Observing July’s Time and the Delta Before the Divide

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Venus and Crescent Moon Lisa A. Wisniewski

We’ve been graced with the presence of Venus and the crescent moon in the early morning skies this past week.  Seeing the two shining brightly in the dark before the dawn created an aura of peace and intimacy for the soul despite being wakened by screeching raccoons between 2:30 AM and 3:30 AM two days in a row.  Though I personally was not in the mood to go investigate the noise, my dogs Sadie and Leo, insisted, barking and running around in circles.

Benefits of Being Bugged

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Too Cute to be Denied Lisa A. Wisniewski

After turning on the lights to make sure no raccoons were in sight, I let the dogs out and walked across the sidewalk toward the garage.  Looking to the east, I saw the bright star and the crescent moon just above the horizon.  Of course, the eight year old inside of me got all excited and insisted on running back inside the house to grab the camera and take pictures.

So, there I stood at 3:30 AM snapping shots of the sky while most normal people were getting their required sleep.  As I did this, I contemplated how there are times in life when we have opportunities, but are reluctant to take them because of timing or inconvenience.  While I know it would have been beneficial to be sleeping, something in the experience sent a shot of adrenaline through me, reassuring me of my choice to spend a few moments with nature and God.

As we came back inside, I felt thankful that the dogs had insisted on checking out the noise.  Had they not bugged me to be let out, I would have missed a very special opportunity to see the wonders of the skies and experience God’s peace.

Tugging at Time

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Important Time With God Lisa A. Wisniewski

This experience also made me realize that there are times in life when what we feel we should be doing with our time does not match what we are able to do with our time.  We have “priorities and obligations” as well as “responsibilities and commitments” that we offer as excuses.  In reality, we have a conflict of heart and mind, body and soul that has the potential to drive us insane and cause undue stress.

While it is important to take time to do certain things, it is equally important to realize that time is a unit of measure which allows us opportunities.  If we rush through time simply trying to cross items off of our to-do lists, we are not fulfilled.  If we take too much time to do something, we become stressed with what we deem as a “lack of progress” in our minds.

Perhaps the following quotes offer some good food for thought when it comes to time:

“No great thing is created suddenly.” –Epictetus

“Whenever you take a step forward, you are bound to disturb something.” – Indira Gandhi

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Stepping Forward Lisa A. Wisniewski

Weeding Through the Moments

In addition to Venus and the crescent moon, humidity has made its presence known this past week.  With morning temperatures in the 70-75°F range and daytime highs in the 80-85°F range, the added humidity has made running a biking without becoming dehydrated quite a challenge.  Not one to be deterred, I have altered my routine on some days to try to take advantage of cooler morning air.

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Tall Tall Weeds Lisa A. Wisniewski

While running along my route, I noticed the weeds have shot up about 6 inches in just a few days.  The humidity, intense heat, and hazy skies provide a natural green house for such growth.   Returning home, I found weeds popping up in the driveway, landscape beds, and garden, much to my chagrin.  While I don’t mind weeding, I don’t always have the time required to do the task.  However, I do have a very anal side that diligently tries to keep up with the weeds.

So, despite working long days, trying to do all the normal chores, and still find time for the dogs, running, and biking, I found myself spending the better part of the past few evenings weeding.  As I tugged at the weeds, I contemplated other areas of life in which I have been weeding lately.  It seems as if I am sorting through information, situations, relationships, possessions, and pretty much everything this month in an effort to find balance and simply clean out the debris.  This is not a bad thing by any means, and actually has been a good exercise in faith, mental ability, and physical stamina.  Letting go of some things has been a test of my faith.  Trying to decide what to keep and what to toss or pull has required some stretching of my thought process and planning abilities.  Doing this exercise on top of everything else has been physically taxing, yet seeing the progress somehow recharges my energy level.

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Making Progress Lisa A. Wisniewski

Symphony Amid Silence

In going about all this weeding, I noticed times of peaceful silence with only the whisper of the wind barely audible to fill the atmosphere.  There have also been times when the locusts have decided to rehearse for a concert, sending their unmistakable call of summer through the air.  It is a bit early for the locusts to being making such a din, however, it is far from abnormal to hear the locusts calling this early in July.

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Locust Shell Lisa A. Wisniewski

Historically, the locusts call in late August, just before students return to school.  Growing up, my sister and I gauged how much of summer had passed based on when the locusts started calling.  At the first sound of the locusts’ siren, we know our return to school was eminent and that the freedoms of summer would soon be coming to a close.

Locusts make their sound by vibrating a tymbal, or white drum-like plate located on either side of their abdomen.  Male locusts make this call as a way to attract females and find their mate.  The females respond with a clicking or snapping sound.  The resulting noise creates a powerful din in the late day air.

Upon hearing the locusts this year, I immediately started looking for discarded locust shells.  Locusts shed their shells to sprout wings and become adults.   They crack through the hardened shells, creating a slit along the top.  They then push themselves through the slit to spread their wings.

Finding a Gem Amid the Weeds

I looked in all the normal good places for finding discarded locust shells: the grooves of the bark on the old walnut tree, the v-shaped trunks of the maple trees, and the branches of the bushes, but found none on the first night.  The next night while weeding, I noticed an oddly shaped brown object in the grass.  Turning it over, I realized it was a locust shell.  Once again, the eight year old inside got all excited and ran to the house to grab the camera to take pictures.

One Like Another

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Weeding Through Time Lisa A. Wisniewski

Just as the locust sheds its shell, we often need to shed habits or possessions in order to move onward.  As we weed out needs, wants, desires, and other aspects of life, we build character, strength, faith, hope, and understanding.  We also have the opportunity to stretch our imaginations, improve our talents and skills, and step outside our comfort zone.  As I have said in other posts, it is in trying that we grow and in growing that we become who we need to be.

Earlier tonight, the rain forced the dogs and me inside.  We worked on indoor chores and cleaned out two small areas that had been on our to-do list.  After the rain, we went outside.  While walking in the yard, I found the weeds growing in the garden to be bothersome to my anal mind.   Though it was later in the evening and rather wet, I started weeding as the dogs supervised.

