It's been difficult to concentrate this week. Yet daily life continues. There are lessons to prepare, classes to teach, meals to make and eat, along with all the ordinary tasks of everyday life.
One morning, while walking, I heard a choked honk above me. It didn't sound like Canada Geese, and I looked up to see a straggly skein of Trumpeter Swans fly over me. Two led, seven followed in a V, and one lagged behind. Long necks stretched forward as their white wings beat against a soft grey sky. I didn't have a camera, but it's a sight that has stayed with me this week, reminding me of the beauty in this world.
Then there is this naturalized lawn I walk by, awash with purple crocuses, dark pink cyclamen, and just a few blue scilla flowers beginning to open.
I walked around the bog with a friend on another grey morning. Muted tones of grey and brown.
I found my way to a blog - Transactions with Beauty, written by Shawna Lemay. Brenda of It's a Beautiful Life has mentioned her writing several times. I poked around on Shawna's site, reading here and there. I copied some words down into my journal:
"Do your own work first." (Molly Spencer)
"Take the time to write. You can do your life's work in a half-hour a day." (Robert Hass)
I am working on a writing project that has been seriously stalled for several months. For the past two weeks, I've taken their advice, and first thing in the morning, after Tim leaves for work, I set the timer for 30 minutes and write. I do it before my lesson prep - taking to heart Molly's advice to do my own work first.
That 30 minutes could be applied to whatever it is I'm procrastinating - a sewing project, cleaning out a closet, gardening, or ???
I was out admiring the burgeoning growth in the garden and noticed the juxtaposition of the blue grape hyacinths and the yellow tete-a-tete daffodils, and I was reminded, once again, of Ukraine and her people. They are never far from my mind.
I read a poem this week by Ann Weems, a Presbyterian poet who died in 2016. Her poem "I No Longer Pray for Peace" seems very apt for today. I'm quoting just a few lines - it's available on multiple sites, if you do a search using the title.
"On the edge of war, one foot already in,
I no longer pray for peace:
I pray for miracles.
I pray that stone hearts will turn
and evil intentions will turn
and all the soldiers already deployed
will be snatched out of harm's way,
and the whole world will be
astounded onto its knees.