Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Belated Memorial Day

It was Sunday not Monday that became for me the essence of Memorial Day. There were so many moments when what I value in life was in my ears and in my eyes and in my heart.

First thing Sunday morning I listened to Being, a show on public radio. The guest was UU Minister Kate Braestrup. I've enjoyed her books a lot, and our minister has quoted her on occasion. Her interview discussed so many reasons to celebrate life and love. As the chaplain to Maine wardens, she does her ministry in the woods where accidents happen in the cold and dark. She told of a man who fell through thin ice. She could understand why he was compelled to skate out from a dock on a peaceful moonlit night. When his wife came to view his body, she sat with him singing songs to him. His was a life filled with wonder and love, even though it was short. Another of her stories focused on the love and care of wardens, boy scouts and other volunteers searching for an elderly woman lost in the snow. We did not hear whether she was found dead or alive. But, of course, Ms. Braestrup points out, we really do know her ending, and the ending for all of us. It is not whether we will die, but when and what we make of our lives until then.

Later at our church service, R sang as one of the 3 childrens' choir members who showed up on a holiday weekend. With support from the adult choir, they sang Song of the Regiment from Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment. With so few singers, I could hear R's sweet voice lilting down from the choir loft. It was a magical moment. We also sang a wonderful hymn called This is my Song. It is patriotic as it proclaims our love of country, but it also acknowledges the love that people all over the world hold for their lands. It was a fitting call for peace for all nations on a day when soldiers and civilians in many countries died.

This Is My Song

This is my song, Oh God of all the nations,

A song of peace for lands afar and mine.

This is my home, the country where my heart is;

Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.

But other hearts in other lands are beating,

With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,

And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.

But other lands have sunlight too and clover,

And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,

A song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;

may peace abound where strife has raged so long;

that each may seek to love and build together,

a world united, righting every wrong;

a world united in its love for freedom,

proclaiming peace together in one song.


And of course, Memorial Day would not be complete without a parade!
Expectant Crowds

Crazy Shriners
and kids in funny hats!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vegetables and Fruit

It's not just flowers that are in the garden. So far green beans, peas and cucumbers are in the ground. The planting has been easy because we're in the midst of a 2 weeks of nearly endless rain and clouds. I run out and plant at a less misty moment, then wait for the soaking rain. I haven't had to water yet, and likely won't have to through the end of next week.

Even better rhubarb and raspberries come around with little help from me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daffodil Deluge

While the daffodils in our meadow have nearly gone by... :(
It's worth a look back at just a little of the incredible variety that the previous owners of this house generously naturalized throughout the lower field.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Green Stirrings

There are lots of things happening around here. I have gotten involved in a number of committees that focus on environmental issues. The Green Team for the town schools is trying hard to have the new high school use a dishwasher and reusable partitioned trays rather than one use polystyrene trays. The town schools use then incinerate 220,000 trays per year. 50,000 are used at the high school. A new building with a new kitchen is going up and the choice so far is to stick with the current system. One of our committee members has been fighting this fight for 25 years!

The other group I'm getting involved with is called Transition. It is a worldwide movement that seeks to guide towns more gently into the changes that will come because of climate change and peak oil. I have been attending meetings and lectures and watching movies that try to put a hopeful spin on very scary possibilities. The group tries to motivate towns to build resilience and community. This is positive whether times are tough or not.

I'm doing my part here on my own little homestead. Green beans and peas are planted in the garden being soaked by this week of rain. Cucumber and spaghetti squash are sprouting in peat pots and will soon find their place in the garden. I'll post photos of these soon but for today, here are some photos of what my son has been up to:

Sailing! Nearly all the high schools around here have teams. I would never have imagined that as soon as the ice melted off the local lake, my son would be out on the water (in expensive safety gear that protects kids who fall in the lake from hypothermia) sailing. Alas, now that the water is warming and the chances to sit lakeside in the warm sun are here, the season is coming to a close. But, it's been great watching him and the team even in the cold.