How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place


How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.

Psalm 84:1-4, NRSV

Repairers of the Breach

Image

“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.”
– Isaiah 58:12, The Message

Come, Spirit of Courage, creative Source of Healing. Amen.

A Certain Beauty

foggy trees
There is a certain beauty to a foggy morning. The trees framed in soft light against the sky.

The peony shut tight against the dampness and darkness of the morning.

peony

The mushroom cup holding a sip of dew.

mushroom

The dandelion seeds pulled together in dampness.

dandelion

The rose petal drooping with the weight of the morning dew drops.

rose

Look and see the beauty of a foggy morning.

Once in a Blue Moon

Blue moonOnce in a blue moon
you find some friends
(or they find you)
Who stand with you
through ups and downs
thick and thin

Who laugh at your jokes
dance in your happiness
drink to life and love

Who sit with you in tragedy
hold you when you are afraid
brush away your tears

Who love you
just the way you are
no matter what

Once in a blue moon
you find some friends
(or they find you)

True blue friends


Photo: August’s Blue Moon over Mount Pilchuck, Washington. By Beth A. Richardson.

Bird Friends at the Cabin

wren on top of box
Wren on top of wren box

Since late April I have enjoyed keeping an eye on the Cornel Lab of Ornithology’s the live web cam of the nest of a pair of Great Blue Herons. Thousands of us watched the fun as eggs were laid, chicks hatched, parents fed, babies grew and finally fledged in the last couple of weeks. But the live web cam didn’t hold a candle to the bird adventures I witnessed — in person — at our family cabin in Colorado.

At the cabin on the front porch, there’s a wren box that’s been there for years — probably built by Grandpa Tom Wilson. The Rock Wrens were feeding babies. All day long, they were catching and hauling bugs in to feed the babies. Anyone sitting on the front porch could watch the fun. You could hear the chirping of the chicks and when the mom or dad entered the bird box; the whole box rocked back and forth during the feeding. Then there was the singing of the wrens after feeding the babies. I also enjoyed the way the birds clean off their beaks on a branch after feeding the babies. It was wonderful entertainment.

Here’s a parent geting ready to slip into the box with a bug.

wren on the front of the box
Wren heading in to feed babies

One day as I sat on the front porch, I saw the cutest little flycatcher in the tree. (I think it was the Cordilleran Flycatcher, but I’m not sure.) At one point, it got a little bit too close to the wren box and there was a scuffle. Feathers flew all over the porch. I guess they were flycatcher feathers. So the little flycatcher settled into the tree on the other side of the cabin — outside the bathroom window.

I woke up at sunrise one morning and saw the little bird soaking in the early morning sunshine. Here is a photo I took through the bathroom window.

flycatcher
Flycatcher outside the bathroom window

 

The pictures through the glass were a bit fuzzy, so I took the screen out of the window to take a few more pictures. She or he wasn’t concerned about any of it and sat for me through the whole photo shoot.

flycatcher
Flycatcher with no screen or window in the way.

The Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were putting on a show from dawn to dusk. The male bird’s wings make a trilling noise when they fly, so it’s easy to keep up with them. While we were there, the males were courting. They fly straight up to a great height and then make a “U” shape down and up to the same height. The way the cabin sits on the side of the mountain, we were able to watch the mid-point of the display. It was quite impressive.

There was a little branch at the edge of the backyard that hangs out over the canyon. The branch was a favorite perch of the male hummingbird; he was able to keep an eye on his territory. I shot this photo of the hummingbird just as the sun was coming up. He was puffed out against the cool of the morning.

hummingbird
Male hummingbird keeping an eye on his territory

 

I’m thankful for the bird show. Grateful for birds, for the cabin, for the privilege of being there.

Jack’s Babysitting Job

job1Jack’s friend, Tracy, called early this week to say that she had a job for Jack. Tracy needed help with Sammy the maltipoo puppy who was coming over for a few days. She needed someone (like Jack) — to keep Sammy entertained. (Awwww, Jack … we remember when you were just a tiny puppy, and now you’ve got your first job.)

So Jack’s been at Tracy’s helping with Sammy. When we went to pick him up today, we observed his work for a while. (He’s very good at this babysitting stuff.)

Sammy is the cutest pup ever. Here he is chewing on a stick and looking adorable.

Sammy the maltipoo

Jack’s got good babysitting tricks. One is a game called, “Chase Me. I’ve Got the Ball.” Sometimes Sammy chases Jack.

playing ball

And sometimes, Jack chases Sammy.

playing ball

Either way, it works great.

Another game in Jack’s toolkit is “Chase Me. I’ve Got the Stick.” Here’s the early part of the game where both pups are getting ahold of the stick.

Stick

And here goes Sammy with the stick!

Sammy with the stick

Sammy’s still got the stick! Go, Jack, go!!

Chasing Sammy

This is Said. He lives with Tracy all the time. And he’s Very Ready for Jack and Sammy to go home. He needs just a little peace and quiet for a change.

Said

Jack said he’s got the greatest job ever!!

1. Chasing and being chased by Sammy.
2. Running. Eating. Taking naps.
3. And then Running. Eating. Taking Naps. Barking. Playing. …

Tonight, back at home, Jack’s asleep. He’s tired out. Babysitting is hard, hard work.