Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer in the South

Summer in the South by Sparky2*
Summer in the South, a photo by Sparky2* on Flickr.
Summer in the South
~ by Paul Laurence Dunbar ~

The oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and piney,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.

To be alive
 ~ by Gregory Orr

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That's crudely put, but…

If we're not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?

I participate in a wonderful photography group in which there is a topic/theme for a weekly challenge.  All of our works for this group are to be based upon things in our home and gardens.  This week was "What's new? What have you brought home lately?"
I've brought so few new things into the home this past year that I had to wrack my brain to come up with something for this challenge!  Then I remembered my last trip to the Salvation Army ... just killing time waiting while a family member had an appointment. I found this pencil cup ... and although it's new to me it already has a story.

"This is the day that the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it."
                                             Psalms 118:24

My grandmother quoted this scripture often as she shooed all us kids out the door to play outside ... (the same straight backed and stern woman who refused to sew my skirt hem before church one Sunday morning because "Every stitch you sew on Sunday you take out with your nose on Monday!"  My own mom used the verse in a more gentle way ... reminding me to focus on the good parts of a bad day.

I had a literature teacher in high school who would begin each class with the exclamation, "Carpe Diem! This IS the day!" Then she would recite this verse. She would never get away with that these days (wouldn't be politically "correct") but I adored her and the excitement she brought to us each day was contagious.

Later I had a friend who signed all her notes this way (she still does 45 years later!) and it never fails to make me stop and think.

In college I had another literature teacher (so then I understood the constant reference from the first!) who obviously felt very at home in the "seize the day", "make hay while the sun shines", carpe diem theme of Horace's Odes. She spent an inordinate amount of time expounding on this period, dissecting most every word for meaning, nuance, purpose, reference, insinuation; she made it come alive for me and now I'm compelled to do the same - connecting the writer's words with his time when I read anything of a historical nature.

When I saw this cup, with its hefty $1.00 price tag, it felt like a gift. Not a day goes by now that my thoughts don't touch on those special women and times of my life when I reach for a pen - and I'm glad for each of them ... and the day..

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