Listening to the Music of Life


The wildflowers seem unusually abundant this year so I’ve been focusing on them. They are singing my name, and on this excursion down dirt roads they were beckoning me in unison, like a well rehearsed choir.


There were some soloists but even they appeared more elegant within their milieu. When I was seven, swaying the swing under the giant oak, I imagined myself teaching the different vegetables in the garden to sing in harmony. On this day, in my seventieth decade, I just listened.


On this day I drifted between hearing the whole as it worked together and then focusing on the beauty of the individual.


I listened to the symphony of an inland lake on a summer’s morning, telling its secrets of times untold.


I listened to the secrets of being free to bloom and age as nature intended, without pretense.


And I listened to the cords of caution, knowing they need to be respected.


May we all hear this music and allow its message to grow within our spirits.

Down Dirt Roads: Wildflowers


We did our “down dirt roads” outing last week and found several new ones a little north of where we have wandered through Amish country. Julie was driving and she didn’t stop by any Amish farms and I didn’t say the magic word (stop), even though there were lots of interesting images waiting to be captured. Sometimes I am tempted to take photos of children, or adults when their back is turned or I am a distance away. But I don’t because I know they don’t like their photos to be take – for religious reasons. And I want to respect their right to privacy. It seems extra important to me as we, as a culture, seem to be showing an increasing lack of respect for the needs and rights of those who are different while at the same time screaming when others disrespect our rights. I keep remembering what Mr. Stott taught me in my high school civics class: My rights end where your rights begin. Probably wouldn’t get many votes as a campaign slogan.


We kept our eye on the sky, more to look for blue and some sun instead of a concern of bad weather. We picked the day because it was the only one that didn’t have a forecast of rain. Sometimes we pick wrong.

It was a good morning for wild flowers as they are just coming into bloom. Julie and I tried to name them but really didn’t know most of them. I find it hard to remember from one year to the next, just like it is hard to remember names of acquaintances. Good thing I have a wildflower book or two for reference.

I would appreciate help with those wild flowers I couldn’t identify. I especially like the one in the bottom right-hand corner.

Precious Time

Friend Julie and I went on one of our photo shoots a couple of weeks ago – heading for dirt roads. I do believe it was the first such outing since last fall and we savored it. We didn’t find any “National Geographic” wanna-be photographs but we experienced something much more precious.

We experienced shared chuckles about a flag planted in an otherwise fallow field and pondered its meaning.


Julie humored me as I took more photos of common cows and we giggled as they followed me from one end of the field to the other. Did they think we had food or did they just want to be our friends?


I think they saw my camera and all wanted to be in the picture.


We experienced wonder in the ordinary. Like the way the dead grass was hanging over the wire of a fence and the simple lines of the posts making a corner, pondering whether the fence was keeping something in or out.


I hold a precious memory of feeling the cool morning air (maybe in the 50’s f) and the warm sun, and the sounds of nature on a country road in the early morning.

I stopped, backed up, pulled forward onto the edge of the road to marvel at the architecture of a new-growth wood lot, beyond the roadside grasses going to seed and bending in the breeze. We walked the road looking for the best composition and commented on the scarcity of traffic.


We giggled at the modern, country art sculpture – while I secretly was thankful it wasn’t the back of my car that created it.


At every stop we expressed to each other what a beautiful day it was, and how wonderful it was to be back on dirt roads together. I struggled to find adjectives to describe being in Michigan, in late spring, surrounded by the wonders of our dot on the map. Maybe the adjective that best describes our experience is precious.

We both stopped and searched the skies as we heard the familiar noise, the honking of geese – lots of them. They came, they circled, and they landed in the field in front of us. I have seen this so many times but it still enchants me. Birds flying together with a common goal.


And we marveled at the newly worked fields, some of them planted. At the slopes of the rolling hills and the green borders that remind us that once upon a time all of this land was covered with dense woods.


How fortunate I am that I can still experience the wonder of the world around me – even the seemingly mundane. And how precious it is to share it with a friend, in words and in quiet reverence.

This down-dirt-roads experience was perfect of Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Precious. You can follow the link to she her interpretation and all the others who are joining in.

Magic Shadows of Winter


Have you ever experienced the magic of the winter shadows in a deciduous woods? I have always been fascinated by the play of light and shadow as I ride a dirt road, feeling the warming sun filter through the blinks of darkened shadow. This is natures way of warming the earth in the dead of cold, then bringing forth bright green leaves as an introductory play with light, as we wait for the thick green canopy that cools us when the summer temperature rises.

My response to Cheri’s Weekly Photo Challenge of Shadow. It was fun thinking about the difference in light between Michigan and Florida, between summer and winter, and thus how shadows show themselves.