ marriage, health care controversies, forgiveness, and surprisingly, the page that gets the most visits on my blog: my horse’s bodily functions.

Even horse poop can be seen as sacred…I guess.  At least someone must think so.

Some things are just too sacred to be written down, and because I hold them close in my heart, they will stay that way.