My daughters and I went to Green Mountain for our eclipse viewing. It was exactly what we hoped for. Serene and beautiful. The eclipse began shortly after we arrived but I hiked the loop trail while the girls picked the perfect spot on the dock for us to watch the moon cover the sun. While on the trail I found several clear sunny spots, stopped to put my eclipse glasses on, and viewed the moon edging its way over the sun. I was awe struck and rushed my way through the forest to join the girls on the dock.
We reclined there, viewed the eclipse with our glasses, noticed the fading light, laughed at each other, guessed at the percentage of coverage, watched a newly arrived spectator look for a good spot to sit or point to the eclipse shaped shadows, put our glasses back on and did it again and again until the moon hid the sun as much as it would on Green Mountain.
The eclipse was amazing. The whole thing of it. The going there, the watching and waiting, the laughing with my girls, the riding home afterward. But there was another wonderful part of it.
Throughout our time at Green Mountain, my oldest daughter was very aware of others around us. The couple fishing on the other dock when we arrived. The old couple sitting on a swing near the entrance to the park. The young men glancing toward the sky occasionally. The photographer setting up his special camera for the perfect photo op. There were others around but these were the ones she noticed. None of these had glasses.
She spoke first to the couple sitting in the swing who didn’t realize the show had started.
“Is there something to see?” the elderly lady asked. “Oh yes,” my daughter said as she handed her glasses over.
The sweet elderly lady was delighted to see the crescent shape of the sun. The gentleman in the swing told us he’d seen two eclipses in his lifetime and thanked my daughter for the offer anyway. The fishing lady took a break from the fishing and my daughter saw her walking nearby. She gladly put the glasses on to see what was happening up above and thanked my daughter over and over. My daughter walked to the other dock to share her glasses with the fishing man, shared them with the photography man and eventually gave them away to the young glancers so they could enjoy the rest of the eclipse without worrying about their eyes.
My daughter wanted everyone to see the wonder in the sky.
She enjoyed the eclipse but was overjoyed to see others enjoying the eclipse.
My husband tells me I ask more questions than any person he’s ever known. It’s probably true.
Mom used to tell me I was curious from the beginning with a genuine desire to learn all I could. She called it a zest to investigate and it landed me into some pretty funny situations when I was younger.
I’ve not lost the zest. I wonder about things. I think of a question then search for the answer. Or something catches my eye so I’ll take a closer look.
I was pulling weeds when I noticed a few mushrooms on the other side of the yard. As I walked closer I saw this little family of mushrooms.
I spent the next few minutes or so observing and taking several photos of the mushrooms.
Just because they caught my eye.
We came into this life so generous, alive, unarmored, & curious. Curious, in the best, silliest, most fixated, life-giving way. ~ Anne Lamott
A Face in the Crowd
“Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence.
It is our daily bread.” Wendell Berry
In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Focus.
I snapped this photo with my phone because I loved the lushness enveloping me as I stood under the big pecan tree in our yard. This same tree was featured in another one of the photo challenges – Big. Here I focused on the worm-like blooms, called catkins.
The catkins are gone now. The wind shook the blooms and released the pollen that triggered watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing for so many. The leaves have turned a deeper green and the nuts are getting ready for fall when the squirrels will steal all the tasty treats they can before someone else picks them up.
This photo from the other side of the tree is focused on the background instead of the catkins. That wasn’t on purpose but I like it.
This is grace.
So is this.
It’s the beauty of a pale blue sky or a fiery orange sunrise.
It’s your feet in the sand. And a love note. And a really good hug.
It’s evident within the intricate design of nature.
You see it in the eyes of children and hear it in the laughter of friends.
It’s the snowy white of a cotton field ready for picking. Or the blackest of nights with a million glimmering stars.
And when you catch a glimpse of a shooting star streaking across the sky you’ve experienced it.
You can smell it when breakfast is cooking and taste it in a homemade chocolate sheath cake.
You feel it when you remember a time long ago that makes you smile.
It’s every single breath you take.
We are surrounded by grace.
We just have to pay attention.
When it snows in Alabama it feels like magic.
The white stuff causes wonder and excitement like nothing else. We watch the snow as it falls and we pray that it “sticks”. Most of the time the ground is so warm around these parts that the snow melts as soon as it touches.
And it’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ve ever seen. Especially in the country. Where the cows are in the fields and the trees are big and the sheds and fences are covered with snow.
And the roads are closed because no one knows how to drive on snowy roads and we don’t have chains on our tires.
But we play in the snow because it may be the only snow we get for a few years. We build a snowman and ride garbage can lids down hills and have snowball fights.
Then we gather enough snow to make snow cream and eat it while we talk about how we hope the snow stays another day.
But it doesn’t take long for the magic to melt and we wait for it to come again.
In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge Temporary.
“I don’t think people care about the sunsets as much as we do.”
That’s what my youngest daughter said to me last night.
I remember thinking something similar when I was a young girl. I was fascinated with whatever I saw when I looked up at the sky and I wondered why no one else talked about it. Couldn’t they see? The colors the sun painted the sky when it filtered through the clouds in the evenings. Or the bright full moon on a winter’s night. Didn’t they notice the way the clouds gathered angrily before a thunderstorm?
And the stars and rainbows and the way lightning streaked across the sky sometimes when there was no storm at all.
I hope I always look up at the sky……..in wonder……..of the One who made it all.
But when I am walking around in the world unaware of the beauty around me I pray that it gets my attention or even better…..that someone around me says, “Look”.
In response to the Daily Post’s Captivating.
This is the first Summer living in my childhood home since I moved out 24 years ago. It’s special to get to be here. So many memories to be remembered that would stay forgotten if I weren’t here.
When I was a girl summer weekends meant hard work. The yard would be mowed, the garden tended, and the house cleaned. Then the best part came in the evening.
A good meal and enjoying our rest after the day’s work. If a late afternoon thunderstorm rolled in and cooled the air, Dad would prop the screen door open. If not, the small air conditioning unit in the window would keep us cool.
I walked around the house today enjoying the unearned beauty all around me. The ivy growing in the cedar tree. The day lilies in whites and yellows and oranges. The fruit trees and blackberries and muscadine vines. The Rose of Sharon and gardenia and the magnolia.
All the work of those before me.
Summer will always be lightning bugs blinking, cicadas humming, mosquitoes biting.
Tomato sandwiches, homemade ice cream, vegetable dinners.
Afternoon thunderstorms, long days, hot nights.
God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Just two weeks ago the life inside this tree was hidden, winter still had its hold. But as spring approaches new life bursts forth in brilliance. The morning sun highlights the swirling of the top bud and the bowing down of the one below. It’s like a dance.
What a beautiful mystery……springtime and apple trees, the wind and rain, the golden glow of sunrise, the bird’s song, rabbits and chicks……all of creation. My life and your life. All of our lives.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:3-4 & 9
In response to the Daily Post’s Create.