Reflecting on Turning….

old-auburn-road-by-cecilia

This early autumn rain washes summer’s green paint from the sugar maple leaves.
It brings brisk gusts of October’s breath to September’s dying days.
Familiar streaks of rain run down unfamiliar windows, and I feel at ease, protected from, and by, the storm.
The thunder, a cold front’s lion roar, frightens off the last lambs of August’s summer flock,
And there, the hapless journey-goers, caught in the downpour, run, or walk with umbrella in hand, striding through rain’s dry shadow.
Sounds are muted by the distant drum-roll of raindrops on roofs, and the noise of traffic – stifled more by torrential curtains, now brought low from nimbus heights.
But soon, the amber rays of sun pierce the smoke-gray clouds and
Reflect
off now more orange leaves.

Poetry by Colin Shea Blymyer©2016, Photo entitled ‘Old Auburn Road’ by Cecilia Carr©2016, to see more of her work, go to http://www.redbubble.com/people/ceciliacarr/portfolio

Reflecting on Music….

By Kira Skala

Living Waters by Kira Skala

It’s a cool, quiet fall morning, cool enough for a sweater. The windows are open to let in the autumn air. The cool air is soothing, like the cool water of a rippling stream. So I was drawn to a video taken by my friend Kira. I love the sound of the water, unimpeded by the fallen branches and litter. Yet it seems easier to focus on the living water with my eyes closed, simply listening to the sounds. With my eyes open, it is all too easy to focus on the quagmire and lose sight of the stream. The more I watched and listened to this video, the more frustrated I became about my morning routine. My favorite time of day is the early morning. More often than not, I sit in the living room and have a second cup of coffee. There is a large evergreen outside the window, where birds often perch and sing. I love to see and hear the birds. It seems as if God has written a special song just for me. Yet recently I find myself avoiding that quiet time in the mornings. Instead of joy I was nagged by faint annoyance. So this morning I made myself sit down and really listen. Instead of birds, I heard traffic and heavy equipment. My symphony has turned into cacophony. There is a farm on the corner that sat vacant for many years. The well kept pastures became covered in small shrubs and vines. Recently the farm was sold to a developer who is now clearing the land. So the trees and undergrowth that absorbed the traffic noise are no more. I hear both the construction vehicles and the commuter traffic on the highway, a road at least half a mile from my home. Yet the birds remain with me. The music remains with me. The rough noises can only drown out the joy of the bird’s song if I give it my attention. My young friend Colin says it best.

I walked out to the pylons at midnight, just to be alone with my music for a bit. The wind was blowing and the clouds moved so rapidly, it seemed that they must be dragging me with them to the chapel. The clouds reminded me of this week, it seemed to move by so quickly, though now I’m very tired, so it feels, physically, very long. I’ve met many new friends and I’ve gotten to know old acquaintances much better. I am, as usual, very happy: if you want to share in my happiness then all you need to do is ask. – Colin Shea-Blymyer

Make time today to listen closely, to look beyond the litter of everyday life. Seek out the living waters of creation and give thanks for the gift of life, offered and received one breath at a time. Let go of sorrows and losses and hold fast to the blessings of this life. Hold fast to the music and miracles that surround you, just waiting to feed your soul and swell your heart. And always remember, when you want to share in the happiness of creation, all you need to do is ask. Text by Connie Chintall ©2014, photo and video of Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park by Kira Skala ©2014, to view video go to https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204163766204493
Quote by Colin Shea-Blymyer ©2014, All Rights Reserved.

Reflecting on Time….

Warm spring weather has arrived once again. A chorus of birds greeted me as I walked the dog this morning, slowly wandering around our yard. So I was drawn to this original artwork by my friend Colin. I love the vivid colors and the progression of images. We start with an imposing gear on the left, powered by our straining muscles. Then enlightenment leads to a more delicate gear, powered by our minds. Finally our imagination leads us to a gear large enough to hold our whole planet and the space surrounding it. I don’t know about you, but when I let time rule my actions, brawn trumps brains. I tend to run roughshod over others, pushing and shoving to get my own way, on my schedule, not theirs. I talk more than listen, act without thinking, and generally make a mess of things. Whatever short term gains I think I made are soon lost in the mess left for later. If I convince myself I have no time, then I rush through life, existing rather than living. The issue is seldom how much time I have, rather than my attitude toward time. As a young working mother, I often felt this way. Then one morning, I decided to make time to pray. I began to pray in the car when I arrived at work, before heading into the office. At first, I asked God to give me more time. I’m sorry to say this approach failed miserably. Then I prayed to spend my time God’s way, not my way. Things slowly began to change, in barely perceptible yet very significant ways. I became more present to each moment, more dynamic and creative in response to stressful situations. Take time today to offer yourself to God, to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you and in you. Let go of your agenda to make room for the Creator’s plan, allowing the Almighty to guide your ways and guard your heart. And remember, when life seems overwhelming, that each moment, each breath, each sigh is filled to overflowing with a world of possibilities. Text by Connie Chintall ©2012, Art entitled ‘Gears of Time’ by Colin Shea-Blymyer ©2012

Reflecting on Art….

