There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

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.

~Melody Beattie


Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.
~Rumi


May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett


Friday, 30 November 2012

Flooding Update

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

A Meadow Now a Lake

The torrential rains during the Queen's
Jubilee celebration didn't dampen spirits at least.
After a summer with the highest rainfall on record for more than a hundred years, Britain has ended up soggy and water-logged.
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


Our normal walk around the meadow is completely flooded and impassable.


The meadow, which normally has cattle and deer
grazing, tonight looks like a calm lake in the distance.



The Cherwell bursting it's banks.
Normally it's quiet and calm except
for novice punters that often
criss cross the river.