Praise for Creation

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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick 

I’ve been drawn back into the church as an adult, in part, by the memories of the beautiful hymns that I sang as a child. Around Thanksgiving time, many of the spiritual songs have words of gratefulness and gratitude for the harvest and for the impending season of darkness. For without winter gloom, there would not be a fulfilling sense of renewal of spirit in spring. 

Composers of yester year have created some of the most eloquent stories, through song, about the change of the seasons and the bounty of the Universe. Many hymns of blessings and praise, written decades ago, are still sung in sanctuaries today, such as – 

  • For the Fruits of the Garden ~  verses by Fred Pratt Green
  • Oh Food to Pilgrims Given ~  words by Maintzich Gesangbuch
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ verses by Henry Alford
  • America the Beautiful ~ verses by Katharine Lee Bates
  • For the Beauty of the Earth ~ words by Elliot S Pierpoint
  • In the Bleak Midwinter ~ words by Christina G Rossetti 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year to step inside the doors of a church. Listen to the vocal choirs, tune into the musical instruments, experience the peace and be grateful for the cozy warmth of the shelter for the body and soul. 

A few weeks from now, at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in other places of worship everywhere, choirs will be magnificently singing Handel’s The Messiah. Don’t miss out!

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Cookin’ Up a Soulful Pot

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As a blog writer, when the inspiration hits, I am on the job no matter what day of the week it is.  I am compelled to put it down on paper, when the mind and heart is awakened by a spark of creative thought. It’s all part of fulfilling my need to write. 

Today is National Day of Chicken Soup for the Soul, did you know that? It’s Saturday, a good day to stay at home and create a soup full of thoughts that will warm me both inside and out. Intuition tells me the ingredients to build a healthy stock would be – 

  • Year-long gratitude for the personally fulfilling things I have in my life
  • Observance of the gift of quiet times
  • Understanding that the ordinary can be extraordinary
  • Appreciation for the natural beauty of the earth
  • Rigorous amounts of stirring of the spirit by exploring one’s own gifts
  • Ecstatic feelings for our son and seeing him make his marc on the world
  • New Ideas to bring inspiration and creativity
  • Eager anticipation of beauty in the holiday season
  • Variety in Independent Thoughts, Words and Views for my blog readers
  • Energy  and excitement as I go about my daily work
  • Rousing possibilities for telling my own story
  • Abundance of work to do
  • Limitless discovery of “kindred spirits”
  • Old fashioned values of home and hearth
  • Nurturing of the book I am writing -it is close to my heart
  • Enduring love from friends and family 

Create your own unique recipe for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Add  ingredients that  bring happiness, contentment and peace to your life.  Stir the pot with a big strong spoon, so the harmony and balance of flavors will be just right. 

Bountiful Living to You !

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Gardens Heaven Scent

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Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 

Doesn’t it feel good when our heart sings? That is the result of being involved with things we are passionate about.  

On Saturday, I played guide for the Strings in the Mountains Kitchen & Garden Tour. The home I was assigned to was a little slice of Vermont right within the city limits of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The lush green gardens were filled with most of the same species of plants that my extensive gardens inVermont contain. 

When I first arrived at the gardens where I was to volunteer, it was as if the names of the perennial flowers had been filed away in the archives of my brain. I had to dust off the files and dig back into the records of my mind, to remember the names of a few. Once the names of all my favorite flowers were brought to the fore, there was no stopping me. The names all came spewing forth. I had identified each type of bloom before it was time to leave. 

There were Master Gardeners at the site, and I was in heaven for just a few hours, talking the language that plant aficionados find so fulfilling to speak. We talked botanical names vs. common names, climactic zones, acidic soil, shade plants, sun lovin’ plants, invasive species, succulents, ground covers and so much more. 

It has been two and one half years since I have returned to my home in Vermont. This weekend was heaven sent. I  visited Vermont without having to travel and I nursed my dire need for some garden talk, all at once. 

How grateful I am that I have lived in two beautiful nature-inspiring, mountain communities. One is as magnificent as the other, in very different ways. Thanks to the folks that organized the Kitchen and Garden Tours www.stringsmusicfestival.com  for assigning me to this most appreciated locale. I was able hear my heart strings sing, very loud and clear.

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