Birthdays and Poetry

David cutting up a tree trunk

David cutting up a tree trunk

November 14 – I’ve been struggling a bit for the last week or so trying to come up with something for the blog that I can easily write about. Haven’t been very successful, actually, which is rare for this writer who has a reputation for talking too much, on just about any subject!

Folks who know us well sometimes ask if Dale ever says anything! But when I am not in the picture, he holds his own, and comes up with some unusual bits of information. Our son David takes after him and is always sending us stories or info via e-mail or telephone as he does his two-hour walk each night.

Mole tunnel down by the pond

Mole tunnel down by the pond

See, I was sidetracked already concerning my talking too much, etc., so will go back to the original problem. Many times during the day when I am enjoying being outside working, thoughts come into my mind. Thoughts like: you didn’t write about the wasp nest yet or why don’t you tell the readers about gluten and how to make it, or I wonder why we haven’t seen any muskrats for awhile, and so many other little stories about animals and birds and insects. Even snakes!

Yes, some of you have already read about our encounters with that last friendly creature! My idea about that is this: if you happen to come upon a snake, just stay put and let it go home. Snakes don’t enjoy your company any more than you do theirs. I’ve seen that fact proven many times. Dale never catches a snake that just comes to him obediently when he calls it! He usually has to increase his speed from a walk to a run in order to have a chance to grab it. Now I am not one who rushes around hunting for snakes, no matter how really beautiful they are. When he hands one over for me to hold, I don’t mind doing that, but I wouldn’t like to make a living chasing snakes around and showing off how brave I am!

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

So, with all of those ideas swirling around in my head about half an hour ago, I walked out to the clothesline to see if those three laundry loads were dry. Hooray! They were, from the light shirts and sheets, to Dale’s heavy work pants and towels. Sure was glad for that, so I could put the dress shirts on hangers, and fold up the rest of the washing before starting on another job or two. I hardly ever use the word “overwhelmed,” not because I don’t know what it means, but because I seldom am. Well, being outside with a tiny breeze, bright blue sky, and warming sunshine was a real blessing. When I happened to remember that lots of people think of Friday the 13th being a really bad and unlucky day, and let that overshadow the blessings God so freely gives, I was overwhelmed with His goodness and power.

Not one cloud in the brilliant blue sky! Birds flying high, and soaring over the tree tops. Warm enough in the middle of November that I didn’t have to wear a coat! Since I absolutely detest coats and jackets, I was more than happy about that. So what came to mind all through the time I worked outside, with that sun keeping me warm and bringing out the beautiful reds and yellows of the leaves?

What is so rare as a day in June?

What is so rare as a day in June?

A little story from my childhood that I still well remember. Since my birthday was the first day of summer in June, I was treated royally, not having to do my usual jobs, enjoying strawberry shortcake, and receiving little gifts. So June has been very special to me all my life. However, since Mom was born in October, that month was special to her, and we tried to do something just for her. With not one mean feeling, but just for fun, I would remind her that my birthday came in the best month, much better than October. She would give me the same treatment, except she changed the months around, with her birth month being the better one.

I remembered that today as I thought of two poems that I know very well, and that fit into this little story about birthdays. My special month poem was written by James
Russell Lowell and contains the following lines:

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur; or see it glisten.

October's Bright Blue Weather

October’s Bright Blue Weather

And what about Mom’s special poem for October? Here is part of a poem by Helen Hunt Jackson.

O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather;

So June 21 or October 5, or even November 14, who really cares just as long as that sky is a beautiful bright blue, and we take the time not only to enjoy it, but also to realize what a blessing it is? – CHRIS

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