Categories
Faith Memories Nature Prayer Spiritual growth

January 1991

It must have been a warm day when I ventured into the Cincinnati Nature Center in January of 1991. I noticed these things at the Avey’s Run stream.

“The creek has cut a new route. The deep, dark, quiet pool has changed. With the force of last year’s rain the bank gave way and several trees lie intertwined in the water that was a pool. The force of the water has moved debris into a tidy four foot pile. The stream has carried sand and stone, changing the creek’s prior route into a narrow, almost dry channel. The water gurgles in joy over a few fallen branches as the flow takes a new direction.

“River of life flow forth in me. Gurgle in joy, splash with abundant life as I flow on in God’s river of love towards the next challenge.

“A green rock says, “Pick me up.” Green – color of life and that more abundantly!”

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “

John 10:10 NRSV

Categories
Beagle Family Humor Nature

Dark Walks & Dog Laugh

As I was walking Lucky about 8 PM and shining the flash light noticed there was dew on the grass. No rain today, just evening dew.

Next night about 8 PM, walking Lucky again, it was even colder.

 21-1-10 © Molly Lin Dutina 
 Crunch of lawn, chill of air
 Even the dog hurries
 Back into the house
 Refreshed by venture out of doors
 Glad the door is closed now against the cold. 

The daylight is lasting longer each day now. I noticed I no longer need a flashlight or iPhone light for the dinner walk. Our dog is so goofy. She will not do her business in our yard, day or night. We must walk her each time. It is not all bad. I have been outside more than ever during this wintry weather. Sure hoping in new house she will just go in the yard. Maybe she will not recognize it as home at first and we can break this habit?

She is still a shrinking violet. Maybe I did name her wrong. She is timid even around us and we have lived with her since June! When we started wrapping the china in newspaper and bubble wrap she hid for the entire experience. My sister gave us some herbal aids. Guess I should have dosed her for that episode. It did not occur to me until the next day 😦

So one day Jeff and Rowan were coming over for Rowan’s birthday. She sometimes wants to nip company. I decided to give her some hemp drops for dogs from my sister. Not certain they helped as she started to get anxious at pizza time so I put her on a leash. Here was a laugh though. When I went to feed her dinner she actually drooled on my hand. That NEVER happens. As I walked to the sink to wash my hands I had to wonder, “Did she have the ‘munchies’ “?

Keep laughing out there!

Categories
Amazing Creations Faith Humor Just do it Nature Yield

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)”

Categories
Amazing Creations Faith Humor Nature Poetry Spiritual growth

Pour Out

There is an old nursery rhyme that with one hand on your hip and the other one extended, you recite, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout; here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up then I shout, Tip me over and pour me out.”

Then there is the “adult” version with both hands on your hips, you say, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout; here is my handle, here is my…Oh damn, I’m a sugar bowl!” Bob Dutina’s absolute favorite, recited at least twice a month!!

No tea set is complete without a cup. Ray Bradbury had this sentiment.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

Ray Bradbury quoted by Gratefulness.org

What is your plan for 2021 regarding “letting the beautiful stuff out?” Or do you have one? When I had two blogs going the other one was called Stand and Tip. I eventually realized that one blog would be better. Here is the poem that inspired me to begin two blogs. Perhaps I Could Ask You Just to Stand and Tip? ©1990 Molly Lin Dutina      

 
 1.
  
 Lily pads at the pond                  
 Grow on stalky stems
 Leaves unfold an opened palm
 Cupped at center point
 Summer shower starts to drop
 Mercurial glistening spheres
 Gathering in the center spot
 ‘til bulbous weight smears silver drops
 Into glistening globs
 And tips the leaves so full
 To pour their contents overboard
 And rising from the spill
 Stately shielded lily-hands
 Begin the cycle once more
  
 Keep my stem flexible, Lord
 My hands open and cupped
 Eager to receive Your all
 Questioning not Your skill
 Only trusting the power of Your love
 To melt my rigid will
  
 Drench me Lord 
 In Your shower of love
 Let me gather and drink my fill
 Then spill over on those around
 And rise to await Your will
  
 Send water of Your Spirit
 To tip me over, pour me out
 Then wash over me once again
 Fresh cleansing by Holy Words
  
                 2. 
  
 Shine Your light through
 This enshrouding mist
 Color me with covenant this:
 Abiding presence and constant love,
 Indwelling grace that conquers sin
 Transfigured rigid I
 Yielded and bent
 In Your   service                                                                                                                                    
 Spilling forth rivers of living water                                                                                                         
 And giving rest to croaky voiced frogs       
 Who, when Spirit-kissed,
 Become priests and kings           
 Singing their praises to You.
  
 Perhaps You ask me just to be Your lily leaf, 
 Stand and tip 
Categories
Amazing Creations Beagle Faith Humor Nature Poetry Special Event

Benefits of Beagle Walking

Remember “Twas the Night Before Christmas?” I know in school we were required to memorize it. Walking the dog in bright moonlight one evening, like Christmas night, I was thinking, “The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow cast shadows like midday from objects below.” I knew it was not the exact verse of the poem which goes “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.” But OH the shadows from that brilliant moon.

