Summer Storm

Reading from “Christ In Our Home”

January, February, March 2014

Published by Augsburg Fortress

“The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

of whom shall I be afraid?”

~Psalm 27:1, 4-9

“We are living in fearful times. Unsuspected dangers seem to lurk in the most innocent places–family restaurants, elementary schools, even places of worship. Sometimes we may feel almost suffocated by the toxic atmosphere of contact threats surrounding us.

“Instead of pitying ourselves, as followers of Jesus Christ and heirs of David’s magnificent psalms, we need to take time to count our blessings!

I believe I have been counting my blessings for years. I see this counting clearly in many of my poems.

Reading from September 2013:

Where I go
To the garden
To the study
To the kitchen
He goes. My buddy
Freddy. Always he follows
Me. Yesterday he sat
And waited next to me
As I wrapped four
Of my photo books
To mail to friends.
Last month three people
Never thanked me for the gift.
My art director said
There are crosses
In many of my photographs.
I believe in quietness
And in confidence
Is my strength.
A goldfinch sits on
A red zinnia. Freddy
Does not see the bird
Yet. He is busy
Rolling in the pachysandra.
I am reading a book
I bought in 1985. I was
Working at Hearst Magazines.
Whatever became of Gretel Schneider?
Ronnie Cohen? Gayle Fleming?
Hot September afternoon.
Blue sky. Bright sun.
Crickets singing.
It is hot sitting in the sun.
I could move to the shade.
Freddy moved minutes ago.
He sits under a blue chair.
I’ll be in the shade soon.
I am wearing straw hat.
I haven’t see a butterfly
For days but just now
One appears. Little things
Like this bring me
Great joy. The bumblebees
Come every day. Too many
To count. Moving from
Zinnia to zinnia.. Freddy tries
Sometimes to catch one.
I do not think I have
Ever been happier than now.

At the start of this year, 2014, I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It changed my life. I count gifts. The counting has become my new journal. The counting of gifts. From the time I wake till the time I go to sleep.

Susan and I have a lovely home. A cat. A dog. A beautiful garden. A park down the street. Friends. Family. But we do struggle. We have very little money in the bank and the future will sometimes seem so difficult. But we do have gratitude for what we do have–for each other! And for me, the counting has given me peace of mind. I am, I believe, living fearlessly by counting gifts.

Some days I may count 10, 11, 12 gifts. Other days I may count 20, 21, 22.

Pictured here a few recent gifts:

On August 1 a beautiful tiger swallowtail butterfly:

Butterfly14080133

On August 3:

Butterfly14080345

On August 4:

cardinal14080471

On August 5:

Butterfly14080515

On August 6:

Hummingbird14080651

On August 7:

Butterfly14080303

On August 8:

butterfly14080877

And last night?
Thankful for Basil and Eggplant from our garden
to make:

EggplantParm14081156

We need to take time to count our blessings!

If you are looking for distinctive portrait, nature or
documentary photography, or someone you know
is looking for photography that helps to create
a more artful and beautiful life,
please contact me.