The number of weeds was a bit daunting, but I quickly realized many of the weeds were large tufts.  Removing just a few tufts created a nice open space in the garden.  I diligently kept pulling although the bugs were biting, I was sweating, and I really should have been inside taking a shower in order to go to bed at a decent hour.  I pulled until dark and almost finished the weeding task.  The sight before me was pleasing to the eye, as well as a reminder of how diligence, patience, and persistence can lead to better things, or as the following quote so eloquently states,

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

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The Best Way Out Lisa A. Wisniewski

May the process of weeding through life’s gardens and spaces provide opportunity for growth, renewal, and inner peace.  May the process of learning how best to spend our time bring a sense of accomplishment and understanding, allowing us to see the blessings in the delta before the divide.

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Red, Red Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Delta Before the Divide

Venus in the morning sky
Dancing with the crescent moon way up high,
Red, red sun above the haze
Conveying God’s love and grace
To the ground below
As the sound of the wind blows
Through the trees and beyond
The river to the sea past the pond
To the delta beyond the divide
Reaching to help us to the other side.

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Deer in Field Lisa A. Wisniewski

Rabbits and deer in the fields all around
Jump and steer themselves without a sound,
Dancing to summer’s song
As the river runs on and on
Through the minutes of the moments
That are hidden in the motions
Of the water in the delta before the divide
Where stellar is the view at the other side.

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In the Light of the Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the light of the sun and water of the rain,
We traverse the path that runs by faith
Through hill and dale, mountain and desert,
The Lord allows us to proceed despite the weather
By God’s grace through the river of time
We reach the delta before the divide
That pulls us to the shelter of the other side.

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Onward We Press (Sunset 7/20/17) Lisa A. Wisniewski

Onward we press and forward we go
Through the deserts that stretch past where the seeds have been sown,
Spreading our roots along the way,
Past our youth and innocent days
To the forest of the trees
Where before us we see
The world from the delta before the divide
Leading us toward the other side.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Weeding Buddies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Locusts – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/group/locusts/

Locust mating – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530152846.htm

Locust shedding shells – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2448427/A-bugs-life-The-amazing-images-cicada-breaking-free-larva-shell-unfurling-wings-adult-insect.html

Locust sound – https://www.livescience.com/28925-why-cicadas-sing.html

Observing July’s Extremes and Hidden Spots

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Full Moon July 8, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

My dogs and I watched the Full Buck moon rise on July 8 between bands of rain storms.  The full moon of July is also known as the Full Thunder moon due to the frequency of thunder storms during the month.  The storms were indeed prevalent this week, popping up all hours of the day and night, dumping rain in sheets upon the ground, and blowing tall, established trees like toothpicks in the wind.

Surviving Extremes Through Belief

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Storm Clouds in the Distance Lisa A. Wisniewski

Watching the storms made me think about the extremes of life.  One minute, everything is bright, sunny, and carefree.  The next minute, the skies are dark, gray, and filled with a harshness that sends chills through the soul.  We never know what each minute of the day or night will bring, yet we can’t live if we are immobilized by fears or anxiety.  Our faith leads us onward, as does the love of God and others in our lives.  Each step upon the journey leads us to growth and discovery necessary for the remaining parts of the journey.

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After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

In contemplating the extremes of nature and life, I was reminded of the extremes God put His people through in order to show them the way.  Some people were “stiff-necked” and reluctant to comply, but others simply did as asked, fearing the consequences.  Perhaps the story of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis (Genesis 37-50) offers a good example.  Joseph lived his life close to God, much to the chagrin of his brothers, who sold him to Pharao in Egypt.  Though famine gripped the land and Joseph did not understand his brothers’ ways, he pressed forward, blessed by God.  In the end, Joseph was reunited with his father Jacob, as well as his brothers, and was able to provide for all of them and their families.  Joseph survived the extremes because of his faith and willingness to listen to God.

Listening to and for God

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Bull Thistle Lisa A. Wisniewski

One of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy running and biking outdoors is the opportunity to listen to and for God these activities offer.  Often, I find God’s words in the skies, but sometimes He speaks in the trees, flowers, and wildlife around me.

While seeking God in my runs and bike rides this week, I found:

  • Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), known for its hairy, purple disc flowers and spiny green stems
  • Common burdock (Arctium minus), with its spiny flower balls topped in purple above heart-shaped leaves
  • Teasels (Dipsacus) in bloom with bees buzzing at the emerging flower heads
  • Goldenrod (Solidago) just starting to bloom with yellow flowers arching over grayish green stems and leaves like spatulas
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Goldenrod Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Common Burdock Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Doe in the Brush Lisa A. Wisniewski

On one of my bike rides after a thunderstorm, I spotted a doe in the woods.  She seemed guarded, so I stopped to observe her from behind a tree and discovered she had a fawn close by.  Watching the two together in the dense brush reminded me that sometimes in seeking, we find more than we anticipate or expect.  Depending upon the findings, we may feel overcome with joy, sorrow, or even bittersweet emotions.  How we handle the facts and our emotions is what helps shape our character and success in life, as illustrated in the following quote:

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles that one has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

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Sweet Success Lisa A. Wisniewski

Defining Success Through Lost and Found

It is in trying that we learn, and in learning that we gain the strength to try.  As we go about this process, we find different definitions of success and failure, as well as times of feeling both lost and found.  Many years ago, I realized that in order to be found, one must first be lost.  At first, this was unsettling to me, for being lost is not that great of a feeling.  However, my experiences taught me that being lost is not always bad or a sign of weakness, but rather a necessary process one must undergo in order to move forward.

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Finding Light Within the Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Given that I don’t like moving backward, I figure being lost is a good reason to start seeking, and seeking makes one try, which in turn leads one forward.  While this may not be the most eloquent reasoning, it is the simplicity of the solution that makes it beautiful in certain circles.  Perhaps similar reasoning can be used to explain the grandness of nature and summer’s song.  Nature prods us to ask questions, discover, and move on.  Summer’s song is complex in that it is unique for each individual, yet simple in that it speaks to the heart, mind, and soul in a way that is uplifting, as the following quote suggests:

“In summer, the song sings itself.” – William Carlos Williams

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Summer Song Lisa A. Wisniewski

May the extremes of life lead us through moments of being lost, allowing us to be found.  In seeking, may we learn and discover the extent of our faith and its mighty powers.  May the character built along the way lead us to hidden spots of peace, happiness, and overall good health. 