This year one neighbor put up Christmas lights galore which were synchronized with music. It took him a few days to find the volume knob on the music. Every time I would step out with the dog in the evening I was blasted by the joyous chorus of Jingle Bells and other songs 3 houses away. When he finally turned the volume down, it became just pleasant caroling. The winds got the better of him and before Christmas Day most of his display was damaged or taken down.

AND BEST OF ALL!! Walking Lucky at about 2:00 one afternoon I heard them in the distance. Just one at first, but as they got closer multiple voices and YES! flying right over head was a flock of CRANES! I have seen them in New Mexico and we visited the large migration in Nebraska, but OHIO?!?! Turns out they are endangered here but have been making a revival. I did not have a camera or even a phone with me to catch a picture, but below is a photo taken in Nebraska when we went to see the great migration for ourselves.

photo by r m dutina

As you can see, there is no mistaking them for geese or herons as they fly with their necks extended, legs extended and have a huge wingspan. They also are really loud with their calls.

Keep looking for treasures in plain sight! Even when you least expect them. This beagle makes me go outside, even when I am reluctant to leave the warm house!

Categories
Amazing Creations Faith Humor Nature Poetry Special Event

Star ?

Taken from https://images.twnmm.com/c55i45ef3o2a/5uIs5BUABAKcx7RAh1D4ju/43059da5725182207a342122cffd3644/Jupiter-Saturn-to-Great-Conjunction.jpg?w=680&q=10&fm=jpg

So what is the hype with the weatherman these days? (Guess I should say weather person.) They say that Jupiter and Saturn are going to be in close proximity on December 21st. {Oh! That is Monday she thinks as she writes this on Sunday afternoon.}

Being in the Northern Hemisphere, I am told to look to the southwest. I looked up all this information online for a better understanding about the details. “The December 21, 2020 conjunction will be the closest great conjunction since July 16, 1623. At the great conjunction of 1623, Jupiter and Saturn were slightly less than 0.1 degrees apart. The last time that the two planets were easily observable when separated by less than 0.1 degrees was almost 800 years ago, during the great conjunction of 1226.” Okay, now I am understanding how unusual this is! 1623 or 1226. I am no longer thinking pandemic here, yeah! Got my mind in outer space! Referring to conjuction means how these planets will appear to our eyes. They will not truly be only that far apart.

“In fact, some scholars have theorized that the original Christmas star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, might also have been a great conjunction.” Now we are venturing into speculation. I am not much for speculation. That site also referred to the Star the Wise men followed as Christian lore. Sort of made me grind my teeth.

As Bob and I drove around looking at Christmas Lights and decorations and discussing this my thoughts went as follows.

 
 
 
 20-12-21 © Molly Lin Dutina 
  
 Moon wearing a veil of clouds
 As we try to see planets conjunction of light
 Some speculate that is what happened
 At birth of my Lord
 I think perhaps their minds are veiled. 

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 NIV

The bad news is they say this conjunction will be visible in our location at 12:20 PM. Wait, that is lunch time! We will not be able to see the planets at all then. However, if the night sky is clear you can bet I will be going outside (probably with Lucky Dog) to see what I can of Jupiter and Saturn making history. I will start trying an hour after sunset. If I read the time charts correctly, my friends near Kathmandu will have a much better chance.

Lord, open the eyes, hearts and minds of all those veiled to Your truth. Help them to give themselves to You. Then they will have the merriest Christmas ever.

Jesus + You = the Greatest Conjunction ever!

Categories
Covid 19 Humor Nature Special Event

Our Major Christmas Outing

Our Cincinnati Nature Center offered an event this month for the first time ever. They call it “Light in the Forest.”

People were required to wear a mask at all times. Historic buildings were decorated for the season. There were items for sale in the Rowe Visitor Center. Being extra careful we did not go into the Visitor Center.

There were lights in the the trees. There were moving lights upon the trees. There were luminaries along parts of the path. There were young people directing us which way to go when the trail came to a fork. There were electric icicles in some trees. The Krippendorf Lodge was decorated nicely but it seemed sweltering hot in there after being outside!

There were no refreshments as masks were required at all times.

Here is the closest we got to our daughter and her family! And it was only for moment out of doors!

We had a nice outdoors walk in the night, ie., 8 to 9 PM.

Ellie, the selfie expert, Lizzie, Dave, Emily, me and Bob. The lights gave me green hair and Dave has green on his face. Is he the Grinch? Naw! but it was fun to text Ellie posing that question. LOL.

Come the 25th we are not likely to even open gifts together unless there is a heat wave and we can do that in an open garage. The virus continues to spread and we are not brave enough to take it on! Or should I write foolish enough to challenge it?

Categories
Amazing Creations Faith Memories Nature Poetry Spiritual growth

At The Sea

Oh that would be great, to be at the sea! My friend, Dan, recently posted that seeing a plane fly overhead made him sad. This pandemic is getting to those of us who are trying to stay well by staying close to home.

Pondering better days, I found this poem from 1997. I was absolutely and totally exhausted after our daughter’s wedding. She was our first child and this was our first family wedding. Bob promised to take me to the beach and here is the result of my time on the beach with my Lord. I hope it helps transport you to a place of no pandemic!

