There is an emanation from the heart
which cannot be described,
but is immediately felt and puts
the stranger at his ease.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Don't be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth.
May my life be like a great
hospitable tree, and may
weary wanderers find in
me a rest.
~John Henry Jowett
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Monday, 10 December 2012
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Friday, 30 November 2012
|Max's squirrel run--he stood for|
the longest time trying to figure out
what happened to his favorite spot
to chase squirrels.
Max and I braved the cold at sunset tonight to walk around Christ Church meadow. Two days ago the path was completely covered and a lake ran from Christ Church down to the Thames. We weren't sure what we'd find today, but the water has started to recede, all flowing away toward London, on it's way out to the sea.
The path leading down to the Thames and then back up to Christ Church was very soggy but we were able to make it all the way around. All the while we walked, I marveled at what a beautiful winter scene it all was--and silently (yet ardently) prayed for even colder weather, so it would all freeze and we would be able to ice skate on it.
|Ducks paddle where a week ago cattle and deer grazed together. |
What a perfect spot to ice skate.
|A serene lake at sunset.|
It felt as though we should see canoes gliding by.
|Magdalen College School Playing fields.|
This is where Stuart played rugby as a student
and where muddy boys should be playing today.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
|The torrential rains during the Queen's|
Jubilee celebration didn't dampen spirits at least.
Now that the winter rains are upon us, and the fact that Oxford lies in the Thames valley, it means severe flooding all around us. Water has been pouring out of the Cotswold's swollen rivers and streams and making it's way to the Thames--and most of it has nowhere to go at the moment.
|Christ Church Meadow -- Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012|
Saturday, 27 October 2012
|Turl Street, Oxford|
|Stuart's fire and my chair.|
Packing window boxes with freezing cold soil is a chilly business. I've managed to get most of the planting done though, in between running back into the house to get warm, drink something hot, and then back out into the wind again. Luckily Stuart lit his first fire of the season this morning, so I can sit by his fire--and maybe my toes will finally warm up.
Saturday, 20 October 2012
After writing about 'Downton Abbey', my mind kept wandering back to a set of four books called Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford, and wishing as many people were aware of these books as they are of 'Downton Abbey'. The books are similar to 'Downton' in that they're set in the same period and historical background, but Parade's End has the weight and heft of the human soul carrying it much further into the human spirit than 'Downton Abbey'.
If I could have one Cinderella dream come true, it would be to have been married under her rose arbour in June.
Friday, 19 October 2012
Saturday, 13 October 2012
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Thursday, 20 September 2012
|The path around Christ Church meadow,|
which meanders along the River Cherwell.
August 16, 2012
It's no secret that, having lived most of my life under the wide open (and blue) skies of the western United States, I find city life difficult and the Oxford spires, as beautiful as they are, can feel a bit claustrophobic at times. This means that Christ Church meadow and I are old and very dear friends.
|All this hurrying will soon be over.|
Only when we tarry do we touch the holy.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Monday, 30 July 2012
"The Peace of Wild Things"
Glossary ~ for my friends back in the United States and across the globe.
**Constable Clouds ~ John Constable was an English Romantic painter during the late 18th century & early 19th century. He was from Suffolk and painted landscapes mostly of that area, feeling "I should paint my own places best." He was one of Britain's best cloud painters, using the sky as the landscape as much as the land, believing that the sky was "the keynote......the chief organ of sentiment."
**Summerhouse ~ In Britain a summerhouse is any little shelter or small building for relaxing in warm weather or on rainy summer days. It's usually prefabricated and simple, no electricity or plumbing--just a place to relax on a summer evening--or in my case reading in, Spring through the Autumn.
*Marks and Spencer (or M&S or Marks & Sparks) ~ One of Britain's oldest retailers and up until 2002 made a policy of selling only British goods. At the moment they're fighting to remain relevant on the **High Street. Their clothing lines were always dependable and good quality but recently have become a bit **naff (see below). Their food however has become their strong point. Much of it is pre-prepared meals that are fresh and excellent quality or desserts that are to die for.
**The High Street ~ Comparable to Main Street in the United States. In Britain it's the generic name for the business or shopping street--Boots, M&S, Smith's, and Next are all typical High Street shops.