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!

Reading and Current Events

I have a message every Friday from Book Bub. I signed up a couple years ago. You tell them your favorite genre and they send you suggestions of books from free to $2 or $3. Their self-description reads: ” BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover books they’ll love while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Upon joining, members receive unbeatable deals selected by our expert editorial team, handpicked recommendations from people they trust, and real-time updates from their favorite authors. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices, and partners with thousands of the industry’s leading publishers and authors to promote their books. BookBub was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.”

So currently I am reading “Light From Distant Stars” a novel by Shawn Smucker. Last night I read “Cohen wonders what it’s like to monitor so closely the mortality of strangers, to watch as death gathers them up, sometimes slowly, stretched out over days or weeks, and sometimes in a moment, before anyone can catch their breath.” As most of you know this virus mortality is taking an enormous toll upon the health care workers. Even the fictional medical TV shows are portraying their difficulties with so many people dying alone with only the health care worker to hold their hand and comfort them in their final time on earth. Yes, they are heros.

Isn’t it interesting that this book published in 2019 about a man’s father dying struck so close to home in Ohio in 2021?

Predictions are that a total 450,000 Americans might die before mid-February. Thank goodness most who are diagnosed have mild symptoms and are not likely to die from Covid-19.

So what is a woman to do? Have not been well for several days. I can’t tell if I have had mild food poisoning and a sinus infection or Covid-19. So this morning I went to get tested (Monday 1-18-21). They did a drive through test. Came to the car and swabbed my throat. When I called my daughter to tell her I was tested (so if it is positive she won’t be surprised) found out her household is not well either. Her husband ran a low grade temperature yesterday and isolated himself. The teenage Grandgirls did not feel well when they went to bed. Being a day off school they were sleeping in as usual. Emily has had Covid, but not feeling well herself. So either we all have sinus infections, or whatever. (Update: one Grandgirl tested positive.)

I have no fever, but our friends in New Mexico tested positive and never had fevers. If my test is positive (2-7 days for results) I might list my symptoms for you. I have not had a combination that screams YES! for Covid-19.

I have five of the above.

Try to stay well! Here are some ideas I have collected about Covid. “Wait it out. Be patient. Try to stay alive.” “What can’t be cured must be endured.”  

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)”

Conundrum of Safe Shopping

So I place my online order and picked up went to get it 2 days later. I get home and my husband says “Wasn’t this buy one get one free?” Yes, those notebooks were on sale and we only got one. So what would you have done with this online order? Would you have ordered two and hoped one was free? Or would you have ordered two and hoped you did not get four? I called the curbside phone number and the person who would decide if I was due another notebook was out to lunch. So, I have one notebook and no definitive answer yet. And the receipt has yet to show up online. Grrr.

Placed online order at another store. Had extra time before my pickup slot. Decided to dust and straighten up the house. Get to the store and realized my coupons were at home on the table. Drats! So I went home, unloaded groceries, ate lunch. Went back to the store. Put on double masks and went in to get my almost $9.00 refund. Came out to the car, washed my hands, took off the masks. It was worth the drive, even with gas and mileage. I am the one who used to cut coupons, wait until they had expired and THEN take the coupons to the store.

I get so frustrated with these safety measures, but so far neither one of us is sick with Covid. We do have colds, but so what? They are not severe or loaded with possible Covid symptoms.

It has been said, “This, too, shall pass.”

Retailers are saying this is the new way of shopping. So much for saving the planet. Some neighbors get Amazon deliveries two and three times a day! Guess I am just an old woman who would like to browse through the grocery store again. Online you cannot raid the markdown bins.

Cluttered

Yes, I know this is a cluttered photo. I snapped it to share with my daughter. This is my “Christmas Cactus” true name Zygocactus. Mine usually blooms sometime during the winter. This being the year of Covid and doom and gloom, death all around, mine decided to bloom on November 13 and bore mostly DOUBLE blossoms and buds! Yes, I was amazed, surprised and thankful. By November 13 most of my garden flowers are long past blooming. I did have an occasional carnation and snapdragon, but no more bouquets like April-September!

That corner of our office is no longer cluttered. We have been going through the house like the Tasmanian devil cartoon character!

Ruthlessly throwing things out like notes from retreats I have taught in the past. The four drawer filing cabinet is down to one. I just need inspiration to finish that one! I looked at one thing in the office and realized I had not even touched it in a year. Away it went.

The basement is unrecognizable. We have pared down, given away and trashed many items. This is one of my husband’s dreams some true. He knows I call him “Mr. Tidy.” I am not nearly as tidy as him. So Mr. Tidy is enjoying this process. Now he is amazed, surprised and thankful. I am getting into it. Covid staying at home has done this weird thing to me!!

Know anyone who wants some vintage crochet patterns? Yikes.

My Hilarious Husband

So in 2013 we were driving in the wilderness of Idaho and I was telling my husband about the Capacitar technique for reducing stress called “tapping”. [Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT; tapping acupressure points)]

My friend, Mrs. Hughes, taught me this.  I began tapping to demonstrate. Meanwhile, he was distracted by the GPS and drifted over the center line. When he noticed the center line he said, “Tap faster! Tap faster!”

Capacitar ends this exercise with reciting three times “In spite of the fact that I have this problem, I’m okay and I accept myself!”

Meanwhile I am reciting, “In spite of the fact that I have this problem (named Bob) I’m okay and I accept myself!

