Posts by begojohnson@gmail.com

in search of silence this holy week

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Weekly Photo Challenge | 3 comments

Silence was on my mind, so I took my morning coffee outside on the porch. I was contemplating  Holy Week and how I was going to manage the need to disconnect and prepare, with a pressing need to connect across international lines and prepare for a trip that is both complex and exciting.

I’m trying to embrace the silence recommended by Pope Francis, especially since I feel a bit scattered and restless. The man-made noises inside the house, typically a sign of security, now affect me negatively. Sitting outside in the sunshine exposes me to a different noise; it’s natural and has a rhythm that is soothing instead of annoying. I can hear the difference between the waves that crash against the rocks and the waves that softly land on shore.

The wind, too, rustles differently in the trees than in the rose bushes behind me. Every once in a while a dried leaf dances across the paving stones and scrapes up a new sound.

I hear at least a handful of birds — I wish I could recognize them by their song, but it will have to be enough that I know they are different, and that perhaps at some point in the past few days they’ve stopped in our yard for a little snack at our feeders.

I came outside to get away from the ambient sounds in the house. The tv is on in the office; the A/C hums throughout the house. I think I hear the electricity cycling through the appliance. It’s noisier outside, but it’s a living sound, harmonious and soothing.

Every once in a while a squadron of pelicans fly overhead, silently casting their shadows across the yard. I instinctively look up, but the sun is so bright it blinds me. It takes a long moment for my eyes to adjust to the page again. The best way for me to enjoy the light is to look away to the horizon. The breeze ripples across the water, creating a sparkling light show, shimmering as far as I can see.

The bay, once called the Bay of the Holy Spirit, is full of God’s holy presence today. I get why it was named so. It’s breezy, teeming with bubbly activity that is both powerful and calming. To sit here in silence is to pray.

 

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seeking the sun

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

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My husband recently observed that I’ve taken to gardening after decades of killing every houseplant in sight, mostly because they were out of sight, and thus, out of mind. I quipped that I didn’t need to keep three children alive and could focus on the plants now.

I admit this is a most relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a morning. And the bonus is that I get pretty flowers and luscious fruit.

I’m not necessarily doing it for the health benefits. I mean, I don’t really do much exercise — but lugging around bags of potting soil might have some benefits, no?

I’m really taken by how the flowers seek the sun. I knew this, but to see it in practice is pretty cool. I’ve even managed to resuscitate an orchid. It is slowly wrapping it’s stem around the stake. Fun!

 

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green surprises popping up

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Weekly Photo Challenge | 2 comments

This beautiful flower took me by surprise, a bright red contrast to the deep green behind it

Green sprigs and new growth are surrounding the new homestead, and it’s exciting to see signs of spring around our new home. I’m delighted whenever I see something new, and for now, I’m not even annoyed about what I’m sure are weeds.

Weeds are in the eye of the beholder, after all.

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Read Across America Day!

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Reading Challenge | 4 comments

Today is Read Across America Day — and happy birthday to Dr. Seuss!

That’s an initiative by the NEA, the National Education Association, but there are so many other places to encourage reading, especially for adults. I had some fun sharing what I’m reading at Aleteia’s What Are You Reading pieces.

And now, I’ve picked up this book, again. One of these days I’m going to finish the entire series. Maybe. I mean, I’m retired and everything, I should be able to do it.

What’s on your bedside reading table?

 

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afternoon stroll

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Archdiocese of Mobile | 2 comments

This afternoon I visited the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Alabama, completed in 1850 in the Greek Revival style to serve the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile. It’s a gorgeous church set in the historic part of Mobile. Cathedral Square is fast becoming one of my favorite areas for walking around and exploring my new home. It’s the perfect place for me to begin a pilgrimage to get to know the churches in the area.

Mardi Gras is going full blast, but today was about a little coffee, a little sunshine, and Mass. It was a perfect day.

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