Poetry ~ The Rhodora

The Rhodora

On being asked, Whence is the flower?

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.

The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.

Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!

I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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My Rhododendrons that I photographed just yesterday in my yard. Rhododendrons are the Washington State Flower. The purple Rhodora at the top of this page is not in my yard but one I photographed in a garden we visited.

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Don’t be shocked if I choose Rhododendrons when we reach the letter R, too!

Linking up to ABC Wednesday for P is for Poetry. Also photography, purple and pretty!

This meme was started by Mrs. Nesbitt and administered by Roger and his Team.

Hello Autumn!

The Autumn (1833), by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.

P1050657This is one of my very favorite times of the year. I hope you are enjoying your days…

O Mystery Tree, O Mystery Tree…

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Our Mystery Tree tradition is continuing this year. On Sunday we put the back seat down in the jeep and headed to the Home Depot to pick out our tree. Our round trip from home to the store and back again took a little under 45 minutes total! We arrive, we spy out the trunks of the trees in our height range in the piles where the trees are still all tied up, we pick one, buy it, throw it into the back of the jeep and head home where the stand is ready and waiting. Dear cuts off a portion of the trunk and gives it a good thrust into the stand. Tighten the screws on the trunk and get ready for the reveal…

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It’s so much fun to stand back and watch as Dear cuts the string off the branches.

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Tah Dah!

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When I got home late last night Dear had put the lights on the tree so I can now finish decorating it. We’ll see what gets done today.

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Little by little it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around this old house.

Life continues to keep us on our knees in the midst of this joyful time of Advent and more and more we look to the Hope we have in Christ. We had one of those 3 A.M. phone calls where you know the news can’t be good. A Brother in law had a heart attack that was caught in time and arteries were cleared. He’ll be home soon. We know the reality of how fragile life can be. We always wait for good news from Afghanistan. “Made it back from the Mission, I’m O.K., going to bed now, talk more later.” We rally around each other supporting each other in whatever life throws our way.

Faith

I will have faith,
However dreams are shattered;
I will have faith that righteousness can live;
I will have faith e’en when my heart is breaking,
To work and pray and give!

I will have faith
When troubled is life’s ocean,
When low-blown clouds the Pilot’s face shall hide;
I will have faith when my fair ship is battered;
I will await the turning of the tide!

I will have faith
That God is still in Heaven;
I will have faith that He is by my side;
I will have faith though every star is darkened,
That He and truth abide!

The Residence, Denver

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

God might have clothed the apple trees
In scentless brown of gray —
Such frail and fleeting blossoming,
So soon to pass away —

Instead of this fair springtime garb
Of fragrant pink and pearl,
That flutters down like rosy snow
On every breeze a-whirl.

His goodness gives the pleasant fruit
On laden boughs down-bent;
His lovingkindness adds the bloom,
Its beauty and its scent.

He loads us with His benefits
Until no want we know,
And then He sends the little more
That makes our cup o’erflow.

He opens wide His hand of love;
He gives no stingy dole;
His tender mercies crown our days:
O bless the Lord, my soul!

Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932)

California is back to it’s old ways of showing off it’s sunshine. All my family is slowly trickling in today. Two more to go. I got to see the Bride and Groom last night along with my folks and may brother’s family from Dallas. Their daughter will be one of the flower girls and she was quite confident about her task since she has gotten experience in two of her cousin’s weddings in the last year.

I haven’t taken one photo since I’ve gotten here but tomorrow is the wedding so my camera will be clicking away!

Hope all is well in your part of the world. We’re hearing a lot about droughts and floods. Hope things won’t be as bad as they are predicting.

Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley

Tulips

By A.E. Stallings

The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,
~
Something about their burnt-out hearts,
Something about their pallid stems
Wearing decay like diadems,
Parading finishes like starts,
~
Something about the way they twist
As if to catch the last applause,
And drink the moment through long straws,
And how, tomorrow, they’ll be missed.
~
The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,
~
The one who can’t tell left from right),
Glance now over the wrong shoulder
To watch them get a little older
And give themselves up to the light.
~
On this past Sunday after Dear picked me up from the airport we headed straight to the Skagit Valley for lunch and a quick trip to some tulip fields. We are really blessed here in Washington to enjoy amazing flower festivals including tulips, lilacs, lavender, daffodils, and of course our state flower the rhododendron. I will be sharing lots of tulip photos but decided to start with a poem and a few shots since this is poetry month, too. Blessings…
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Here are the photos of our lunch before we headed to the fields. We ate at Nell Thorn in La Conner. A restaurant we highly recommend. Dear had a lamb burger that was amazing and I had a quiche that was more like a souffle. I also had to taste their soup of the day which was a spicy bean garnished with cilantro. Yummy!
~

Night and Day…

  When the golden day is done,
Through the closing portal,
Child and garden, Flower and sun,
Vanish all things mortal.

As the blinding shadows fall
As the rays diminish,
Under evening’s cloak they all
Roll away and vanish.

Garden darkened, daisy shut,
Child in bed, they slumber–
Glow-worm in the hallway rut,
Mice among the lumber.

In the darkness houses shine,
Parents move the candles;
Till on all the night divine
Turns the bedroom handles.

Till at last the day begins
In the east a-breaking,
In the hedges and the whins
Sleeping birds a-waking.

In the darkness shapes of things,
Houses, trees and hedges,
Clearer grow; and sparrow’s wings
Beat on window ledges.

These shall wake the yawning maid;
She the door shall open–
Finding dew on garden glade
And the morning broken.

There my garden grows again
Green and rosy painted,
As at eve behind the pane
From my eyes it fainted.

Just as it was shut away,
Toy-like, in the even,
Here I see it glow with day
Under glowing heaven.

Every path and every plot,
Every blush of roses,
Every blue forget-me-not
Where the dew reposes,

“Up!” they cry, “the day is come
On the smiling valleys:
We have beat the morning drum;
Playmate, join your allies!”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Joining in on Mosaic Monday with Mary at Little Red House.

City Scapes taken in San Diego, California. The Sunrise photo is taken at my house in the Seattle area.