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Teasels Lisa A. Wisniewski

Hidden Spots

Teasels and golden rod blowing in the breeze
Before a storm stirred up by God ripples heaven’s seas
Casting rain down in waves
Before the sun comes out upon another day
Guiding the lost to be found
In the hidden spots of the world spinning around.

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Tiger Lilies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Bull thistle, burdock, and tiger lilies, too
Listen to the locusts call in the pines high above the roots
As the breeze blows in the summer air
And the river runs to the sea within the soul made aware
As what was once lost becomes found
In the hidden spots of the world spinning around.

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Rabbits Along the Road Lisa A. Wisniewski

Rabbits along the road, deer in the field,
Out of habit I go, trying to discover what is concealed,
Moving to the rhythm of life’s songs
Through miles both ridden and trod,
Lost in thought in order to be found
In the hidden spots of the world spinning around.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Mountain Laurel Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Rose of Sharon Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Full Buck moon – http://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-names

Genesis 37-50 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+37-50&version=NKJV

Observing July Through Summer’s Song

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Peaceful Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I pedaled and biked through the humidity this past week, I found solace in the quiet of the early dawn and twilight hours.  The gentle breezes blowing helped lift my soul and kept me cooler through the miles.  As I strained to find new things within the landscape, I discovered two patches of trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans).  The trumpet-shaped reddish orange flowers stood out from the climbing mass of leaves, reminding me of the following responsorial psalm used in the Catholic mass for the Ascension of the Lord:

“God mounts His throne to shouts of joy, a blare of trumpets for the Lord.” – Based on Psalm 47

Vines of Faith

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Trumpet Creeper Lisa A. Wisniewski

Not only are the flowers like trumpets, but also the vine is able to climb with support, usually through the help of a tree in the wild or a trellis if cultivated.  The rising vine really has no bounds, just as the Lord has no boundaries to His mighty powers and grace.

Similarly, if we have faith and open our lives to God, we can achieve the impossible, overcome the seemingly insurmountable, and withstand the storms of life.  Our faith acts as our supporting structure, allowing us to lean on it as needed, and even when we seem to not need it.  Like the trumpet vine stalk, our faith weaves its way throughout our lives, fed by the truth and the light.

Vines of Frustration

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Poison Ivy Lisa A. Wisniewski

This week seemed to be the week all the vines in my area made themselves visible.  In addition to the trumpet creeper, I noticed poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) growing out of control in the woods and along the roads, and poison oak (Toxicondendron diversiloba) can be found climbing up the trunks of trees and over fallen logs.

Though these vines do not have large, showy flowers like the trumpet vine, they do have showy leaves which can help identify them.  Poison ivy is known for its pointed three leaf formation, and poison oak for its lobed, round-toothed leaves.  The main issue with poison ivy and poison oak is the oil the plants produce, which is a known skin irritant that can cause a major rash and discomfort, especially in the hear and humidity of summer.

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Poison Oak Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing the poison ivy and poison oak made me wonder why God would create such a nuisance plant.  In my pondering of possible reasons, I came to the conclusion that like weeds, God creates things to make us stop, look, and learn.  Though the stopping may not be convenient, the looking may not yield a pleasant sight, and the learning may entail a hard lesson, the exercise helps build character, strength, and faith, all of which are needed upon the journey.

Walking Along Discovering Summer’s Song

During my walks and while mowing the yard, I discovered the weeds of summer have taken up residence pretty much everywhere.  Some of the weeds pop up over night, others take their time to slowly spread along the ground.  All of them remind me that there is still work to do to keep both the physical and metaphorical weeds at bay in life.

Weeds of note I found include:

  • Common purslane, which looks similar to cultivated portulaca, but has rounder, broader leaves
  • Broadleaf plantain, known for its thick, leathery leaves and tall flower stems
  • Gill-over-the-ground, known  for its scalloped, heart-shaped leaves, pungent odor when cut, and vine-like growth
  • White clover, known for its three-leaf formation and bee-attracting properties
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Gill-over-the-ground Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Broadleaf Plantain and White Clover Lisa A. Wisniewski

The carefree appearance of each weed standing in the sunlight beneath the blue sky reminded me that there are times in life for both work and play.  We can enjoy our times of work and play if we open our minds and allow our hearts to feel the graces granted to us.  We can also find peace, energy, and understanding in nature around us as we listen to summer’s songs both literally and figuratively.

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Summer’s Song in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Joy Without a Sound Lisa A. Wisniewski

 

May the sights and sounds of summer allow us to see both God and our faith at work.  May the weeds of life not permanently detour us from our destination, and may summers song be heard deep within the mind, body, and soul.

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Sunset in the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

Through Summer’s Song

Sunset in the rain, pink and purple with delight
Singing the refrains of the angels in the sky
Watching over earth between the clouds
As the waters in the seas spins around
Keeping time to the beat that flows
Within the rhyme as the lyrics go
Through summer’s song upon the way
Of the path moving along to heaven’s gates.

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Sunrise July 3, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sunrise in the dawn, bright orange and gold
Casting light upon the flowers as they unfold
To greet the rays with open arms
As night fades with the stars
To begin the day anew
Within the sequins of the dew
Sparkling through summer’s song upon the way
As Springsteen strums his guitar in Born in the USA.

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Midday Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Midday clouds within the blue sea
Moving about with graceful ease,
Dancing and swaying to the music so soft
Whispered in the grace of God
Riding the breeze up and down
In perfect harmony with the blessed sound
Of silence through summer’s song upon the way
Leading the soul along the path it must take.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Fireworks in the Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Doe and Fawns Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Ascension of the Lord – http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050516-ascension.cfm

Broadleaf plantain – http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=110

Common purslane – http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/purslane.htm

Gill-over-the-ground – https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/glhe.htm

Psalm 47 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+47

Trumpet creeper – https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=cara2

White clover – http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/white_clover.htm

 

Observing June’s Last Days and Freedom in the Light’s Rays

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Freedom in the Light Lisa A. Wisniewski

The past week brought some lower temperatures and more rainfall than normal to my area.  The cooler temperatures averaged 9.5°F below normal, and the rainfall the past week alone brought the area within 0.82 inches of normal.  We had one day where the rain started before 4:00 AM and did not completely stop until 2:00 AM the following day.  Though the rain was mostly light during this period, it did make for some challenges in getting yard work done and completing my normal running and biking routine.

