What’s in a tree

I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our father’s knee.
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me.

William Blake

Trees that, like the poplar, hit upward all their boughs, give no shade and no shelter, whatever their height. Trees the most lovingly shelter and shade us, when, like the willow, the higher soar their summits, the lowlier droop their boughs.
Edward Lytton

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(the shaded canopied walk toward the fountain at Forsyth Park / Savannah, GA / Julie Cook / 2014)

It beckons in a silent way,
Proudly open and inviting.
No designation for rich nor poor,
For all are welcome here.

Come rain or shine as shelter’s sought
Underneath a canopy still
For creatures both great and small
A respite is now calling

Sweeping wide its open arms
Both young and old accepted
“Come up, come under” it whispers sweet,
Our time is just now started

Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
Isaiah 4:5-6

Indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

Psalm 121:4-6

Just get me to the church on time. . .

Goin’ to the chapel and we’re gonna get married.
Goin’ to the chapel and we’re gonna get married.
Gee, I really love you and we’re, gonna get married.
Goin’ to the chapel of love.

the Crystals

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(The fountain in Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia / Julie Cook / 2012)

Picture this. . .
This lovely fountain, in just 5 short days, all gussied up with a happy couple standing in front of it.
An assembled group of 100 friends and family, dodging Georgia’s infamous noseeums.
Oh, you’ve never heard of a nosseum? They’re in the dictionary. They’re on the internet. They are vicious, wicked and invisible.
They are a notorious southern hot weather pain in the a$%!!!!

A lovely southern Saturday morning–already hot with heavy humidity (what’s the South without humidity? It’s what keeps us from wrinkling)
Sprinkled with a constant threat of thunderstorms.
And there I’ll be, with my hand out, waiting for someone to slap a mint julep in it.

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It’s finally time I take this show on the road.
After a three year long engagement. . .
After a year long, hit it hard, organizing marathon of a road trip wedding. . .
After months of running my a%$ off on an elliptical— and lest we not forget my discovery of my behind, post exterior, derrière, bum, being not exactly symmetrical. . . and may we all recall my husband’s brilliant solution of duct tape—let’s not go there shall we.
All the while as visions of robbing fort Knox, to help pay for this little fete, are dancing in my head.. .
Yep, it’s definitely time to get this show on the road–as in literally, we need to get on the road, we need to get on the road as in NOW!!!!!!!

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Posts this week may be sporadic.
Posts may be non existent.
Posts may make no sense. . .
–or–
Being the the consummate educator that I am, I may not even miss a beat—at this point, it’s anyone’s guess and depends on the number of juleps people throw my way…medicinal purposes you know, as in nerve tonics. . .
But the show is definitely hitting the road very shortly. . .

But first there are trips to the airport, still figuring out if Dad is up to joining this traveling show, a gazillon things need to be packed in my car, including the Prime minister. . .
You’re taking Winston Churchill? you ask. . .
Wouldn’t you take Winston Churchill?
It’s a long story, but at this point, I think if Winston could stave off the Nazis from invading the great island nation of my ancestors, he can certainly give aid, offer comfort plus render a clear and level head to me and “the cause” this week!!
Unless he gets into the juleps. . .

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I’ll be blazing the trail down the lonely undeveloped, sans any rest areas, I-16, cutting a diagonal line clear across this state, heading for the city of this great state’s inception. You know we’re named for King George and I’m headed to the land of General Oglethorpe, as my peeps will be following along throughout the course of the week.
Kind of like fire ants, traveling along in an erratic line, on a mission, to God knows where.

So with all of this nervous rambling and chatter aside, may it now be known and most official– it’s less than a week to D day and I’ve got to get a move on!!—as in NOW!

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Stay tuned.
Say prayers–not so much for me as I’ve got this, but for Brenton and Abby— as they finally see the culmination of lots of time, blood, sweat and tears coming to fruition—all on a beautiful Saturday in June, during a tender ceremony, and may God’s grace shine forever upon their union . . . and may we all remember. . .

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When is a leaf not a leaf?

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”
― Phaedrus

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When is a leaf not a leaf you ask….When it’s an impression in the sidewalk….

If you haven’t been to Savannah, perhaps you have seen the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or perhaps you’ve seen pictures. Perhaps you have seen shots of the famous Forsyth Park fountain. We’re having a wedding here in June you know…. This is a large beautiful and scerne park. Ancient oaks draped in ethereal spanish moss line the diverging walkways which all converge at the beautiful fountain…

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Along the walkways, if you happen to glance down, as you walk along the light dappled paths, you may notice that the concrete has the impression of leaves all throughout the walkways in the park. A nice little subtle touch. Chances are not many guests who walk the park notice to look down…I found the pressed leaves to be a lovely added nuance of wonderment to an already wondrous place.

The whole impression leaf thing, which, mind you, look like very real leaves complete with vein details and foliage defects, had me thinking about life and what constitutes a genuine life verses something that is made to look genuine and real. Genuineness is something that seems to be a rare commodity in this flash in the pan thing we call life in this western society of ours.

So many people try to pretend that they are something or someone that they are not. False wealth, false bodies…phony folks who attempt hiding behind name brand this and that, all who desperately try to climb the proverbial ladder of success by hook and crook–which actually leads to no where. Turn on any television or look through any magazine to hear and see the falsehoods otherwise known as advertising….promises that you will look younger, thinner, taller, richer, happier, hairier–your teeth will be whiter, your skin clearer, your posture straighter….I never knew we were in such bad shape.

Why do we all try so hard to pretend to be something we are not? Who cares that we’re not all “cutting edge”— that we’re not all Über trendy chic, not all driving the latest greatest luxury cars, we’re not all wearing the haute couture of the latest name brand designer….We spend so much time, money and energy working to mold ourselves into our perfect concept of who we should be. Whatever happened to being”real?” It’s as if real is not good enough anymore. We need real to be bigger and better. Perhaps real is too real and we didn’t like what we saw. Pity…
I miss real.
I miss genuine.
I miss authentic.
I miss not knowing what it is I’m getting from the get go.
Who can you trust? “Do I look good in this, or is it too tight, too young?” “Oh no, you look wonderful” …doesn’t matter that you’re 20 years too old and 20 pounds too heavy for whatever it is the sales person is trying to hustle your way….

Oh the sad list goes on and on and on….

The 20th century civil rights leader, educator and theologian, Howard Thurman put it best:
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”

Refuse to dangle by the string that is being pulled by someone other than yourself—be genuine, be authentic. Dare to be the real person God made you to be……