Monday, March 26, 2012

For Everything There Is a Season

This passage from Ecclesiastes has always been a favorite of mine.  I love the poetry of it, as well as the message.

From The Message - Ecclesiastes 3

1 There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace. 

Life is full of seasons, it seems.  Women are very connected to the seasons of life, even when they don't consciously know it.  We travel the circle of life from infant, to child, to woman, to crone.  For many of us, motherhood takes us into a new season, which carries us through the closeness of nursing, into the days of letting go, and then into the joys of watching as our children become adults, bring their own children into the world.

Recently, I made a decision to celebrate the seasons of my life.  As I was taking down our Christmas tree, I thought, why can't we leave this up all year?  The immediate reply came back, who said you couldn't?  So, I have kept our tree up. (It is artificial!)

I love the lights, so they are still on it.  Since the winter holidays, the tree has had three reincarnations.  I am looking forward to several more in the months ahead.  

 Valentine's Tree

 St. Patrick's Day Tree

Easter Tree

One thing that I have come to realize is that having a Tree for All Seasons, immediately brings smiles to the faces of those entering our home.  Often they come burdened down with worries, but by the time they leave, they feel more hopeful.  Why?  Because they have become part of our celebration of life!

As the months slip one into the another, let us remember to celebrate the seasons, each in its own way.  Let us remember that even in the face of fear, disaster, disease and despair,  we can find hope, joy and love.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Never Too Old to Love

I am very excited to share a new novel that I have been reading with everyone.  From the moment I opened to the first page, I was captivated.  I can't begin to say how thrilled I am to be part of the blog tour for Walter's Muse!

Walter's Muse by author, Jean Davies Okimoto, is one of the first novels I have read that has been written about a "mature" woman. Maggie Lewis, who is, I am guessing from various comments made in the story, around my age, is the heroine, in spite of her eccentric flaws, such as her compulsion to snoop into other people's closets and drawers. The story's tension is developed through Maggie's relationship with an aging children's author, Walter Hathaway. In addition, Walter's dog, Bill Bailey, steals your heart with his silly and loyal ways.

Why is this such a big deal?  First, I haven't been a teenager or a twenty-something in a long, long time!  Most novels feature women around that age that seem to find themselves in trouble and need men to come rescue them. (Is it any wonder women have difficulty finding their own strengths?) Second, I thoroughly enjoyed the humanness of Maggie and Walter's characters.  They are real - like people you already know and love.  Finally, I love animals and Bill Bailey is a dog I can fall in love with without hesitation!

Walter's Muse is the second book in Jean Davies Okimoto's Island Trilogy.  (The first book was, The Love Ceiling.)Set on the beautiful West Coast island of Vashon in Washington state, the story unfolds with grace, humor, enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Jean's ability to write descriptively, pulls the reader in, leaving them with the feeling that they really had been in that place, at that time. Perhaps, this is because Jean actually lives on this lush island in Puget Sound that is/has been home to many gifted writers and artists and knows first-hand the beauty as well as the difficulties of living there.

Jean Davies Okimoto is an award winning author.  Among her many honors are the Smithsonian Notable Book Award, The Green Earth Book Award and the International Reading Association Reader's Choice Award. A multi-talented writer, Jean has published numerous books, plays and short stories.  She is also the founder of the Seattle Reading Awards, which recognizes fifth grade students in the Seattle Public Schools who have shown the most improvement in reading. The program focuses on Chapter One, Bilingual and Special Education students and she has served as its co-chair since the awards began under the sponsorship of the Seattle Reading Association in 1986. 

With summer only a few months away, I would highly recommend this book for those who save books to savor over summer vacation.  If, however, you have the time to read this book now, I'd say go for it!  You won't be disappointed.  I wasn't!

Many thanks to Lisa Munley for bringing this book to my attention and for organizing the blog tour.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Madness?

Not sure why it is, but this month feels, to me, to be flying by way to rapidly!  Here it is the 11th and this is the first time I have had five seconds to write on the blog!

Spring seems to be in the air. Of course, I have lived enough springtimes in New England to know that we could still have a snow storm or two before all is said and done.  

One of the traditions I have begun is to take cuttings of the forsythia to force for my table for Easter.  With Easter only a month away, I had better get with the program!

You see, I am very excited to see April arrive because my friend, fellow blogger, writer, and amazing woman, Eliza Fayle and her sweetie are coming to visit me!  Soul sisters from day one, we have formed a connection that is more than a coincidence.  

This month, I will be sharing some wonderful, entertaining, enlightening and excellent books.  I also plan on sharing more poetry, along with more about my journey through seminary.

Blessings to all as we turn the corner into the months of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation.