Pushed and Pelted


For two days, wind and rain storms have noisily centered my attention;  they pummel, push and pelt to remind me I am not in control and never have been.
When I look out the window at tall trees bowing and proud blossoms breaking to the ground, I too am bent and broken.
If there was a time to kneel down, this is it.

The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
~Robert Frost “Lodged”


I yearn for flowers that bend with the wind and rain.
~Tso Ssu


The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.
~Joan Didion


The heavy rain beat down the tender branches of vine and jessamine,
and trampled on them in its fury;
and when the lightning gleamed,
it showed the tearful leaves shivering and cowering together at the window,
and tapping at it urgently,
as if beseeching to be sheltered from the dismal night.
~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit

wwurain3No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Green Arms

Rowellane Park, County Down, Northern Ireland
Rowellane Park, County Down, Northern Ireland


“Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.”
~ Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist 

The brightest greens are in Ireland, if not Washington State.  I feel like I’m completely surrounded in green both here and at home this time of year, and even more so when the sun shines (rarely).  It has been raining here for several days, to guarantee the greens get even greener.

We climbed the highest hill in this area, Slieve Croob, yesterday, watching the storm clouds blow past beneath and over us, winds up to 50-60 mph on top, with spots of brightest sun illuminating the brightest greens.  Life is good, even if wet.  Life is even better because of the green arms embracing us.

from Slieve Croob
from Slieve Croob


Mount Stewart Garden Lake
Mount Stewart Garden Lake


Lenten Grace — Rain on Dust

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
~Charles Dickens as “Pip” in Great Expectations

Lent humbles the hardest of hearts by softening and readying us through our tears.  We weep to read again of Christ’s walk on the parched road to the cross, where our tears are as welcome as a cleansing rain — tears meant to renew and restore the dust beneath His feet.

When we cry for Him in His sacrifice, experience His rejection and sorrow, we empty out our bitterness, our pride, and our ingratitude.  Our tears gently cushion His footsteps.  We prepare ourselves to follow on this difficult and arduous road, fitting our foot to each print He has left behind, knowing exactly where it will take us.

Our tears make us better than we ever have been and will set us right.

We weep in joy that we have His tear-stained footprints to follow.