Thursday, May 23, 2013

::Cold moons and measured teaspoons::

A pervasive sense of awe has clung to me these past few weeks. It stems from being immersed in a study of deep space with the kids. The scale is just so big. The science so inadequate. The God upholding it all so astonishing.

I live on a very small scale. Grams of pasta added to salt water. Kilometers of early-morning road traveled down. Minutes of whining to endure until snack time. Pages of book to enjoy before bed. A massive reality looms above, under and around me, but I've lived it out in teaspoons.

There are the things we see, like the fine sifting of powder as we measure it out. And then there is everything else. What do we make of it?

It seems to me that we do one of two things when confronted with the vast and the unknown. We make little of it. Or we make much of it. We hunch our shoulders and live out of small-scale comfort. Or we mythologize and theologize the vastness to suit us.

Two parts of Scripture came together this morning over this idea of the unseen vastness. The children and I are in 2 Kings: "And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."

Empty hills. The servant saw empty hills when they really weren't empty at all. We see. We don't see. And we make too little of the space in between.

In the Near East, back in the time of Elisha, people feared the moon. They didn't trust the silver orb above them in the darkness. When the Psalmist wrote "no moon shall harm you in the hours of night," he wrote it to a people that believed it could! Lunacy comes from the idea that exposure to the moon could touch a mind. Twist it. 

A malevolent moon. Endowed with mythical power it never possessed. We see. We don't see. And we make too much of the space in between.

There are footprints on the moon today. Boot-shape indents that testify to us having made contact with the dead landscape. Of having seen the pits and craters of the reflective rock that circles overhead. We no longer fear it. {The seeds of lunacy are sprung from different soil, it would seem.} In fact, I would go so far as to say that in the collective consciousness, the moon has been conquered. It's Creator, cut out of the heavens. Which brings us full circle to, yet again, making far too little of what we can't or won't see.

In my own study of Psalm 121, I read; "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He saw. He didn't see. He stood rooted in the space between.

As I grow older, I am more and more comforted by what we are told is truth in the Bible. I anchor myself more and more to the unmovable. It is the book I see. It speaks of realities I don't see. But it keeps me grounded and hopeful when I'm caught between the known and unknown.  Cold moons and measured teaspoons. Empty hills and roads run down. I see. I don't see. I go to Him in the space between.

Friday, May 17, 2013

::Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches::

Just bought the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, because I flipped through it and wanted to eat every single thing! These cookies were fairly simple to make. Just don't get too frustrated with the crumbly dough. It looks like it won't work. But it does.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


When a crop of these tulips popped up this spring I did not recognize them. I do not plant white flowers. Or any pastels, for that matter. Only big bold colours make it into my garden, if I can help it. So, how did these get here? It turns out they are last year's pink and white-striped beauties, (see below), reincarnated. So sad! I guess I have to replant fresh bulbs every year to keep the dark colours. Have I mentioned that gardening exhausts me?
There is an analogy to be plucked from faded petals, I think. Fact: We get older. We get plainer. The 'youthful blush' so celebrated in victorian novels leaves our faces. Our hair is washed of it's colour. But the heart remains unaffected. If anything, with time, it glows brighter with the absorption of life-lived, and lessons-learned. (Says the girl who dyes her hair and frets over wrinkles.)

Monday, May 06, 2013


When I got home from a run-- yes, run. It's been years-- my kids had a treasure to show me. Four blue eggs cradled by a masterpiece of dried grass and twigs in a tree by the farmer's field.