A late May day, walking the labyrinth at Pathways Retreat center -- I was intrigued by the repetition and variation in patterns and colors I found.
For liturgical churches, purple is the color of Lent, the season we are now in, the forty days plus Sundays leading up to Easter. The word itself comes from the Old English word for spring, and is related to various Germanic languages meaning the lengthening of days. These crocus celebrate the purple and glow with the spring light.
It's snowing again. It seems a good time to look back and contemplate some of the green moments from last year. There were those first young shoots of leaves poking up through forest floor debris, full of bright green-ness. There was the green of barely opened flowers and the greens of the frog pond at the Calendar Garden. And many moments of light-filled green leaves at full growth.
The seasons turn, and before long, there will be another round of bright young ginger leaves to be found. It's good to remember, in the midst of fresh snowfall!
I've been reading Blue Mind, a book about the ways being on or near water can reduce stress and encourage healing. Given the gray skies of a northern Indiana winter, this seemed an appropriate time to look back at the photo archive for images of blue water and blue skies, for some glimpses of healing blue. Use them as a springboard into your own memories and imaginings of times by water, or under a sunny sky.
More patterns from the prairie plantings, mostly featuring a plant I don't remember seeing before --
I'm not sure whether this last one is a mind-reading act or a friendly head massage.
As I play with this set of photos, the phrase "put on your dancing shoes" keeps going through my mind, though it's really only one photo that reminds me of dancing slippers. Still, there it is and it seems to be blocking all other title possibilities, even as I enjoy the patterns and colors, especially the way the yellows on the first two photos resonate and the more subtle interaction of the purples on the last four photos. They are all dancing in their own way.
The play of sun and shadow on leaves becomes abstract art -- more so when the breeze is tossing the branches and the light and shadow play is ever changing. Here's more glorious green from my day at Pathways Retreat earlier this week.
We returned from our travels to find green had arrived in Goshen while we were gone, reminding me of a short song learned from a college friend on a long trip years ago:
To ope' their trunks the trees are never seen.
How then do they put on their robes of green?
They leaf them out.
Green's not the only color in sight, as flowers begin to blossom. Along the path we've been walking near the dam, there's the light purple of wild geranium along with the new spring green leaves. And there are the maroon bells of paw paw trees, with the maroon echoed in the trillium flowers below.
Tuesday was a typical northern Indiana, transition-into-winter day, one that could make you gloomy just looking out the window. Warm though, with a forecast for below-freezing temperatures the rest of the week, so I found time to go out with my camera.
It took about half the walk, heading out from the house, to shed the writing project I had been working on. The scenery didn't help -- bare tree branches, gray skies, prairie plantings full of blackened, weedy stems. I didn't even bother pulling my camera out of my pocket.
When I got to the southwest corner of campus, a couple little rusty-capped sparrows flew up from the grasses to take refuge in nearby bushes. They caught my wandering attention. I listened to them sing and started looking more closely at the weeds and grasses nearby. I found silver and gold, and evidence that the birds had been enjoying the banquet spread out before them.
In honor of friends currently hiking on one of the Irish walking trails, here are some of the green patterns to be found around here these days.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.