Helping Factors

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Amazing Sunrise Lisa Wisniewski

In attempting to go about my normal routine, I found the extended daylight of summer to be most helpful.  With sunset still at 8:55 PM and sunrise inching back to 8:52 AM, the added light allowed me options to complete tasks and activities.  It is always nice to have options, and I felt most blessed in recognizing their existence this week.  A change in my work schedule also helped, allowing me to run or bike both morning and evening.

Additional help came from nature’s latest blooms in the surrounding fields and roadsides.  As I ran, biked, and walked the dogs this week, I found the following plants either in bloom or close to blooming:

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Common Mullein Lisa A. Wisniewski

  • Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus), with long, velvet-like leaves and clustered yellow flowers attached to stalks 1-8 feet tall making it most noticeable along the roadside
  • Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), reaching 1-4 feet tall with tubular flowers spreading from an urn-shaped base and leaves almost fringed in appearance due to their narrow sections
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    Spotted Knapweed Lisa A. Wisniewski

    Milk vetch (Astragalus canadensis), with fern-like leaves, boat-shaped yellow flowers, and wispy stalks rising 1-4 feet above the ground

  • Teasels (Dipsacus sylvestris), with spiny egg-shaped heads and stems branching out from tall stalks reaching up to the skies

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Teasels Blowing in the Wind Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Milk Vetch Lisa A. Wisniewski

Light’s Factor in Freedom

Seeing the tall flowers in bloom reminded me to rise above the darkness of life situations and see the potential the light in life offers.  As I contemplated this thought, I realized that the darkness often places both physical and mental boundaries upon the soul.  Though by nature we humans need light, we sometimes cling to the veils offered in the shadows of darkness in an effort to hide or distance ourselves from both the truth and adversities or difficulties.

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Searching, Searching Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though we may feel secure in our effort s hide, we also need to remember that there is no hiding from God, and perhaps this is best described in Psalm 139:

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

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If I Go Up To the Heavens Lisa A. Wisniewski

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
For darkness is as light to you. – Psalm 139: 1-3, 7-12

Freedoms and Boundaries Within Options

As we make choices in life based upon our options, we may find that the options seen or known do not really fit our needs.  While the choices may be appealing, their complexities and caveats may actually hinder our progress.

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Options Do Exist Lisa A. Wisniewski

For example, I lost my cell phone while mowing grass over the weekend.  Efforts to find it after over twenty minutes of searching were fruitless.  I admit I panicked, and did not pray first before taking action, which proved to be a mistake.  Long story short, I went to the local cell phone provider store to get a replacement phone for emergency purposes.  As fate would have it, my phone and plan, which are over five years old, are no longer supported unless I opted for an upgrade, which I was eligible for, but after all the fine print, could not obtain without spending an additional $25 per month for service with an additional minimum of $10.80 per month for “smart phone” service.

Given I did not need many of the options provided in the upgrade (sorry, I am “old-fashioned” and prefer to do my own thinking and not rely on electronic devices), I could not justify the cost, nor could I fit the available phone in my pocket (which is a major issue given my lifestyle).   I felt trapped in a corner.  Every inch of my being screamed, “Do not do this!” so I asked if there was another option.

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What Boundaries Exist in Nature’s Beauty Lisa A. Wisniewski

The salesperson suggested a pre-pay phone, which required a new phone number, was supported by a different network, and was not covered in my discount plan.  Again, I did not feel comfortable with this, but given the cost was $85 initially and $35 per month after, and the fact I had already spent over an hour of valuable weekend time waiting in line, I figured it was somewhat doable.  I should have listened to my gut and headed home to look for my lost phone at this point, but instead opted to spend $85 and an additional 30 minutes for all the paperwork and setup to be completed.

Upon returning home, I discovered my parents had found my phone, but had no way to contact me, so I spent money for nothing on the surface.  However, in hindsight, I realized a valuable (literally and figuratively) lesson in that it is always best to pray first, remain patient, and make sure you are comfortable with your choice.

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Limitless Potential Lisa A. Wisniewski

During my wait, I watched other people explain their cell phone issues to the sales person and observed how much time and complexity each solution required.  As I watched each scenario unfold, I wondered how much valuable time is wasted on electronic devices and how many people are “held hostage” by the complexities of plans, data services, special features, etc.

Honestly, trying to communicate a simple message is now a complicated process.  We have to decide whether to call, text, email, instant message, or use some form of social media to get our message to the recipient.  Despite these options, the message is often not received, misunderstood, or misinterpreted.  In this case, the added options actually place boundaries upon us, leading to some less than stellar decisions.

Freedom in Being Unplugged

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Finer Points of Life Lisa A. Wisniewski

Looking back on my experience, I know why I prefer nature over electronics.  Nature is simple on the surface, but complex underneath.  It does not allow the complexities to limit its reach, nor does it have limitations in potential.  Though some boundaries exist, they often can be overcome with perspective, patience, and time.  Nature has no fine print, no sales gimmicks, and no hidden agendas.  It supports the soul without being asked, offers freedom in its light, and creates an atmosphere conducive to real communication.

May the light and blooms of nature offer potential and blessings beyond our expectations.  May we recognize the boundaries darkness places upon us, and may we find freedom in our quest for the light upon our journey.

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Freedom’s Song Lisa A. Wisniewski

Freedom

Freedom
Running the race needed to be run
Engaged by the light,
Encouraged by the sights
Drawn to the mind and heart
Of the blessings disguised by God
Made known in time upon the journey’s ride.

