Old mother wren

“He who shall hurt the little wren…
Shall never be be’loved by men.”

William Blake

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(images of a mad mother wren / Julie Cook / 2016)

A mother wren decided to build her nest, lay her eggs, raise her brood under the tarp covering of our tractor which sits underneath our back deck.
Since the babies hatched about two weeks ago, there has not been a moments peace for human nor cat who enjoys sitting on the deck or even venturing in the back yard for a stroll.
We have all been chased back inside and as for bush hogging the pasture, forget it…the grass will just have to keep growing until 5 babies can leave the nest….

Here they are two weeks ago…

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Here they are today…

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A Wren’s Nest
Among the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren’s
In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.

And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye
For shadowy quietness.

These find, ‘mid ivied abbey-walls,
A canopy in some still nook;
Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.

There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long.

Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting bird’s return,
Her eggs within the nest repose,
Like relics in an urn.

But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best;
And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest;

This, one of those small builders proved
In a green covert, where, from out
The forehead of a pollard oak,
The leafy antlers sprout;

For She who planned the mossy lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill,
Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfill.

High on the trunk’s projecting brow,
And fixed an infant’s span above
The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest
The prettiest of the grove!

The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain
Can turn to little things; but once
Looked up for it in vain:

‘Tis gone—a ruthless spoiler’s prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song,
‘Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
Indignant at the wrong.

Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light the moss-built cell
I saw, espied its shaded mouth;
And felt that all was well.

The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves;
And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives.

Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent,
Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,

Rest, Mother-bird! and when thy young
Take flight, and thou art free to roam,
When withered is the guardian Flower,
And empty thy late home,

Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the unviolated grove
Housed near the growing Primrose-tuft
In foresight, or in love.

William Wordsworth

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(images of a mad mother wren / Julie Cook / 2016)

Oh but to glimpse a mere wisp of your Being

“…My unassisted heart is barren clay,
Which of its native self can nothing feed:
Of good and pious works Thou art the seed,
Which quickens only where Thou say’st it may;
Unless Thou show to us Thine own true way,
No man can find it: Father! Thou must lead….”

Excerpt from Michaelangelo’s sonnet,
To the Supreme Being
as translated by William Wordsworth

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(looking off the shoreline cliffs of Gleann Cholm Cille out to the mighty northern Atlantic, County Donegal, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015–a picture which cannot do justice to the sheer overwhelming and endless and uncontainable landscape which is this island Nation)

If we are fortunate enough, perhaps attuned enough, aware enough, enlightened enough, still enough, quiet enough, open enough, low enough, sad enough, hurting enough, joyful enough, mad enough, young enough, old enough, happy enough, skeptical enough, believe enough, doubt enough, love enough…
At some point during our lifetime we may actually find ourselves coming close within the very proximity of the sacred space of the very presence of the Divine.

“Oh rubbish” you incredulously scoff.
“For none of us are so worthy….
None of us so believe…
None of us so care…
That is stuff of mere legends and fairytales..
Gobblety gook of the weak-minded and illogical.”

Yet it happens.

Each and everyday, all over this planet, it happens.
God, The Triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is felt, known, heard and or glimpsed.

And for those who have caught that rare and mystical glimpse of His Wonder, the resulting impression is palpably consuming.

To you my friend, this may all sound like mere poppycock and the stuff of mythes and fables, but to those who have bushed against such a Force, the moment was indeed very real, very overwhelming, very moving and dare we say, life changing….

Receptivity.

The idea or concept of our being open and willing to receive.

A.W. Tozer so skillfully explains this notion:
Receptivity is not a single thing; it is a compound rather, a blending of several elements within the soul. It is an affinity for, a bent toward, a sympathetic response to, a desire to have. From this it may be gathered that is can be present in degrees, that we may have little or more or less, depending upon the individual. It may be increased by exercise or destroyed by neglect. It is not a sovereign and irresistible force which comes upon us as seizure from above. It is a gift of God, indeed, but one which must be recognized and cultivated as any other gift if it is to realize the purpose for which it was given.
…Let us say it again: The Universal Presence is a fact. God is here. The whole universe is alive with His life. And He is no strange or foreign God, but the familiar Father of our Lord Jesus Christ whose love has for these thousands of years enfolded the sinful race of men. And always He is trying to get our attention, to reveal Himself to us, to communicate with us. We have within us the ability to know Him if we will but respond to His overtures. (And this we call pursuing God!)”

For some of the receptive mortals among us, it comes from the simple lyrics of a song.
For others it is a passage from a book, a poem, a story…
Still for others it is a view, a sound, a slight touch of the arm…

It is however, whatever it may be, that which reaches down into a place that was thought to be impenetrable.
Down into a heart sealed off long ago to such “nonsense” and idle “feelings” of weakness and imagination.

