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Archive for the ‘Sunrise Sunset’ Category

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen. being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse . . . .” Romans 1:20

Every year in early March a wonderful transformation occurs in the living area of our home; the sunrise returns after rising to the southeast of our view for six months—around the corner of our building.  We do have winter sunshine in our south view bedroom and den windows, but it is the glorious sunrise that we miss from October to March.

When sunrise and morning light flood our living room, dining area, and kitchen, my heart overflows with praise.  Of course I praise Him year round, whether or not the sun is evident.  My heart affirms “Great is Thy Faithfulness” in that the seasonal changes go on—and on schedule—year after year!

But when sunrise invades our home, I am overwhelmed and I thank God for it constantly.  Please understand, I am not a sun worshipper—much as I love just lying in the sun all spring, summer, and autumn, absorbing as much color and vitamin D as possible.

I worship the Creator of all of nature, manifesting His power and glory in the things He has made—including that symbol of warmth, light, healing, and life:  His physical sun.

As the sunshine streams back into our living area after weeks of darkness, I anticipate over and over the return of His SON, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Margaret L. Been — March 21st, 2019

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The Long Deep Quiet


Frozen time unhinged . . .

pulsing, throbbing life unseen . . .

waiting to burst forth.

I’ve often wondered if those who live in a tropical or near-tropical part of the world experience the four seasons with as much joy, anticipation, and metaphorical musings as we do here in the North, where each one of the seasons is uniquely distinct!  I would certainly miss the round of annual changes that have been a part of life forever—even during a handful of years in my beloved Colorado, which does also have definite changes although (happily!) it can be 70 degrees there at Christmas.

It is fun to grouse about winter, but the truth is I LOVE it—especially now that we are in our dotage, and don’t have to go out on the roads unless we really want to.  Even a clinic appointment may be postponed if icy roads prevail.

I do know that occasional change can be delightful in winter.  Back in the days when I flew at the drop of a WHIM, to visit our out-of-state children, I enjoyed an occasional week with our son, Karl, in Denver CO which was sometimes warmer than Wisconsin, and other times capable of producing a sudden 18 inches of snow.

And I recall one January when I visited our oldest daughter, Laura, in the environs of Bellingham, WA.  I was treated with typical NW Rainforest weather.  A constant quiet, warmish rain made music on the metal roof of Laura’s home—like the melodious, soothing repetition of a George Winston piano composition.  I got so excited about the sound of the rain on the roof, that Laura’s six year old daughter, Nancy, asked—very pointedly—“Grandma!  Doesn’t it ever rain in Wisconsin?”

Conversely, Laura has traditionally loved to come home to Wisconsin in January—especially when we lived in the deep, quiet Wisconsin Northwoods.  There it is normally anywhere from 15 to 30 degrees below zero in January, the kind of weather when nose hairs freeze and crackle.  The kind of weather where the sun, slowing climbing back Northward, is brilliantly blinding as it reflects on snow and ice.

Laura and I would sit each bitter cold, sunny morning, watching for the local bald eagle to cruise over our frozen flowage lake—while to the discerning eye, various soft tints of color occasionally played across the ice as the sun moved overhead.

Now, 285 miles South of that high winter home, we are just as contented.  Winter is the deep quiet time of our four seasons year.  For the home-loving soul who thrives on “making”, winter days are creative—whether “creative” means home-made bread hot from the oven, a painting, a morning of piano practice, a garment growing on the knitting needles, or most any other kind of “making”.  In Wisconsin we have our deep snow winters, and our winters with hardly any snow.  But winter is winter.

How thrilling to know that, as we relish this quiet time of crafting, music making, or whatever, the sun grows stronger and higher in our hemisphere every day.  Each year I print out sunrise/sunset/length of day charts for December of the past year and January, February, and March of the current year.

The U.S. Navy produces these online charts.  For the more scientific mind, charts including the length of twilight at each end of the day are available.  But I am contented just to read the times of the sun’s appearing and disappearing—and the growing moments of daylight.  Even as I type this blog entry, we have gained 5 minutes of daylight since the winter solstice.  This thrills me to my bone marrow!

