Miracle of Melting

Have you ever watched autumn leaves falling? Didn’t it seem rather miraculous that one week they were offering you shade and the next they were colored as if by crayon and tumbling through the breeze? The February snow reminded me of the leaves.

I had been complaining about snow that fell and melted in just a few hours. Once in Wisconsin it had been a delight to watch snow fall at the rate of an inch an hour.  Then we had snow in Ohio, upon older snow upon piling snow until there was an accumulation of about 14 inches that did not melt but stayed!

After two weeks of constant snow cover, birds that do not usually come to the feeder were suddenly eating the seed we put out. There was nothing else available except for a few bugs under tree bark.

Fourteen days in I was more than weary of wading into deep snowbanks. Sinking into deep snow while walking this dog who still refuses to ‘do her business’ in our yard was giving me a workout. Irritability was growing. At least I had long zip up boots instead of having to lace up ankle bracers!

My husband and I had been daydreaming about not having to bundle up against the arctic cold to walk the dog. We even mused about the time we could just grab her leash, hook her on and head out the door!

And then there began a slow but gradual thaw. At first there was only a tiny border around the base of the trees. Then on the hill patches of brown leaf detritus with birds hopping around, turning over leaves looking for lunch.

This miracle of melting snow, the return of rocks, grass, and soil – a marvelous discovery. Today I walked the dog amongst snow banked on the sides of the road. The melting was a constant sound as the water flowed out of the yards, across the seams in the sidewalk and down into the storm sewers. Gurgling water, not created by a man made fountain!

It was as if I was watching a holy transformation. Suddenly we do not require boots, scarf, hat, and gloves. Today it was 50 degrees! Tomorrow’s forecast is 51 degrees. Then almost every trace of snow will have vanished.  One more of the many miracles of our God.

By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.

Job 37:10 ESV

Out walking on 2/27/21 there were still patches of snow!

One Autumn Week

One Autumn Week © Molly Lin Dutina

 
 The other morning
 woods bathed golden with
 sunlight shining through autumn leaves
 making butterscotch in LED format from on high,
 amazed.
 The depth of the woods has been
 secreted all summer in leaves and shadows.
  
 I awoke next morn to gray sky
 shaking pillowcases full of snowflakes
 upon fallen leaves and naked trunks.
 No surface was chilled enough to hold
 the flakes for more than a few moments
 murmurs of winter to come.
  
 Today the woods are bare
 the sunlight shows brown trunks and black
 punctuated by an occasional leaf
 all this
 within one autumn week. 


Picking Daffodils in The Rain

Picking Daffodils in The Rain © 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

 I ran out the door 
 to pick daffodils before the rain beat upon them.
 Wandering up the hill I looked over the white Trout Lilies,
 Then noticed something most unusual!
 The time for tapping maples has passed
 Yet here bubbles sap - at base of the walnut tree?
 No!
 Rain is simply percolating through the rugged bark!
 In concert with gravity it creates a bubble fountain of joy.
   
Trout Lily by r m dutina

Exceeding Expectations

 Exceeding Expectations © Molly Lin Dutina  21-2-9 
 
 As forecast
 the snow fell in the night
 surpassing the expectations 
 of excited meteorologists
  
 There are no rough edges on our 
 world this morn
 only smooth brush strokes
 from the palate of Jack Frost
 he was heavy handed with his snow
 flat surfaces are now domed
 the squirrel baffle on the suet post 
 resembles the Pope’s miter cap
 the dog labors to walk at all
  
 Finally we let her off leash and she ran 
 in laps like a maniac
 leaving few traces of her joyful gallop
 when we got the bird feeder filled
 the chirpers seemed delighted
 all other foods were buried 
  
 Soon leaf blowers, shovelers, plow trucks
 snow blowers all joined the chorus of removal
 It will be days before the entire pavement is seen again
 unless some winter exceeds
 Expectations once again!

   

Ireland 2011

We traveled to Ireland to celebrate my belated 60th birthday. When we went walking the first morning my ears immediately perked up to the lambs in the distance. They were crying and as they did it pierced my heart. I could not help but remember that I am under the care of the Great Shepherd, no matter what continent or island I am walking upon.

In the Old Testament God is called the Shepherd of His people.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters
” Psalm 23:1-2

In the New Testament Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

As we meandered through the lanes of Glendalough I could tell by the cries we were getting closer and closer to the lamb. Then we turned a corner and there it was! Bob caught this tremendous photo of it on the hillside. There were other ewes and lambs around it.

r m dutina

Right after he snapped the photo I busted out the laughing as the lamb sneezed, and then rolled a bit down the hillside. What a sense of humor my God has!

Best Laugh in Weeks

Did you see this on the news? Head first down the hill. Watch at the end for the log rolls! I laughed out loud! At about 31 seconds it seemed as if the caption should be, “I just hate when I get snow in my ears!”

If you get a message about video taken down, click on suggestion about YouTube and after the short ad you can see the video. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Our Gardens

Consider this quote from Joy Harjo:

“Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their families, their histories too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems.”