The rain is relentless this morning, drenching the ground and dampening spirits. So I was drawn to this glorious artwork by my friend Jeanne. On a grey, dreary day, bright colors and fanciful images are more than welcome. What does art mean to you? My definition changes almost daily, and I would be hard pressed to use words to describe it. So I humbly defer to my eloquent young friend Colin’s description.

The patterns, the shapes, the colors, the sounds. Art is too simple and short a word for what it is. It is the space beyond knowledge, it is thought, abstract, ethereal, like a dream after waking, slipping through the sieve. It is the place after logic, where mankind proves it’s irrationality, where the complexity of the mind works out it’s contradictions, where humanity is proven. It is what you get when something as complex as a human has to process the information of the world, leaving heavy on the heart or light on the mind, it is the expression of imperfection, a chance at the creation of complex relations between the patterns, the shapes, the colors, the sounds.

Take time today to be creative, to sketch, or sing, or sew. Let go of the end result and immerse yourself in the playful world of art. Allow your soul to seek out the images and sounds that defy rational explanation. And remember, as you get lost in your art, you may sink into the well of your soul, and catch a glimpse of eternal glory. Art entitle ‘Hummingbird’ ©2012 by Jeanne Mischo, quote by Colin Shea-Blymyer

Reflecting on Creation….


It’s a glorious, sunny day, a welcome change from yesterday’s damp, grey weather. So I was drawn to this amazing image by my friend Heidi, part of her ‘Twirls’ series. At first glance, it seems she has warped a simple rainbow, twisting and turning the entire spectrum of color. Yet the longer I looked at her art, the more I thought of the beginning of the universe, the start of all time. Genesis offers the six day version – but what is a day in God’s time? An earth day of 24 hours, or a cosmic day that lasts eons? Science offers the big bang theory, where the entire universe is condensed into a zone called a singularity that infinitely and instantaneously expands. First there is nothing, then there is everything. Both science and religion agree there is a beginning, but we continue to argue over the how, and when, and why. My view is very simple. The singularity is the Holy of Holies, who was, and is and always will be. Our Creator existed before time began, and I imagine the start of our universe looked a lot more like Heidi’s twirls than an explosion. The universe unfolded, like a flower blooming in spring, opening across time and space in infinite and inconceivable beauty. Or to quote my young friend Colin:

Nothing is special, everything is. Another dichotomy of reality, we live in a universe too large to comprehend, specks of matter floating without aim through the domain of galaxies. Yet we are, and we continue to be. We are conscious, thinking beings with the capability to love and to grow and to learn. Both of these realities are important, we are both gears- pre-purposed parts of a universal machine, without the power to cause lasting change- and miracles- beings capable of understanding what is around us, part of the great performance of time and cognizant of its magnificence. Live as a miraculous gear, a cog that knows what time the clock keeps. – Colin Shea-Blymer

Take time today to ponder the miracle of creation. Pause to look at a snowflake, or flower, or the smile of a small child. Look up into the night sky and open your mind to the vastness of God’s universe. And remember to give thanks for each breath, for we receive the gift of life one breath at a time. Art by Heidi Anne Morris, used with her permission, to see more of her work, visit http://www.redbubble.com/people/heidiannemorris

Reflecting on Shelter….

It’s another grey, rainy day, after a brief and sunny respite. The dripping, falling leaves are brilliant against the cloudy sky, struggling to hang on, but more often spiraling to the ground. So I was drawn to this photo of the Virginia Tech campus taken by my friend Colin. Look at the trees, some still green, others changing colors, still others already losing their leaves. One tree is red at the top, and still green at the bottom. Like most college campuses, the trees are planted between the buildings. While some trees are exposed to harsh weather, others are sheltered from the cold and wind. I don’t know about you, but I feel most like the two toned tree. I manage to find only partial shelter, often leaving my most vulnerable side the most exposed. I dwell on one aspect too much, often a simple problem that cries for attention, while neglecting another more glaring issue or underlying cause. Before I know it, I’m caught out, at a loss for what to do next. Perhaps I am looking for a human way out, when only a divine answer will do. Take time today to let go of your expectations and seek the shelter and refuge of the Almighty. Look beyond your human perspective, asking to see through God’s eyes and to hear with God’s ears. Let go of your way out to make room for God’s way out. And remember, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” Psalm 91:1. Photo by Colin Shea-Blymyer

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