Growing daylight is a testimony to God’s faithfulness, as expressed in the beloved hymn:  “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas O. Chisholm (lyrics) and William Runyan (music).  The verse, “Summer and winter, springtime and harvest—Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above—Join with all nature in manifold witness—To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love” resounds with truth and life through the visuals of our four seasons climate.

And winter, with its long deep quiet, is as much a witness to God’s faithfulness as spring and high summer with their green explosions, and autumn with its mellow bounty.  In the winter we know that life continues quietly underground, gathering strength in the ever-increasing daylight while pulsing, throbbing, and waiting to burst forth!

Margaret L. Been — January 4th, 2019

 

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SON

“Then spoke Jesus again unto them saying, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

The above scene greeted us early Friday morning, after Thursday’s snow and sleet storm.  The trees in the park outside our front door, and the woods beyond, were laden with crystal.

The sun rising on the crystal created a scene that was spectacular beyond words.  I ran for my I-pad, knowing that the strength of the late March sun would soon thaw out our neighborhood and turn it to that very welcome green again.

The old rule for picture taking is “Don’t face the sun.”  But that rule had to be broken, as the sun was (pardon the obvious pun) the star on center stage.

What a timely metaphor—the sun turning our world into a view of incredible light and beauty after Joe and I had spent the entire grey, sleety day before on the road, tending to routine necessary business such as: delivering our tax info and meeting with the accountant; getting our Honda’s emission tested; shopping for groceries. etc.

Still the day was pleasant.  I have a habit of knitting while Joe is driving, and that is a serenity saver on stormy, slippery freeway days.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at Olive Garden between errands.  We arrived home late in the day, exhausted but very thankful that our missions were accomplished and we were safely back in our cozy condo.

And then Friday morning, and LIGHT!  Despite the inevitable grey, sleety days, we have LIGHT.  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for our sin, that we can be one with Him and walk in the light.  He is risen.   He is alive.  He is our LIGHT!

Margaret L. Been — March 26, 2016

SON 2

 

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Leonardo Aguilar II:  I know I posted this hombre before, but I couldn’t resist posting more.  Little Leo will be effortlessly bi-lingual.  His Dad reads to him in Spanish, and his Mom (our granddaughter, Jamie) in English.  Maybe I can pick up a word or two of Spanish from our youngest great-grandson!

Little Senor 4

More Little Leo, in Great-Grammy’s Shawl:  I made this garment for a Teddy Bear, and then thought “Hey.  It would look even better on Leonardo II!”  He’s smiling as if he likes his colorful snuggy.

Little Senor 3

A Backyard Retreat:  My friend Karen is a Master-Gardener, and she has the greenest thumbs (and fingers) of anyone I’ve ever known.  Here are some photos she took of her beautiful sanctuary in Waukesha.  Karen laid yards of winding brick pathway for an enchanting, rustic touch.  Along with the gorgeous gardens to grace her neighborhood, Karen has a Little Library where anyone passing by can exchange books.  How great is that!

Karen 5        Karen 4

Karen 1

A Memorable Outing:  My friend Liz (pictured below) treated me to a day of antiquing, etc. just across our border—in Richmond, Illinois and the surrounding area.  The day was just right:  perfect weather, delightful browsing, good food, fun acquisitions, and best of all great company!

Liz 23    23 1 R

23 3                      23 4

A Time to Be Silly:  Our daughter Debbie took some of her grandchildren (our great-grandchildren—DUH!) on a surprise train ride and a vacation at a Wisconsin Dells water-park resort.  The Amtrak speeds by our road every day at approximately 4:20 p. m.  So on the day Deb was taking the children to the Dells Joe and I walked a few yards from our door, and waited at our road beside the Fire Station, so we could wave at the children as the train roared by.