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By the Dawn’s Early Light Lisa A. Wisniewski

Freedom
Ready, willing, and able to project the sun
Entwined in life itself
Emphasized by the wealth
Deemed in the experience
Of both seen and unseen events
Made possible through light found in the journey inside.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Carefree Hosta Lisa A. Wisniewski

References and Related Links

Psalm 139 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139

Observing June Blooms and Summer’s Beauty

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Day Lilies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though my area continues to be plagued with times of rain and clouds, the times of sun and clear skies along with very warm temperatures have allowed the day lilies to bloom.  The bright flowers can be found along the roadways, in yards, and in landscape beds for miles around.  Colors ranging from yellow to orange and even deep red add bright spots to the surrounding landscape.  One section along my running and biking route has day lilies growing on both sides of the road.  Seeing their orange blooms is always a sure sign summer has arrived in my area.

It’s Summertime!

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Sunrise June 21, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Summer arrived June 21 with a majestic sunrise.  Standing on the back porch of my house, I watched the deep red glow emerge between  the trees and the clouds in the distance at 5:50 AM.  The reflection of the light off of the clouds was amazingly beautiful.  The light caught every ripple of the growing cloud cover, making the sight appear textured as if I could reach out and touch it.

What better way to start the longest day of the year than with a beautiful sunrise?

Colors Everywhere Without a Care

Seeing the lilies come into bloom reminds me of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where he talks about worry and being anxious:

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Smiling for Summer Lisa A. Wisniewski

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. –Matthew 6:28-29

Looking at the lilies, they appear to not have a care in the world, simply opening when the sun rises and closing when sun sets.  They don’t complain in between, but seem to smile with their bell-shaped outward curved flowers, revealing the delicate pistil and surrounding stamens within.

Science Lessons Galore

Peering into the flowers, I am reminded of many science classes spent identifying the parts of a flower, learning the role each part plays in the flower’s existence, and marveling at the details behind the beauty.

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Flower Parts Up Close Lisa A. Wisniewski

The stalk of a flower is called the peduncle.  The receptacle is the part of the flower stalk that meets the petals.  The sepal is the part that houses the bloom, and is often leafy or fringed.  Petals are the colored part of the flower.   The pollen producing part of a flower is called the stamen.  The stamen is made up of the anther, which is where the pollen is produced, and the filament, which is a tender stalk supporting the anther.

The pistil is the female part of the flower, made up of the ovary, ovule, style, and stigma.  The ovary supports the style, which is topped by the stigma.  A mature ovary is called a fruit, and a mature ovule is considered a seed.  The pollen germinates in the stigma, and often appears as a powdery residue.

Other Blooms and Fruits

In addition to the day lilies, the elderberry bushes are now in bloom.  The delicate flowers grace the tops of the bushes and sway in the breeze creating a lace-like wave.  Elderberries typically grow in wet, marshy areas, and we have a few spots in our fields where the bushes are abundant.  The bushes we have grow wild, and are not cultivated or planted.

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Elderberry Blooms Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the coming weeks, the blooms will turn into small green berries.  The sun will turn the berries deep purple.  Peak ripening typically occurs in August, however, there have been times when the fruit ripened as early as mid-July.

Since childhood, my sister and I have helped in the making of elderberry jelly.  The hardest part is taking the tiny berries off the stems.  We typically wear rubber gloves to prevent our hands from being stained purple by the juice from the berries.  Once the berries are collected, they are cooked and strained through cheese cloth.  The smell of the cooking berries sends a sweet aroma throughout the house.  Once the juice is collected, it is mixed with pectin and cooked until achieving a full rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down).  Sugar is then quickly stirred into the hot liquid, and the mixture is once again heated to boiling.  Upon boiling, the mixture is stirred continuously for one minute. The mixture is then placed in jars that have been given a hot water bath.  Screw top lids and seals are placed on the jars to allow the jelly to be preserved.

In addition to elderberries, we have strawberries, blue berries, red raspberries, and wild black raspberries ripening in the gardens and around the fields.  We use the fruit for eating and for making jam.  This year, it appears the crop will be a good one with so many berries ripening in a short time span.

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Wild Black Raspberries Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Blueberries Ready to Ripen Lisa A. Wisniewski

Summer Smells

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Deer in the Hay Field Lisa A. Wisniewski

The smell of freshly-picked berries instantly sends a summer message to my soul.  Another smell that takes me immediately to summer memories is that of fresh cut hay.  My neighbor cut the surrounding fields for hay the other day, and the sweet, intoxicating aroma of the grass in the fields could be smelled for miles along my biking route.  The scent wafted in the open windows of the house as well, bringing a freshness to the rooms.

There is nothing like lying down at night and drifting off to dream with the fresh aroma surrounding a body tired from summer activities.  Doing so reminds me of to be thankful for God’s many blessings, and calls to mind a favorite psalm:

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Bless the Lord, Oh, My Soul Lisa A. Wisniewski

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits; He pardons all your iniquities.  He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion, he fills your lifetime with good; your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:1-5   

May the rising sun and blooming flowers bring a sense of peace to the soul.  May the sights, sounds, and smells around us remind us of God’s many blessings and summer’s beauty as we make our way upon the journey.

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Red Sun All Aglow Lisa A. Wisniewski

Summer’s Beauty

Red sun all aglow
Shaking its head to show
Its’ light to the world around
Without the slightest bit of sound,
Embracing the day with arm outstretched
Through God’s grace and blessings sent
Offering time to share and see
All the sights of summer’s beauty.

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Yellow Day Lilies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Day lilies in the fields
Smile and wave to reveal
Their zest for life all around
In yellow, orange, and red resounds
Echoing their joy in nature’s song
To enjoin the heart upon
A ride within the journey
Through all the sights of summer’s beauty.

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Fresh Cut Hay Lisa A. Wisniewski

Freshly cut hay and honey suckle vines
Offer aromas so sweet and fine
As the breeze blows and the trees sway
Over the earth below at midday
While the clouds drift in the sky
Dancing with the spirits in waltzing time
In the rise and fall of the music so soothing
Offered in all the sights of summer’s beauty.