In spite of the fact that I have this problem (named Bob) I’m okay and I accept myself!”

Then we passed Hughes Road!

What a hoot! I wanted to call Mrs. Hughes from Idaho, but I could not stop laughing! And besides, there was no signal! Priceless 🙂

I have NO idea why this video is stuck on this unflattering image. It is worth listening to though!

Transparency with God

Sometimes we find it hard to bare our soul to God. This blown glass sculpture from Blenko glass reminds me of the importance of being transparent with Him. I wrote this during one of those times. I have always wished someone would set it to music. I hear the melody in my head, but have no skill to work it out!

 
Cry Then, Soul© 1996 by Molly Lin Dutina
 Somewhere in the knowing there is peace,
 Right there in the longing is a pull to draw near,
 Almost at the brink a hand reaches out to save,
 In response to the cry of our soul.
  
 Cry then, soul, out loud!
 Feel all your feelings.
 Declare to God every single thing.
 He's not repelled, He made you and
 He loves you.
 So speak with Him
 Through song or shouts of pain.
  
 Independence is the bane of our lives,
 Drawing near the bless`ed, chosen way;
 Narrow though it seems,
 Eternal vistas open forth,
 As we sacrifice with Holy trust and praise.
  
 Cry then, soul, out loud!
 Feel all your feelings.
 Declare to God every single thing.
 He's not repelled, He made you and
 He loves you.
 So speak with Him
 Through song or shouts of pain.
  
 Give Him all your shattered dreams and longings,
 Every vain attempt to take control;
 He alone is worthy of the powers we desire,
 He alone can save and make us whole.
  
 Cry then, soul, out loud!
 Feel all your feelings.
 Declare to God every single thing.
 He's not repelled, He made you and
 He loves you.
 So speak with Him 
 Through song or shouts of pain. 

Psalm 139:1-5 (NIV2011)  You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.  You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Dispersal to Convergence

 Dispersal to Convergence ©1997 Molly Lin Dutina 
 
 As the sea anemone 
 does nothing of itself
 only opens to the water 
 flowing over and about it
 then closes - 
  
 So you are to rest 
 existing now as My being 
 -less focus on all doing
  
 I am always washing over you
 with truth, with love
 you have only to pull in
 your dissipated energies
 from dispersal 
 to convergence
  
 Focus on this stillness,
 these deep inhalations 
             of My Presence, 
                         of My Power,
                                     your restoration place.
  
 Let splashes of water
 be your call to join Me
 resting in convergent Love
   

Promises and a Meaty Quote

From Streams in the Desert

“Beloved, God’s promises can never fail to be accomplished, and those who patiently wait can never be disappointed, for believing faith leads to realization. Abraham’s life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way.” – Unknown

Is that a meaty quote, or what? “His promises can never fail to be accomplished.” He is not a man that He should lie. He is faithful and powerful to do what He wills. Numbers 23:19

“Those who patiently wait can never be disappointed.” But wait! I have often been disappointed! Does that mean I am doing something wrong? Well, in my experience, most often my disappointments with God are because I have not waited long enough to see the fulfillment or I misunderstood the will or word of God.

“For believing faith leads to realization.” Do you have things in your life that you have had believing faith towards and then eventually you saw it come to pass? Do you, like David, review those things with joy and thanksgiving to inform your brain when your faith is weak? Speaking with a friend recently we stated that we see fruit from our faith walk most often in the rear view mirror or over our shoulder after the fact. Perhaps you have never listed the times that your faith has lead to realization? Maybe now is the time to review your walk and be reminded of the times this has occurred in your life?

“Abraham’s life condemns a spirit of hastiness, admonishes those who complain, commends those who are patient, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way.”

Hebrews 8:11 reads: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
He went, EVEN THOUGH he did not know where he was going. Do we have the same sort of quiet obedience? Dallas Willard taught that hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. The author of the quote above calls it a spirit of hastiness and says that Abraham condemns it. No hastiness, no complaining, be patient and quiet.

I have tried to keep myself in line with the remembrance that God calls me to Quiet, Gentle, Yielded, Peaceful Obedience to the Almighty. Holy Spirit help my life to be true to this call.

Only Then ©2014 Molly Lin Dutina

Here at Siesta Drive I have my island of responsibility.
Even here I find it difficult
to push off the dock
into the quiet river of Living Water
for the renewal of my soul
stilling of my heart, quieting of my mind
floating in Your love
awaiting Your instructions and
anointing for this day.
 
I want to power up the boat
or maybe stay on the island
ordering about the mundane
resisting the holy and eternal.
Forgive me, again, my desiring
to be in charge and capable.
 
Take me to a quiet lagoon
            with jumping fish          
            elusive Great Blue Herons
            tree branches trialing their leaves at the water’s edge.

 
Anchor me in Your incredible center-down silence
wash over me with righteousness
grant me the kiss of peace
Your faithfulness and steadfast love
meeting me in holy embrace
of relinquishment to solitude.
 
Only then
            can I meet the mundane
            with correct vision
Your holy Kingdom first and foremost
            no matter what my activity might be.
 
So here at Siesta Drive if I will allow it
energy and solace I was hoping for at “The River”
may ebb and flow, around me, within, overflowing,
washing glaring, gaudy colors of importance
off the mundane,
letting those things fall back
into their proper place as incidental
like spoons tossed into the silverware drawer.