I’ve known such a passing moment.
It has stopped me dead in my tracks and breeched the thick stone wall of my heart–
the one that was sealed from unnecessary hurt, disappointment, and disillusion.
The unworthy vessel which is full of the stuff of self centeredness, loathing and rebellion.
The wounded spirit of the abandoned baby who has spent a lifetime quieting the yearning need of being unconditionally loved, held and forever healed.

And for each time I have bushed near IT’s presence, the presence of the Holy, I AM, as IT passes by my mortal being, I am consumed but for a nano second in time. Everything and everyone stands still in that moment which is less than a breath or the beat of a heart.
Yet it is known and it is real…

Excerpt lyrics from the song The Calling
by Aaron Kamin and Alex Band

If I could, then I would,
I’ll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low, I’ll go wherever you will go

And maybe, I’ll find out
A way to make it back someday
To watch you…..

Run away with my heart
Run away with my hope
Run away with my love

In between

“Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.”

William Wordsworth

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(the dried remains of a crepe myrtle / Julie Cook / 2015)

Somewhere in between birth and death resides the beautiful. . .
Small and fragile, ever so demure, it begins. . .
Slowly at first, yet laced with excited energy. . .fullness eventually falls into place . . .
Bold
Strong
Even daring. . .
Yet never to be confused with
Pushy
Obnoxious
Or self-centered
Determination sets the cycle into motion
There is no turning back, no stopping what has started

And just as quickly as it began. . .
It all begins to fade, to go away, to change, to depart. . .
Slowly and ever so slightly
A tinge of brown,
A wilted droop,
A loss of vibrancy
Life juices dry as everything begins
Shrinking
Withering
Dying. . .

All that remains is the dried shell
A stiff skeleton of what was
No fragrance
No softness
No tender touch
Just sticky
Brittle
Brown

And so here we now sit. . .
Somewhere in between. . .
Waiting for the beautiful. . .

Oh that the sun would shine again…

“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”
William Wordsworth

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(Photograph: the Rose Garden in the park near Buckingham Fountain/ Chicago, Illinois/ Julie Cook/ 2013)

Weather–can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Somewhere in this great big world of ours the sun is shining, folks are outside enjoying the day and some beautiful weather……but where that may be….I simply don’t know… for you see, the weather here in the Georgia, and through much of the South, has been well, in a nutshell, wet! And I’m not talking just recently. This has been going on for months.

Our spring was a long wet, cold, tiresome block of time that merely merged into a time that was formerly known as summer. Our summer has been wet, damp and cool. For the past two days, temperatures have smashed the records for the lowest highs on a summer’s day for over 100 years in Atlanta. It was cooler here yesterday then it was in Maine.

It has rained so much that we exceeded our year’s allotment for rain back in early June. Two years ago there was a horrendous drought… so much so that our large glorious trees began to die. This year the massive grand and beautiful southern oak trees, poplars, even the stickly tall pines have been falling all over the area due to the stress of droughts now followed by excessive rains. The root systems of these trees, in some cases 100 years plus old trees, have not been able to maintain the tree’s weight in all this soggy soil.

Remember the garden…the glorious garden that I was so excited about planting, tending and nurturing??… it is all but a total wash. The rain has been so abundant that the tomatoes never turned in a timely fashion– as one needs sun in order to fully ripen. Many of the tomatoes actually spilt and burst on the vine from all the rain before they were ripe. And those blasted fire ants…one would think that all the rain would drown them—but no. For some bizarre reason, they have been prolific. I treat one red mound and the next day it seems as if the one multiplied into 4. I know they must have the divide and conquer mentality. I’ve all but given up.

It has been wet, chilly and gray—more reminiscent of late October or early March—not mid August. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Fall/ Autumn, I love sweaters, and I love seasons. What I don’t love is incessant rain and dampness and constant gray skies particularly when I live in what is known as the sunny South. Do I want the dog days of summer back—no! What I do want is moderation and an equalling out of this crazy extreme weather! I want that also for the states out west who are now suffering under relentless hot dry winds which are fanning flames of destructive fires…

It must be some sort of el nina, la nina, crazy nina pattern that has the country upside down. So many here are suffering from allergies, mold issues and sinus infections that don’t normally plague us this time of year. I suppose the upside is that AC bills will be less. Does this mean we’ll have a colder winter? I haven’t seen any wooly bear caterpillars waddling about as you know that was what my mother used as her winter weather prognosticators. You just may hear me lamenting of a blizzard come January! Time will only tell what old man Winter will have up his sleeve.

Who knows the answer…all I know is that I want to see, I need to see, a little sunshine—I want it to dry up the dampness, kill the mold and to help my feelings! So until then—and the weatherman is telling us that by the end of the week our temperatures should be more seasonal except that our chances of rain will continue…ugh…I hope you will enjoy this beautifully bright beaming red/orange (secondary color you know) rose! May it bring you a bit of cheer, happiness and joy as it did me when I took its picture.

Here’s to looking heavenward for the sun………….