Sunset at the Bellfry

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I have seen many sunsets
across my years
each radiant in its moment
and original style as with this sunset
in the Virginia hills
made special by its time
in space and flowing colors
but also who was with me
on the hilltop and who came to mind
as the sky dimmed and
I made my way
ever so carefully
downward through
the bent grass path toward night

Leighton Ford
At the Bellfry, Virginia
May 2019

The Hurricane, by Mary Oliver

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It didn’t behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
 But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn’t stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn’t
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.

Mary Oliver,  A Thousand Mornings

I thought of this after Hurricane Florence came through the Carolinas. We did not suffer damage,  many thousands did. We keep them in our prayers. And stay open to what God makes to flourish after the “hurricanes” of our lives.

At Windy Ridge

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I am at Windy Ridge an old house in the Virginia Hills for an overnight retreat with four guys and quite a few cows. it’s very quiet. One car passed by since we arrived yesterday. Otherwise quiet. We’re here to listen to one another and the Lord.

Linville River (Leighton Ford)

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“The grace of a river is a reminder of how nature seeks elegance and  achieves immense beauty of  cohesion and balance … If only our lives could achieve, or indeed allow, such grace and elegance … our pilgrimage through this world would flow  in  beauty through the most ragged and forsaken  heartlands of confusion and dishevelment.”

-John O’Donohue