 
 At the Sea © 1997 Molly Lin Dutina 

 Distant silver horizon
 Birthed by Your Light
 Breaks through leaden skies
 Enlightens slate-colored seas
 Calls me to You
 Closer to You
 Given over to You
 Nothing withheld.
  
 And I yield to You
 To lie in Your arms
 Imbibing Holy Breath
 Entire being  - renewed.
  
 Your sparkling glow
 Moves rapidly across the expanse of water
 To here and now
 You surround me
             Uphold me
 Indwell me
 Live through me.
  
 How could I ever hesitate
 Preferring dim to illumined?
 You enlighten me
 Flaws, shortcomings,
 Weaknesses, strengths and all.
             Fact: You love me.
                         Fact: You desire me
 You declare I am Yours.
  
 Like sudden deep piles of shells
 Buried, unseen yesterday
 Revealed today by the powerful tide
 Your Kingdom unfolds before me and
 Yes, Lord, I yield
             Knowing You go with me
 And will arrive ahead of me
 You have my life in Your nail-scarred hands.
  
 Abiding under Your wing
 Your Light fills the throne room
 And I must close my eyes
 To bear Your brightness
 O, All-Powerful Lord,
 I refuse to doubt Your methods
 Your holy mercy endures
             As You bathe me 
 In Your everlasting Love.
  
 Come my King
 O Light Eternal
 Bring forth the treasure
 You have hidden within me
             As I embrace Your will
 Illumine me.
   

photo by r m dutina
Categories
Amazing Creations Faith Family Nature Poetry

February 18, 1992

 Moonlight   © 1992 Molly Lin Dutina 
      
 The blue/black velvet sky is 
 punctuated by brilliant stars.
 Their brightness is not diminished
 by the astonishing shine of the moon.
 Even the shopping center lights
 cannot detract from moon glow.
 Everything casts a shadow 
 as the moon shines on and on.
  
 On the horizon broiling veil of clouds
 emit a surprising flash of lightning
 and still the moon is not lessened.
 Alarming lightning, for this is just February
 and still the moon shines on and on.
  
 Periodically last year's leaves
 rustle in the breeze
 as the clouds gain height and breadth.
 The moon highlights them with glory
 and the cloud bank draws nearer.
 Suddenly we moderns understand our
 forefathers' fear of moon madness.
 The edge of the boiling tempest
 is clearly in view and brilliant
 as the moon shines on and on.
  
 One great flash tries to conquer moonlight
 then lightning queerly halts.
 Cotton balls at night
 of height clearly cumulonimbus,
 who has heard of such midnight madness?
 Star punctuations gleaming and fading
 but the moon shines on and on.
  
 Clad in pajamas
 wrapped in a blanket
 male adult earthling
 dances all barefoot 
 as God of the Universe
 chooses to delight him
 with night show of glory
 this midwinter evening.
 Ecstasy of the ages
 holds man's rapt attention.
 As boy-child emerges
 delight and wonder blossom. 

 One gray fellow, loose from the pack
 tries a solo conquer of Night Sun grandeur,
 but moonbeams silently pierce him.
 The roiling storm thins to an edge.
 Mankind's light is muffled and trapped
 as sky fills with gossamer 
 almost fog-like pink shroud.
 Gallant moon shines on.
  
 Edge of the blanket 
 snuggles over star lights
 sleepy light-years away.
 Chill of storm wind
 pushes me to find my comforter
 as toes and fingers, tips of ears
 remind me this is winter still.
 I stand determined
 watching clouds come marching
 pantomime in the heavens
 for the watchful to review.
  
 Without a sound 
 bright moon vanishes
 but as clouds keep advancing
 moonbeams break through the darkness
 far beyond the horizon
 encircling even storm dark
 in light beyond my view.
  
 As I stumble in dazed awe
 and wonder with amazement
 at God's joyous light show
 the storm says "I triumph"
 but my better self knows
 as I go inside my domicile,
 even now, moon glows on and on.  
taken by r m dutina
Categories
Covid 19 Nature Poetry Traveling

Now what?

Aren’t you tired of holding your breath? We are a world on edge. Global economy has nothing on global society right now. The Thanksgiving rush is all but over. The crowds have traveled and mingled among family members from far and wide. The sharing went beyond turkey and pies.

Experts are saying we are in for the worst winter in our history. I was appalled when they said 3,000 might die. Now we are counting deaths in the hundred thousands and climbing. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

 
 Blanket © Molly Lin Dutina 2020  
  
 Magical morning
 White blanket covers the browns and grays
 of Autumn
 Speaks of winter to come
 Will there be 30 snowfalls since this
 Occurred on the 30th of November
 Sloppy wet snow
 Yet a welcome change
 During monotony of pandemic
  
 Next morning the snow was plastered
 On every branch and tree trunk
 Sky the color of snow
 Wind chills will be coldest
 We have felt since pandemic began
 
 Lord, what about the lonely
 The homeless and those stricken 
 With the virus
 Cover them, I pray, with Your Wings of mercy
 Show me how to help 
 In the midst of the awfulness