Frequently I cannot resist being utterly silly where my children (of all ages!) are involved, so I had to do what I call a “Do Do Dee Dee Dance” with my derriere aimed at the passing train windows while Joe looked on very sedately from his 4-wheeler.  (Joe doesn’t do Do Do Dee Dee Dances.)  Meanwhile Debbie caught a blurry, impressionistic shot of the vaudeville act.

do do dee dee dance

And Our Private Heaven:  That long cold winter has morphed into luscious spring.  A month ago it looked like nothing was going to happen.  But now . . . !  The treasures in our patio garden are better than ever (I say that every year), and our patio is the perfect outdoor living room—with sun in the morning and shade for hot afternoons.

G 14 3    Garden June 1 - 2    Garden June 1 - 3    G 14 1

And SKY:  Those of you who have checked this site on occasion over the last five years know that I have a thing about sky.  As a child, I spent countless afternoons lying on the grass, watching clouds while searching for dragons, genies, and horses in the sky.

Now I recline on the berm outside our condo courtyard and watch clouds, with Baby Dylan (corgi) at my side.  That is our warmish day agenda.  On steaming summer days I flop on the patio lounge for afternoons of reading and cloud gazing, with ice tea ever handy.

Never has cloud gazing been more rewarding than it is here in the Lake Country, with the open expanse of park beyond our door.  We are surrounded by lakes, so there are nearly always clouds—ever changing, ever exciting to view.  I have years of cloud photos, enough to create a picture book.  (That’s a great idea, for next winter!)

Meanwhile, here are some recent gems, starting with a sunrise:

Sunrise 1  Sunday morning sky 2

Sunday morning sky  Sunday morning sky 3  Sunday morning sky 4

Yes, I’ll always have my head in the clouds.

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In closing, here is a confession of something that I never thought would happen.  (Daughter Laura, are you ready for this?)  My man is planning to get me a TABLET.  Yes, family, I’m finally taking the plunge.  Ever since tablets surfaced, I’ve said “No, I don’t want one”—and I meant it, at least I think I did.  But recently something snapped.  Now I look forward to having my very own tablet.

People with tablets appear to have thousands of pictures.  (Hyperbole intended, but perhaps it’s not hyperbole.)  Is this writer turning into an ex-writer, perhaps a “recovering” writer?  Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words.  🙂  Well, we’ll see about that.

Margaret L. Been, June 2014

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. . . waking in the morning to the sound of much-needed rain,

sharing a breakfast at our local “good old boy” restaurant,

stopping at the library and leaving with 2 heavy sacks of books,

celebrating the progression of summertime in our gardens,

sitting in “our row” in church with 10 great grandchildren—ages 6 and under,

gently stepping back in time at the antique barn up the road,

eating ice cream on the patio, 

sleeping, waking, breathing in and out!

Sweet savor offerings of praise are going up each day!  For five weeks Joe and I have been at home.  This is a record.  Since September, 2010 when I had spinal fusion surgery right up until mid-June, 2011 when Joe had a heart emergency we have not been out of a hospital for more than a month.  The one-month break happened only once.  For the rest of that period we averaged a hospital stay every two to three weeks—with each stay lasting from 2 to 10 days.

I’m not clueless enough to believe this blessed hiatus will last forever.  We live one day at a time, and when a crisis comes we find peace and joy in the midst of whatever God allows in our lives.  But at this moment we are enjoying peace and joy at home, doing “normal” things!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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Hunkering on the mantel of our electric fireplace, beneath my Dad’s collection of arrowheads found around Aztalan, Wisconsin in the 1930s, you will see an assortment of clocks.  Every one registers a different time, and every one is correct two times a day.

In our fast pace culture, people are said to “live by the clock” (although today I think many live by their cell phones).  But Joe and I are not fast lane people.  Even during those decades when we had to frequently glance at a clock (an accurate one!), we were slow lane people.

For me, the clock that matters is not that attractive little timepiece on my wrist or bedside table.  The clock that matters is God’s clock—His sun which He moves faithfully across the sky century after century, eon after eon, to delineate the seasons.

Science has shown how migrating birds respond to the increase and decrease of daylight around God’s seasonal clock.*  Spring migrations move as the days grow longer.  A migration may be halted temporarily by wintery weather, but the impetus to move is solar generated. 