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Soaking Up Summer Lisa A. Wisniewski

Soak it up, drink it in,
Thank the heavens above for the blessings within
All the sights of summer’s beauty
Sent from the Father in the sky as a gift to thee.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Essence of Summer Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Elderberry bush – https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/elderberry/elderberry-bush-varieties.htm

Matthew 6:28-29 – http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-28.htm

Parts of a flower – https://www.amnh.org/learn/biodiversity_counts/ident_help/Parts_Plants/parts_of_flower.htm

Psalm 103:1-5 – http://biblehub.com/isv/psalms/103.htm

Observing June’s Light and Whole of Life

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June Sunrise 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

June has brought times of both rain and sun to my area.  This week, the temperatures skyrocketed into the upper 80°F to 90°F range during the daytime hours.  With low temperatures of 65° F, the nights have been warmer than normal, yet comfortable with the breezes blowing.  The warmer temperatures made for some rather sweaty runs, bike rides, and dog walks, but the times of sun, blue skies, and feeling of summer soon to arrive (June 21 is not that far away) made up for all the sweat, at least in my mind.

Sweat Beads and Cooling Needs

As I pedaled my bike four miles after a three mile run the other night, I felt little rivers of sweat running down my back, arms, and legs.  The air hitting my skin as I rode along made me feel cooler.  The experience made me think back to health classes years ago when I learned that sweating is the body’s mechanism to cool itself.

 

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Hazy, Hot, and Humid = Sweat Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sweat is created  by sweat glands, which are skin glands that occur only in mammals.  There are two types of sweat glands, the eccrine and apocrine.   The eccrine glands are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and regulate body temperature.  As the internal body temperature rises, the eccrine glands release sweat, which is made up of mostly water and sodium.   There are thousands of eccrine glands within the human body to regulate temperature.  In mammals such as dogs, cats, cows, and sheep, the eccrine glands are located on paw pads or lip margins.  This is why these animals rely on panting instead of sweating for temperature control.

The apocrine sweat glands continuously secrete a fatty sweat into the gland tubule.  Stress, anxiety, fluctuating hormones, or rise in body temperature stimulate the glands to produce bacteria to help break down the sweat, resulting in body odor.  The apocrine sweat glands are located in the underarm and groin areas in humans.  Other mammals have many more apocrine glands, hence the smell often associated with cows, horses, and sheep in warmer weather.

In humans, each sweat gland by itself may not be very effective, but when you sum up all of the sweat glands, you have a very effective cooling system.  This system is of most value when exercising or engaging in physical activities often done in the light and warmth of the summer sun.

Lots and Lots of Light

In addition to the warmer temperatures, June has brought even more daylight to my area.  Sunrise is now at 5:50 AM, the earliest it can be, and sunset is currently at 8:52 PM, inching slowly toward 8:55 PM, the latest it can occur.  We are approaching the summer solstice, the time when the sun “stands still” before redirecting.  The standing still can be seen in the consecutive days of 5:50AM sunrises.  After 6 days, the time will inch back to 5:51 AM, then a minute later each day as we progress through the summer and into fall.

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Light Before Night Lisa A. Wisniewski

The extra light has been great for my dogs and me.  We have been outside every evening until after 9:00 PM, edging, mulching, weeding, trimming, and trying to make the yard look nice.  (The dogs supervise while I labor, which works well for us.  Occasionally, they do try to help, but it usually ends up being more work for me, so I tell them to just watch instead).

All the work of maintaining the yard is therapeutic and rewarding for me.  It is amazing how many questions and problems I can solve in my mind while working and playing with the dogs.  Issues that trouble me seem less severe when I am out there digging, raking, and trimming.  Others may view this time as work, but I view it as play time, time to just be me, time to talk or listen to God, and time to be thankful to be able to do what I enjoy doing most in life.

All this time is made brighter by the light of the sun and the aura of promise and potential the spring and summer seasons hold. Perhaps the following quote states it best:

“We see the brightness of a new page where everything yet can happen.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

As I contemplate this aura and the light, I am reminded of Jesus’ discourses to the apostles, calling them the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Jesus often used simple, little things in life (light, salt, seeds, and water) to get his message across.  He also used many metaphors so the people could relate his words to their work and their lives.

Simple Solutions

The ability to relate is often made possible by the breaking down of a problem or event.  Dissecting the smaller pieces leads to the discovery of relationships, which in turn makes the process more relevant and effective.  Perhaps my yard work can be used as an example.  I have a big task in making the yard look nice.  However, if I break that task down into categories like edging, weeding, mulching, and trimming, I have smaller components that are more manageable both physically and mentally.

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Back Yard Landscaping Lisa A. Wisniewski

The process of categorizing gives some semblance of order for me to follow, which makes the project more organized.  The organization leads to my communication with God and nature.  This communication in turn leads to cooperation (God and nature working with me, or at least keeping me company while I do the physical aspect of the work) to get the tasks done.  Completing each task offers motivation for the next task at hand.

This process reminds me of some of St. Paul’s writings, in which he speaks of building character, strength, and endurance (Romans 5:4).  It also reminds me St. Paul’s message to the Corinthians regarding faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13-13).  Each component plays a part in making a better whole, and in turn, a better world.

Intricate Beauty, Infinite Value

These writings illustrate the very intricate, delicate weave created in and by life.  Every component is connected in some way, allowing each piece to play a part in the greater whole.  The sum of all the components is made more valuable with the contribution of each component.

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White Yarrow Lisa A. Wisniewski

While pedaling my bike the other night, I saw some white yarrow.  The very tiny petals are almost invisible by themselves, but when grouped together, they make a flower like fine lace.  Add to this the very delicate, fern-like, wispy leaves, and you have a masterpiece of nature’s finest art.  Each part of the yarrow is very small, but the sum of the parts makes for a tall, showy flower with a unique appearance.  If we viewed the parts individually, we may not see their value, but each one is necessary to make the plant complete and noticeable.

