(Afternoon sunlight hitting the wall.)
The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts. We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need — not all the time, surely, but from time to time — to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are the most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember — the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.
~ Frederick Buechner
Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.
~ Russell H. Conwell
I think I’m going to forever associate sunflowers with my mother’s illness and death. Not in a bad way, but in a way I can’t fully explain just yet. Perhaps I’ll never be able to explain it completely other than to say that somehow sunflowers brought a measure of beauty, peace, light, and comfort into my life at a time when I most needed those things. Some of my sunflower photos even served as expressions of my feelings — feelings I couldn’t put into words — on my blogs.
I was going through my collection of sunflower pictures when I came across this one, in a possibly-rejects file (the “possibly-rejects” are those photos I couldn’t make a decision about in regards to saving or deleting). I don’t know why I didn’t like it at the time or why I suddenly see something in it now that I didn’t then, but I’m glad I saved it. It was, for me, worth another look.
(The kitchen table. Robbins Crossing. November 2009.)
We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted — our names, the color of our eyes and the texture of our hair, the unfolding of varied abilities and interests in different subjects . . . Each of us contains within our fragile vessels of skin and bones and cells this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise. Only when we recognize that we are heirs can we truly be pioneers.
~ Edward C. Sellner