Wednesday, September 16, 2020



I think, sometimes, how surreal the world feels just now. Did you ever imagine that you would live during a global pandemic? I never did. Life goes on, but normality is overlaid with strangeness. Physical distancing, masks, sanitizing, and lineups are becoming the new normal. 

We've moved from spring through summer and now autumn is upon us. A new school year is underway and students are learning. Still the strangeness continues. For how long? This is the question of the day. No one knows. 

I just finished reading Louise Penny's latest novel "All the Devils are Here" and it has me thinking of life as novel, as it parallels this particular novel. 

A few weeks ago another blogger, Brenda, quoted from the beginning of the novel and it's such a wonderful piece of advice that I'm going to quote it again.

"Life can be cruel, as you know. But it can also be kind. Filled with wonders. You need to remember that. You have your own choice to make, Armand. What're you going to focus on? What's unfair, or all the wonderful things that happen? Both are true, both are real. Both need to be accepted. But which carries more weight with you? The goodness or the cruelty? Your life will be decided by that choice."

In the midst of this strange time in which we live, late roses bloom. Tomatoes ripen juicy and sweet. Hydrangea blossoms mellow into dark purple and pale green. I pick a crunchy apple and bite into its crisp tartness. Children laugh and grow. There are all sorts of wonders. There is much beauty. 

Penny's novel quickly darkens and the characters are caught up in a whirlwind of events that worsen with time. What will happen? How will things be resolved? We must read on, paragraph after paragraph to discover the end. 

Pandemic, devastating wildfires, personal tragedies - all of us are caught up in the maelstrom of life. Some experience hardships more cruel than others. We must live day by day, in hope, in trust, in faith that God is working and that we will get through this time in the world. 

The last chapter of Penny's novel contains these words that fill me with hope as they express the loveliness of home and the peace of homecoming: 

"The three of them stood in the cold October evening. A light snow was falling, and they could just make out the forests and the rolling hills stretching to the horizon. Below them in the valley, as though in the palm of some great hand, was a small village.

Buttery light shone from the fieldstone, brick, and clapboard homes that surrounded the green, turned white with freshly fallen snow. The crisp night air held a hint of maple smoke from chimneys. 

And in the very center of the village, three great pines swayed in the breeze."

Life is unlike a novel in that not everything is resolved satisfactorily. But there are ups and downs in life, and choices to make about where we focus. And so I wish you calmness in the midst of whatever today will bring. 


  1. Indeed there are always thngs of beauty and peace to be found if only we take the time to look aren't there? Usually these are natural things like the hydrangeas you mention or the sky at sunset and so on and hardly ever things manmade I find.

  2. Such an uplifting post giving us hope and reminding us of the beauty that surrounds us.

  3. I have the book on my wish list and I'm waiting for it to come from the library....and it sure is HARD to wait for it! I love this author as you know and love Armand! These are wonderful quotes. It's so easy to feel discouraged with all that is happening around us...some can reach us close to home too. I pray every day that I'll live my life in a way that is pleasing to God. Enjoy your day sweet friend!

  4. A lovely post, Lorrie. I wrote about much the same thing on my blog yesterday. Beauty inspires us and moves us forward and the goodness in life does as well.

    Wishing you a happy and safe school year and a beautiful autumn.

  5. I'll need to put that book in our cart at Amazon but I have to decide whether we can take a road trip anytime soon. We would like to listen to it if we take a road trip. Life is weird right now but God is the same. Hope your week ends well!

  6. What a beautiful way to share your comments about Louise's newest novel, entwining its thoughtful wisdom alongside the oddity of the world we live in at the moment. In the midst of it all, I'm glad we always have the choice of what we focus on. Lovely post, Lorrie!

  7. I visited earlier and enjoyed reading this post. I did not comment because I didn't have time to do the copy and paste thing. However the picture of the rose keeps appearing on my screen and reminding me just how beautiful it is. I have really enjoyed the interruptions :-)

  8. Beautiful post
    I dream of the day when politicians agree to not say unkind things about each other when the nation is dealing with tragedy.

  9. "Different ", has become our new way of life. So much has changed and we may never go back to the way it was. Inn my humble opinion , I think that the sooner we accept change the easier it becomes. Look for the beauty, it is always there.

  10. A lovely post and an equally lovely Rose.

  11. Inspiring words for a difficult time. Thank you.

  12. I felt a sense of hope and peace for the Gamache family at the end of the novel. I was called for the first four days of secondary school. I watched students eager to be together but confused as to the protocols. I'm dealing with my mum who does not understand that she has crossed a threshold into the world of the frail elderly. The pandemic has taken away a lot of her liberty.
    This is a difficult time but faith is a support if we accept it.

  13. Oh this is so very beautiful! Absolutely life is full of all wonders. Thank you for sharing that quote, I may have to read that book! I just picked my hydrangeas today, from a beautiful blue a few weeks back are now a gorgeous faded violet. I am drying them as reminders of beauty in my home. I also like to gift them away.
    Life is most certainly weird and something of uncertainty right now. If anything I think it's taught a lot of us to slow down, and just take a minute to observe what they have.
    Cheers to another week.

  14. I’ve been reading this book while on holiday and waited to finish before I replied. As always Penny is very salient in her observations. Phew definitely a roller coaster read. Making the most of the good things in life is so important particularly family. Have a lovely weekend. B x


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