As we make more plans about our upcoming move this spring this quote spoke loudly to me. If you have followed my blog for a year you know my attachments to our gardens and trees which we have cultivated over the last 15 years. (Difficult to grasp we have been in this house that long!) Some of the bulbs, ferns and the rose bush we brought from our previous home.

The quote above encourages me to remember, talk to them, listen to them and acknowledge that they are alive poems. When we moved here part of the motivation was I could no longer keep my gardens due to arthritis. And then at this address my husband kept building flower beds and I kept putting in perennials, especially spring flowers.

It is hard to say goodbye. Now I must decide what plants are going with us and what we leave behind. At the last house the new people did not keep up the flower beds. That was sad. At the house we are moving to there will likely not be sod in the yard or a place for a flower bed for weeks or months. Our son assures me my plants can live in pots for quite a long time. How much can I truly care for in the near future?

Can the old rose bush tolerate another transplanting?

Should I do a cutting of the pussy willow shrub? Is this the time to pare down not only our possessions but our gardening activities, too? Most likely true. Most of the plants and bulbs we could easily purchase again (or sneak over here when no one is home if they do not have cameras and dig up what we cannot live without!) Evil woman’s mind at work.

At this point I think the rose, one or two fern crowns and columbine. Time will tell!

Molly the Jumping Bean

When you were a kid did your parents let you order the Sea Monkeys advertised in almost every comic book of that era? Not mine. I might have had an ant farm once, unless that was my children? Can’t rightly remember. I did however have jumping beans. No idea where I got them, but they did jump. The ones that did not jump the kids in the neighborhood called duds. Now when I look up jumping beans on the internet they seem rather nasty and are not beans at all! Wikipedia, the know-it-all of earth, says Mexican Jumping beans are seed pods inhabited by the larva of a small moth. (Had she known, that would have made my mom say a resounding, “No!”)

Here is an entertaining two minute twenty-two second video coupling a Rube Goldberg set-up with time lapse photography and basic bean information.

This morning I woke up with agitation. I told Bob that packing and moving was a nice distraction from the pandemic, but now what? I was agitated and bored with all of this isolation and waiting to see who gets ill next. (My daughter has Covid for the second time and her entire family is infected.) The recent horror of politics is over for a few years, now what?

I had difficulty concentrating during my morning prayer time. I told the Lord “I am tired of doing this.” Almost immediately I realized this IS my life right now. So I need to make the most of this freezing rain, isolation, between was and is to be – this present moment is when my life is. Here. Now.

I have been using a new-to-me app called Calm. They provide meditations, music, ten minutes of relaxation (new daily) and BEDTIME STORIES. The stories are great and I rarely hear the end of a story! Recently I copied this quote from Calm: “The beginning is always this present moment.”

When I first read that I had to tell myself to soak that in. Live that out. The beginning is always this present moment. Quiet that jumping bean-like behavior. Be still in the shade of God’s Glory. Rest. “Oh Molly, be still. Rest, absorb, receive.”

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1 NIV

In a little while I began writing this blog again. Thank you to all of you who follow these ramblings! I am always amazed when Word Press shows me how many folks are following and where they are all over the world. I realize I am not the only one bored with the whole Pandemic and isolation situation. Praying perhaps what I write helps you to smile and occasionally to calm down.

The beginning is always this present moment.

Author unknown

Donkey Trail 1990

Stubborn Beast

90-6-25 Donkey Trail ©Molly Lin Dutina

“While traveling on the road of God’s will I hit a dip in the road and got jostled off the path. The dip occurred where the Lord asked me to do something, but fearing His will I inwardly said, “No!” Francis of Assisi was familiar with me when he called himself “Brother Ass.” I locked my knees, dug in my heels and soon resembled a stubborn donkey that must be pushed, pulled and cajoled to be made to move. Blind to my disobedient nature and still pouting before the holy ways of the Lord I decided if He really loved me, we could compromise on another way.

“I stepped onto the Treadmill of Debate, a perpetual conveyor belt going nowhere but in circles. Fearful and resistant to God’s will I asked, “Why?” and presented Him with all of the “What-ifs” and “If Onlys.” I formulated brilliant reasonings for resisting His ways, deluding myself and dropping further and further away from His light.

“Until I accepted His will, relinquished my ideas and gave all things over to Him I could not continue on the adventure of serving God. As usual, when I actually arrived at the point of resistance it turned out to be so unlike what I had imagined might occur, that later I wondered why I was so silly and donkey-like not to yield immediately in trust to Him. My efforts to control led me onto a futile treadmill going Nowhere. God’s mercy urges me to let Him direct my steps and enjoy His fellowship in the Now Here.

“Help me to trust You more, Lord. I want to live present to You in the Here and Now for in this experience alone is my salvation. As I begin to err, thank-you for taking me off the highway and into Your discipline. You truly are “able to keep me from falling and to present me without blemish before the presence of Your glory with rejoicing!” (Jude 24)”