Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Feathered Fun

After a frustrating few days trying to figure out what technical problems I encountered on my blog, finally enlisted help from Kevin, the computer guru of our local Oregon Telephone Company.  Thank you Kevin for getting The Turn-Up Patch up and running again.  Ahh!  Life is good!!   The following is my April 27th post - a few days late but I am delighted to report that the glitches are gone and we can move on to the more important things in life, like ducks.....

I am amazed at the variety of species that exist on earth. What a God we have as He fashioned the planet we live on as well as bringing forth humanity to co-exist with the diversity of life forms around us.  And as our eyes gaze heavenward, the countless stars and galaxies that await discovery.  "Thou great Thou art" indeed!

One such feathered life form is the duck, part of the waterfowl family including swans and geese.  Lucky for me I had my camera when I came across a group of ducks that were having quite a time playing in the water.  They seemed to be enjoying the moment of a good splash and doing what ducks do.  I was able to capture their fun and frolic from a distance using the reliable camera zoom without disturbing their safe place.  You can click on the photos for enlargement.

In the photo below, you can catch the determined eye of one of the ducks swimming towards an intended purpose, whether to catch and eat an unsuspecting insect or heading for shore.  They were entertaining to watch and seemed oblivious to my presence and the clicking noise of my camera.

I was curious as to what a duck symbolizes and I found out several things:
-  It is generally thought that a duck represents freedom and resourcefulness.  They can walk on the earth, swim in water and have the ability to fly.
-  Some cultures see a duck as a symbol of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth.

On the lighter side, I can't resist ending this post without using some duck humor.  Here goes...

Q:  What says, "Quick, Quick"?   a:  A duck with hiccups.
Q:  What's another name for a clever duck?   a:  A wise quacker.
Q:  What do you get if you cross a duck with fireworks?   a:  A firequacker.
Q:  What do you call two ducks and a cow?   a:  Quackers and milk.

Let's meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, May 11.  Until then, may all your days be bright.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tulips + Bleeding Hearts = Love

I begin this post with a little background on two lovely flowers that I came across this week, the tulip and the bleeding heart.   These two perennial plants inspired me in writing today's message.  In looking up the symbolism of the tulip and bleeding heart, they both represent love.  

-    I discovered that the tulip is one of the world's most popular flowers and associated with the spring season.  A tulip symbolizes eternal life as well as signaling 'perfect love'.  Enchanting in its beauty and simplicity, the tulip originates from Persia and in the Netherlands.
-   The bleeding heart flower is a symbol of undying love. The flower also represents grace and fidelity.  Bleeding Hearts are symbolic of Christ's heart bleeding at the time of His death, when He was pierced with the lance.  The bleeding heart plant is native to regions of North America and eastern Asia.

I stopped by to visit friends recently and noticed their lovely garden already displaying signs of spring with these two particular flowers.  Carefully placed in the ground in separate garden spots, they showed off  their beauty and gave a welcoming atmosphere to those who wandered by.   These little miracles of life propelled me to write about these flowers and their gardeners, who are expressions of what the tulip and bleeding heart symbolize.

My two friends are an active extension of these flowers - they exude a welcoming spirit of love, grace and acceptance.  Just as they cultivate the ground and nurture the growth process in their garden, I find myself encouraged and supported to personally blossom in the camaraderie of their friendship.  They do not belong to any particular church and simply call themselves "vessels of the Lord".  In the company of these two vessels, there is an internal connection with Eternal Love and you somehow walk away feeling better by being in their presence.

"Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depth of their hearts where neither sin nor knowledge could reach, the core of reality, the person that each one is in the eyes of the divine.  If only they could see themselves as they really are, if only we could see each other that way all the time, there would be no more need for war; for hatred, for greed, for cruelty.  I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other." - Father Thomas Merton

I recently came across the above writing by Father Thomas Merton, who was a Trappist monk, author, poet and mystic.   As beautiful as this concept is that he puts forth, it is difficult to apply as a whole when you consider the acts of terrorism and evil exhibited in flawed humanity.  But what if, just if, it could be so.....

I hope you will join me next time for another visit at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, April 27.