As I contemplate the parts of each whole in my life, I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite Patty Loveless songs called A Handful of Dust, which was written by a great songwriter named Tony Arata:

A Handful of Dust

Break us down to our elements, and you might think He failed
We’re not copper for one penny or even iron for one nail
And a dollar would be plenty to buy twenty of us
Until true love is added to these handfuls of dust

Handful of dust, handful of dust
Sums up the richest and poorest of us
True love makes priceless the worthless
Whenever it’s added to a handful of dust

However small our worth may be
When shared between two hearts
Is even more than it would ever be
When measured on its own accord
Aw, half what it could be is now twice what it was
When true love is added to these handfuls of dust

Handful of dust, handful of dust
Sums up the richest and poorest of us
True love makes priceless the worthless
Whenever it’s added to a handful of dust

Summing Up Sums

Perhaps it is all the little parts of the spring and summer seasons that make them so memorable, rewarding, and refreshing for me.  Every component from the smells of fresh cut grass and falling rain to the sights of the misty mornings filled with dew and the clear blue skies add an element of value to create a priceless effect upon the soul.  Each day filled with light offers endless potential to learn, grow, explore, and find what one is seeking.

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Moving Along in the Morn Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I inch my way along through my yard work, I find myself contemplating events past and present, as well as dreaming of the future.  Where I have been and where I am now are steps within the journey leading to my destination.  Every step has value, though not every step may be seen as important at the time it is taken.  Some steps are taken with certainty, others with caution or even fear.  Every step challenges my faith along the way and builds character.  This character in turn builds strength, which allows for endurance, which in turn leads one through life.

May we recognize the intricate details and little things as we make our way upon the journey.  May each experience lead us to deeper meaning and understanding, and may sharing these experiences with others add value to the sum of the parts that make up the whole of life. 

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Daisies in the Field Lisa A. Wisniewski

Within the Whole of Life

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Round, Round Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Daisies in the field, blowing in the wind
After the hazy fog of the morn has lifted
And the round, round sun in the sky
Has found its way through the clouds of white
To guide the soul and lead the way
Through the folds of another day
Full of potential and opportunities bright
Within the whole of life.

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Wispy Clouds After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Tiny Phlox in Jewel Weed Lisa A. Wisniewski

Wispy clouds and dreamy stars
Moving throughout nature’s finest art
Created from parts all sizes and shapes
Given a start by God’s love and grace,
Allowed to flourish and grow in time’s sea
Above, below, and everywhere in between
The rhythms that hold together day and night
Within the whole of life.

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Old Walnut Tree in Morning Mist Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Stepping Through Time Lisa A. Wisniewski

Old walnut tree standing tall in the morning mist
With leaves outstretched waiting to be kissed
By the sun’s rays
In a new day begun upon the way
Through the steps within the journey
Around time’s bends and lessons of learning
Leading the soul to the light
Within the whole of life.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Patty Loveless- https://www.biography.com/people/patty-loveless-17189482

Rainer Maria Rilke – https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rainer-Maria-Rilke

Science of sweat – https://certification.acsm.org/blog/2013/may/the-science-of-sweat

Sweat glands – https://www.britannica.com/science/sweat-gland

Tony Arata – http://nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com.s164288.gridserver.com/Site/inductee?entry_id=256

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Sunrise June 15, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Observing June Rains and Life’s Lanes

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Almost Full Moon June 8, 2017 Lisa A. Wisniewski

The first two weeks of June are historically rainy in my area.  This year is following tradition with showers popping up in the early morning, mid-afternoon, or evening hours almost every day.  The weather forecast is calling for cloudy skies up until the weekend, so I am not sure if we will get to see the full moon on June 9.

June’s full moon is known as the Full Strawberry Moon, named by the Algonquin Indian tribe to signal the start of ripening strawberries.  Tribes in Europe called it the Full Rose Moon, and it is also known as the Hay Moon since hay harvesting often starts this time of year.

Rain Facts

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Calming Skies After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though I don’t particularly care for the gray skies that come along with the rains, I don’t mind the sound of a gentle rain or running and biking in the rain when the temperature is warm.  Something about listening to the low drumming sound of a gentle rain on the roof or pedaling along to the rhythm of the rain makes me feel at peace, even if the world around me is far from tranquil.

When the raindrops fall and hit an object, part of the energy from the motion of the fall is absorbed by the object and part is converted to vibrations that create sound waves.

Sound waves are unique because they are:

  • Mechanical, which means they can travel through a medium such as air or water, but cannot travel through a vacuum.
  • Longitudinal, which means the disturbance created by the vibration travels in the same direction as the wave.
  • Pressure waves, which means they have compressions and rarefactions, or high and low pressures within the wave.

The amplitude of a sound wave is determined by the peak of the compressions or rarefactions.  The amplitude, along with the frequency or speed of the vibration, determines auditability, or loudness, of the sound.

The amplitude of a gentle falling rain is lower and is interpreted by the brain as a non-threatening sound.  This is why the sound of rain can be so relaxing to some people.

Rainy Day Memories

Growing up, I distinctly remember trying to help my grandmother mow grass in between the downpours of the first weeks of June.  Gram was never one for patience or nature’s sudden changes, so the rains made her rather cranky.  By coincidence, the Three Rivers Arts Festival always occurred during the rainy spell.  The festival drew many people to the city of Pittsburgh, which is about 20 miles away from our rural home.

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Rain Clouds on the Move Lisa A. Wisniewski

The television news Gram watched at noon and in the evenings had daily stories about the festival artists and events.  Gram used to blame the festival for all the rain, “The arts festival is in town.  We’ll have showers and thunderstorms every day until it leaves.” (I can’t repeat the rest of what she would say, as it usually contained more than a few swear words).

Back then, we did not have all the toys and conveniences of today’s world, so Gram sometimes had her hands full keeping my sister and me busy when we visited (which was pretty much every day since we lived just a field away and took a daily walk through the field to see what Gram was doing).  However, Gram did her best, playing cards or supervising while we built Legos on the kitchen table.  We also helped her clean out cupboards, do dishes, vacuum, and wash clothes.

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Stories of Life Weaved in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

As we went about the chores, Gram told us stories of her childhood spent growing up with eleven siblings on a farm.  The stories always fascinated my sister and me, no matter how many times we heard them.  We learned about our Croatian heritage, how our great-grandparents immigrated from Yugoslavia to the United States, and what Gram and my grandfather (who passed away very young, well before I was born) went through in their first years of marriage.  In hindsight, we had quality time well before the concept was made popular, and this quality time was usually made possible by the rain.  God was at work in our lives way back then, and we did not even know it.