The birds do not dream of balmy breezes and lilac blooms; rather, they instinctively know when to move north and stake their mating territories in sync with accelerated daylight.  Thus, spring theoretically begins for migrating birds when the sun says “GO”.  This is in February around the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, or South America where our summer birds spend their winters. 

I’m like the birds, in some ways.  By mid January, more sunlight poured into our windows.  Now, by mid February, I sit outdoors in a sheltered sunny spot.  The sun grows higher and stronger every day, and in my heart it’s spring. 

Much as I totally love those intoxicating balmy breezes and lilac blooms which come in May, I don’t need them to experience the turn of a season.  Despite the probability of more snow storms, our February sunlight—rising ever higher as it moves north—is SPRING!  I can always bundle my body against the cold, yet feel that searing warmth and strength of God’s sun on my face. 

The entire progression of spring, beginning with increased daylight following the winter solstice, is exciting. Now we are having a thaw.  More snow may come, and we can savor its fleeting beauty because we know that the sun will continue to move northward according to God’s law! 

Soon we will hear the mourning dove’s “Whoo-whooo-whoo”, and the “cardinal’s “Cheer-cheer-cheer”, followed by the “Oka-reeeee!” of that evangelist, the redwing blackbird as he proclaims, “I am FREEEEE!”

Maple syrup days will come.  Thawing days and freezing nights raise the sap in us as well as in a sugarbush!  Then we’ll have a period, perhaps weeks, of cold rain—dreary to some, but tremendously exciting to me as the rain releases that fresh green fragrance from the earth. 

It’s all about spring!  “Cold and wet” are a huge part of spring in our land, and it’s wonderful!  Balmy breezes and lilacs are a long way off, but never mind.  I don’t need them at the moment, because I have the ever lengthening daylight.  God’s clock never fails.  God’s clock says “SPRING!”

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

*A fantastic resource of scientic info on bird migrations is found in THE SNOW GEESE, A Story of Home, by William Fiennes.  I read this recently published book (2002) two or three times every year.  The author weaves his touching personal story into a wealth of well-researched material on migrating birds.

NOTE:  Now you see him, now you don’t.  In the event that you visited this page recently and found Humphrey Bogart, and now are wondering where in the world he went, Humphrey has been moved to http://richesinglory.wordpress.com/  . 

I decided “Riches” was a more appropriate place for that entry.  🙂  MLB

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Yesterday brought a near Heaven experience.  For the first time since mid November, I sat in the sun. 

While our front door and patio face due east, with park and woods for a view, our garage door faces south and overlooks the condos across the way.  With the garage door down, as a wonderful backdrop to reflect the sun, I sat–bundled for winter–in the sunshine for 30 some minutes, absorbing vitamin D and sketching the condo across the way. 

The above rendering is what I saw with eyes and mind, while sketching.  The building is fairly representative–and it’s identical to the one in which we live.  I dinked around with the color later, when I painted the sketch.  Our buildings are a soft rosey-beige with red brick.  But I go hog wild on color, so there it is.

Years ago, my mother warned me about my penchant for sun bathing.  “You’ll get skin cancer,” she said.  That was in the mid 1940s.  My brilliant mother may have been the only person outside of the scientific community, who knew about the dangers of ultra violet overdose. 

Skin cancer I have had–numerous basal cells and one scary melanoma, fortunately caught while it was only on the surface of my leg.  Yet the benefits of sitting in the sun outweigh the threats, for me.  In all of life, we pick our battles.  Sun screen carries it’s own dangers.  My answer to the negative sun hype is, as the English say, “Pah!”  I know these old bones need vitamin D!

Reflecting on sun, I recall lines from a poignant (1960s-70s) ballad, Seasons in the Sun, by Terry Jacks:  “We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun–but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time.”

It has occurred to me that there are no “seasons out of time”, for one who loves the Lord Jesus, and loves life!  We have some glorious seasons, and some cold, dark months.  We have times where life flows seamlessly, and other times when circumstances do not provide “joy” or “fun”. 

But the sun is always up there, waiting to shine on us with all it’s strength.  And most important of all, the SON is with us even when we cannot see the sun or feel its healing warmth.

Here’s to a hearty dose of vitamin D–for body and soul!  🙂

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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