Adventures in Automobiles

Gram usually became antsy by the third day of rain (as did my sister and I), so she would take us to visit our great aunts (Gram’s sisters or sisters-in-laws) or other relatives.  We piled into Gram’s old four-door, brown Plymouth and off we went, windshield wipers and raindrops flying in the wind as the whitewall tires sped through the bends and hills along the way.  Gram knew all the good back roads and side streets to make the trip more adventurous.  Occasionally, we’d have to detour due to summer road construction, which allowed us to learn more roads, streets, and routes (and a few new swear words).

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The Heavens Always Watching Over Us Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sometimes, Gram would turn on the AM radio, but most times she told stories about different sights along the way, explaining how some farms came to be, where certain roads or stores got their names, or what used to be in a particular location.

I don’t remember thinking much about God back then, but I do remember Gram having a St. Christopher medal hanging from the rear view mirror.  One day, I asked her about the medal.  Gram explained that the medal was for protection, and that St. Christopher watches over all travelers, no matter how far they are going. Though Gram was not the most religious person in the world, she sure did believe in the power of St. Christopher and kept a medal in her car until she was no longer able to drive.

Traveling Traditions

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Directions From the Sky Lisa A. Wisniewski

The popularity of the St. Christopher medals faded by the time I got my driver’s license.  However, Gram bought me a guardian angel pin that I kept in the sun visor of my vehicle for extra protection.  By then, I knew more about God and that I did not necessarily need an object to remind me of His or any of the saints’ powers.  However, I do admit that at times I found myself searching for reassurance, something physical to act as a compass or a guide along the way.

This past Sunday, I went to see one of my great aunts, the only living sibling left from Gram’s family.  On the way, I encountered a detour that put me on streets and roads I had not traveled since I was a teenager.  The experience brought back memories of Gram driving my sister and me on our adventures.  Though I was proud of myself for remembering part of the alternate route, I was a bit nervous, especially since the weather forecast called for rain and I really needed to get back home to try to cut the grass before the showers fell.

But It’s Right There!

As I cautiously navigated along the route, I found myself praying very hard, straining to remember landmarks, and trying to keep calm.  When I did spot something that jarred a memory, I felt a calmness settle over me, as if God was saying, “It will be fine.  You will get to where you need to be.”

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I’m Right Here! Lisa A. Wisniewski

Of course, I worried His interpretation of my destination might not align with my interpretation.  My inner compass told me to focus and try to remember as best I could, and I could see my great aunt’s house, which reassured me.  At one point, I did have to call my great aunt for verification of a turn, and we both laughed about me being able to see her house, but not being able to get to the street in front of it.

How often in life do we see what we are seeking, yet can’t grasp it? My driving experience reminded me of the following quote:

“The search for God is like riding an ox hunting for the ox.” – Buddhist proverb

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

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Water Pooled in Leaves Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I ran and pedaled my bike this week, I found myself looking at my surroundings full of nature’s finest offerings.  Intricate spiky leaves of thistle, water pooled in the leaves of a wildfowe, puffy clouds in the sky, the appearance of the sun in between rain showers, and a rabbit nibbling grass by the roadside all caught my attention and reminded me that God is right there, right in front, behind, and beside me no matter where I go.  Whether lost or found, He is with us, waiting for us to ask for His help, thank Him for the blessings He provides, or simply acknowledge that we sense His presence.

I stopped several times while pedaling my bike to take pictures of what I saw, though I really just wanted to ride fast and get back home to do my growing list of chores.   At each stop, my heart and mind argued: You really need to get back home. I know, but I also need time to regroup and recharge.  You will be sorry later when you don’t get your list done.  True, but it ALL needs done, and sometimes the order is important, but other times, it is the end result that matters most, not the steps taken to get there. 

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Rescue Me Lisa A. Wisniewski

To me, the rain is God’s way of cleansing my mind, body, and soul.  Sometimes I wrestle with the gymnastics the rain causes in my life, and other times, I realize it is just God’s way of steering me along upon the journey.

May the sound of the rain be music to our ears, allowing us to find harmony in life.  May the rain wash us clean inside and out, and allow us to see what matters most in life.

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Green Growth on the Pines Lisa A. Wisniewski

Most in Life

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Old Magnolia Lisa A. Wisniewski

Green, green growth upon the pine trees
By the side of the road in the breeze,

Old magnolia standing twisted and high
With large leaves holding flowers white,
Puffy clouds in the distance
Reflecting the sun’s light without resistance,
Morning dew upon the grass
Sparkling new like glass,
As the river of time flows beneath the sky
Full of moments to reflect upon what matters most in life.

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Wild Grape Vines Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Little Rabbit Lisa A. Wisniewski

Twisting curly cues amidst the grape leaves
Winding in pursuit of the sun’s beams,
Little rabbit in the grass hopping along
Under a sky scattered with the rain’s song,
Freshly plowed fields dark and brown
Emitting the deep aroma of the ground,
After the rains have passed on by
Offering a reflection of what matters most in life.

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Sunrise After the Rain Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Sunset Before a Storm Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sunrise after the rain,
Shining bright to meet the day,
Sunset before a storm
Glowing red with the love of the Lord,
The strong smell of honeysuckle in the air
Permeating along and about everywhere,
Tree frogs and crickets calling at dusk
With songs of nature’s wonder lust,
As the minutes go passing by
Teeming with examples of what matters most in life.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Sound of Music Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Amplitude – http://www.howmusicworks.org/103/Sound-and-Music/Amplitude-and-Frequency

Frequency – http://www.howmusicworks.org/103/Sound-and-Music/Amplitude-and-Frequency

Full Strawberry Moon – http://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-june-2017

Non-threatening sound – https://www.livescience.com/53403-why-sound-of-water-helps-you-sleep.html

Sound waves – http://www.ducksters.com/science/physics/sound_wave_characteristics.php

St. Christopher – http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=36

Three Rivers Arts Festival – http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/04/25/three-rivers-arts-festival-schedule/